'People asked "is it a joyful occasion?"it is - but it is more a sense of relief'

July 29, 2005

Tim Wheeler is vice-chancellor of the latest college to be awarded university status - Chester

Tim Wheeler allowed himself a glass of bubbly this week to celebrate the news that the college he has run for the past seven years has been granted university status.

But there is little danger that Professor Wheeler, now vice-chancellor of Chester University, will let the taste of success to go to his head.

He pointed out that the former University College Chester enjoyed a 48 per cent increase in applications this year - the largest in the UK. Yet he insisted he would maintain a "steady-as-she-goes" policy with his university - which also happens to be one of England's oldest institutions.

Its original buildings were opened by Sir William Gladstone in 1842.

He said: "We are going to be fairly conservative in terms of expansion.

It's not about growth - it's about sustaining the numbers we have and enhancing quality."

Professor Wheeler's caution may be influenced by his experience in the late 1990s as deputy director and later acting director of Southampton Institute, which became Southampton Solent University two weeks ago.

Professor Wheeler recalled: "It was a period fraught with problems. The institute had gone through rapid expansion and had a high appetite for risk."

Chester's main challenge will be coping with a possible dip in student demand as top-up fees come in, he said.

As for this week's good news, Professor Wheeler said it was due to his hard-working staff and students. "People have asked me, 'is it a joyful occasion?' It is - but it is more a great sense of relief," he said.

Please login or register to read this article.

Register to continue

Get a month's unlimited access to THE content online. Just register and complete your career summary.

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 Viewed

Last year’s scandal over the ministerial vetoing of Australian research grants coincided with the centenary of the fabled principle that politicians should keep out of such decisions. But with governments becoming increasingly ideological and desperate for innovation-fuelled growth, does scientific autonomy have a future? Rachael Pells investigates 

The University of Oxford is top in a list of the best universities in the UK, which includes institutions in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

26 September

Most Commented

Most universities still rely on exams and assessed essays to grade their students. But as the fourth industrial revolution, employability and student satisfaction all rise up the agenda, many experts are suggesting that assessment needs to much more closely resemble real-world tasks. Anna McKie marks the arguments   

23 May

Sponsored

Featured jobs