Edinburgh principal Tim O'Shea to step down

Vice-chancellor to leave in September 2017 after 15 years at helm

June 21, 2016
Sir Tim O'Shea, principal of the University of Edinburgh

The principal of the University of Edinburgh, Sir Tim O’Shea, is to step down next year.

Sir Tim will leave the institution in September 2017, after a 15-year term.

He said that he had “every confidence” that the institution would “continue to go from strength to strength in the years to come”.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to serve as principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Edinburgh and I am extremely proud of what we as an institution have achieved over recent years,” Sir Tim said.

Prior to joining Edinburgh, Sir Tim was master of Birkbeck, University of London, and a pro vice-chancellor at the Open University.

Under his leadership, Edinburgh has maintained its pre-eminent reputation for research excellence, securing 24th place in the most recent Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

The institution also became a pioneer of online learning, becoming the first university in the UK to offer a massive open online course. Since 2013, 2.5 million students have accessed Edinburgh courses for free via the internet.

John Swinney, Scotland’s deputy first minister and education secretary, paid tribute to Sir Tim.

“Under Sir Tim's leadership, the University of Edinburgh has built on its reputation as one of the world's great universities and is widely regarded as a powerhouse of ideas and innovation across the breadth of academic endeavour, bringing distinction and talent to Scotland,” the minister said.

Edinburgh said that it would begin the recruitment process for Sir Tim’s successor shortly.

The vacancy is the second prestigious academic role to become available in Scotland in recent times, with Sally Mapstone, currently pro vice-chancellor for education at the University of Oxford, due to become principal of the University of St Andrews in September. Louise Richardson, St Andrews’ former principal, left to become Oxford’s new vice-chancellor.

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

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford will host a homeopathy conference next month

Charity says Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford is ‘naive’ to hire out its premises for event

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Woman pulling blind down over an eye
Liz Morrish reflects on why she chose to tackle the failings of the neoliberal academy from the outside
White cliffs of Dover

From Australia to Singapore, David Matthews and John Elmes weigh the pros and cons of likely destinations

Michael Parkin illustration (9 March 2017)

Cramming study into the shortest possible time will impoverish the student experience and drive an even greater wedge between research-enabled permanent staff and the growing underclass of flexible teaching staff, says Tom Cutterham