Imperial’s Simone Buitendijk named as next Leeds v-c

Vice-provost for education will replace Alan Langlands at Yorkshire university

February 14, 2020

The University of Leeds has appointed Simone Buitendijk, who is currently vice-provost (education) at Imperial College London, as its next vice-chancellor.

Professor Buitendijk will take the reins on 1 September, when current leader Sir Alan Langlands steps down.

Sir Alan announced in September 2019 that he would be leaving the role after seven years. Previously, he was chief executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

Before joining Imperial as vice-provost in 2016, where she is a professor of maternal and child health, Professor Buitendijk was vice-rector magnificus at Leiden University.

She has previously held positions as head of the perinatal epidemiology section at the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, professor of maternal and child health at Leiden and professor of midwifery studies at the University of Amsterdam.

She is a champion of diversity in academia, particularly as a member of the League of European Research Universities. She co-authored LERU’s reports Women, Research and Universities: Excellence without Gender Bias (2012) and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Universities: The Power of a Systemic Approach (2019).

Professor Buitendijk has extensively written on teaching and learning pedagogy and on the digital and online learning agenda, and has called on universities to innovate their teaching using modern technology.

Leed’s council chair, David Gray, said Professor Buitendijk was “the perfect person” to take the university forward as she “has a clear vision for how research and education should work in tandem in a global university with strong civic roots; an impressive record of institutional change management; and an exemplary grasp of the moral purpose of higher education, particularly in relation to diversity, participation and inclusion”.

“Her experience in academic leadership in Europe will be a real asset as we seek to enhance our international perspective. I look forward to working with her in the years to come,” Mr Gray said.

Professor Buitendijk said she was “thrilled” to be given the role.

“I am looking forward to collaborating with the extremely engaged and talented community of students, staff and alumni to further strengthen the university’s role regionally, nationally and globally. Together we can enhance its impact through excellent, societally relevant research and through training the next generation of global citizens with high-quality, innovative education,” she said.

anna.mckie@timeshighereducation.com

Reader's comments (1)

Just delighted of having a leading scholar, a woman, and a European to take us into the future. Welcome.

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