BBC World Service director Peter Horrocks to be next OU v-c

The next vice-chancellor of The Open University will be Peter Horrocks, currently the director of the BBC’s World Service.

December 11, 2014

Source: BBC

He will replace Martin Bean, who is returning to his native Australia at the end of this year to become vice-chancellor of RMIT University in Melbourne.

Since graduating from the University of Cambridge, Mr Horrocks has spent his entire career to date at the BBC, editing programmes such as Panorama and Newsnight before becoming head of TV news and then, in 2009, director of the World Service.

He will be the second non-academic to run the OU, following Mr Bean, a former general manager at Microsoft.

Mr Horrocks said it was a “profound honour” to join the OU “at such an interesting time for the sector”.

“I have seen first-hand the transformative power of learning around the world, especially when coupled with technology,” he said.

“The Open University has been making a life-changing difference to hundreds of thousands of people by providing them, through distance learning, with an education that may otherwise have been unattainable.”

Richard Gillingwater, the OU’s pro-chancellor designate and the chairman of the selection panel, said Mr Horrocks had been “the stand-out candidate in a very strong field”.

“Like the higher education sector, the BBC has had to adapt to new ways of working and funding over recent years, so Peter brings with him not only a wealth of relevant experience, but the drive, vision and intellect to lead the OU into the future,” Mr Gillingwater said.

With Mr Horrocks not due to take up his new post until May 2015, the role of acting vice-chancellor will be taken in the interim by Tim Blackman, currently the pro vice-chancellor for research, scholarship and quality.

chris.havergal@tesglobal.com

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns