Bill Rammell to step down as University of Bedfordshire v-c

Former higher education minister will leave in December to seek consultancy and advisory positions

November 6, 2019
Bill Rammell

Bill Rammell, England’s former universities minister, is to step down as vice-chancellor of the University of Bedfordshire next month.

Mr Rammell, who was higher education minister from 2005 to 2008 under Labour prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, announced on 6 November that he would leave the Luton-based institution at the end of 2019.

Mr Rammell, who joined the university as vice-chancellor in September 2012, said he wanted to “explore new advisory and consultancy opportunities in the HE [higher education] sector and beyond”.

In an email to staff and students, he said it had been “an honour to work with such gifted and committed staff, whose public impact locally, nationally and internationally increases every year”.

“This has been a very difficult decision, but after seven successful years leading one organisation, I have decided to pursue new opportunities advising and consulting in the HE sector and beyond, which excites me,” he added.

“It has been an extremely hard decision to leave the staff and students, but the university is now financially sound, the new STEM building and other structural work is complete, and the university has a strong network of international partners which supports and contributes to the home campus,” he continued. It was now, he added, “time to hand over to someone else for the next stage of the university journey”.

Mr Rammell, who was MP for Harlow from 1997 to 2010, is also a former Foreign Office minister and has served as minister of state for the armed forces.

Tim Sawyer, chair of the university’s governing body, praised Mr Rammell’s leadership at Bedfordshire, saying his “strategy for widening participation and his international ambitions for the university have ensured its financial stability and recent success.”

“Bill has championed the student experience and grown partnerships and student recruitment,” said Mr Sawyer, adding that university is “now in the global rankings and was awarded a silver in the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF)”.

“We are thankful to him for his contribution to and passion for the University of Bedfordshire and for developing a network of local and international delivery partners,” he said. Now, he went on, the university “will ensure a smooth transition to his successor next year, who will continue our exciting transformation journey”.

The formal appointment process for a successor as vice-chancellor will commence immediately, the university said.

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