The Vice Chancellor of the University of Birmingham has been chosen as the new chair of the Russell Group of universities. David Eastwood will take over the role at the beginning of September and replaces Professor Michael Arthur, the Vice Chancellor of Leeds University.
Professor Eastwood will be chair of the group that represents twenty four research intensive universities including Durham, Exeter, Queen Mary (University of London) and York who join the group at the beginning of August. The group is ‘committed to maintaining the very best research, an outstanding teaching and learning experience, and unrivalled links with business and the public sector.’
On being given the role, Eastwood said:
‘I am honoured to have been chosen to chair the Russell Group at this exciting and challenging time for higher education - and research-intensive universities in particular. The UK boasts world-class universities in terms of reputation, quality, and impact. They play a key role in educating both undergraduate and postgraduate students, carrying out ground-breaking research and developing innovative products and spin-out companies. In my term as Russell Group chair I am determined to help ensure that they are able to continue to succeed on a global stage.’
Eastwood became Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham in April 2009. Previously, he was Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), Vice Chancellor of the University of East Anglia, and Chief Executive of the Arts and Humanities Research Board.
Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group, said:
‘Professor Eastwood’s experience as Vice-Chancellor of two universities and Chief Executive of both the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the Arts and Humanities Research Board gives him invaluable knowledge. I look forward to working closely with him as we embark on a challenging time for universities.’