Steve West, who has been head of UWE since 2008, will take up the three-year position in August next year, succeeding Janet Beer, vice-chancellor of Oxford Brookes University, who has been chair since 2009.
He will take over at a crucial time for the group, which contains many large metropolitan post-1992 universities that are facing a squeeze on student numbers due to the government’s AAB and “core-and-margin” reforms.
“It is a great honour to be taking up this position next summer, to be representing such an important group of universities at a time of huge change,” he said.
“It is important that in the face of change we continue to focus on the long-term, setting out our vision for a strong, diverse and internationally acclaimed higher education sector.”
Professor West added that Professor Beer had built a “constructive and positive approach” to working with the government and others across sector.
“I look forward to continuing in these close-working relationships with government and business to champion our world-leading higher education sector,” he said.
The announcement comes as Kingston University – which was part of the Million+ group of new universities – became the 24th member of the Alliance.
Million+ - which is supported by 25 institutions – and the Alliance are the biggest two mission groups in the sector.