Buckingham represented at Thatcher’s funeral

The vice-chancellor of the UK’s first private university will attend Baroness Thatcher’s funeral after being invited on her instructions, and has praised her for transforming the nation “wholly for the better”.

April 17, 2013

Lady Thatcher left instructions that the chancellor and vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham, together with two alumni, be invited to her funeral, which is being held today in London.

She presided over Buckingham’s official opening as a university college in 1976 (it became a university in 1983, the first in the UK independent of state funding) and served as its chancellor between 1992 and 1998.

Terence Kealey, the Buckingham vice-chancellor, will attend the funeral alongside the university’s chancellor, Lord Tanlaw, and alumni Flora Fairbairn and Daniel Bakpa.

Professor Kealey said: “I felt very sad to learn of her death. I knew that she never forgot the way that she lost office and the injustice that she felt about it because I shared her opinion.

“I thought that she was a truly great prime minister, one of the four greatest of the 20th Century, and I thought she was always kinder and more vulnerable than people understood because her determination to succeed on behalf of the nation forced her into a more confrontational approach than was true to her character.

“She transformed the nation wholly for the better and, though of course she made mistakes (who doesn’t?), she deserved better than to have been so brutally ejected by others.”

Lady Thatcher gave an insight into her views on higher education in a speech at a Buckingham graduation ceremony in 1993.

“This is a very special university,” she said. “Looking back on the history of this remarkable country whose influence girded the globe, it is astonishing that it had no independent university.

“And yet those English and Scottish people who left our shores to build America, taking with them the sturdy values of effort, independence, thrift, freedom, justice, self-government, and a sense of obligation to one to another – they started private universities and colleges, many of them. Of course they didn’t go to America for subsidies – there weren’t any.”

She added that “like the builders of the New World”, the founders of Buckingham “didn’t want government interfering too much so they went ahead on their own”.


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

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Assistant Recruitment - Human Resources Office

University Of Nottingham Ningbo China

Outreach Officer

Gsm London

Professorship in Geomatics

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

Professor of European History

Newcastle University

Head of Department

University Of Chichester
See all jobs

Most Commented

men in office with feet on desk. Vintage

Three-quarters of respondents are dissatisfied with the people running their institutions

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

Canal houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All three of England’s for-profit universities owned in Netherlands

sitting by statue

Institutions told they have a ‘culture of excluding postgraduates’ in wake of damning study

A face made of numbers looks over a university campus

From personalising tuition to performance management, the use of data is increasingly driving how institutions operate