Michael Farthing, vice-chancellor of the University of Sussex, has been announced as the new chair of the 1994 Group.
Professor Farthing will succeed the outgoing chair, Paul Wellings, vice-chancellor of Lancaster University, in October. Professor Wellings is returning to his native Australia to take up the role of vice-chancellor at the University of Woollongong.
Professor Farthing said he was "delighted" to have been appointed to the top role at the mission group at a time when the higher education sector was going through significant change.
Predicting that the upcoming White Paper could be a "game changer" for all UK universities, Professor Farthing said his aim as chair would be to ensure that the opinions of the 19 institutions that make up the 1994 Group are heard in the debates on the future of the sector. He added that he also hoped the 1994 Group would set an example that would be "followed throughout higher education".
Paul Marshall, executive director of the 1994 Group, said: "Professor Farthing is an outstanding higher education leader. I have no doubt that his talent and vision will have a fantastic impact on the 1994 Group."