University Alliance names new chair – and a new member

The vice-chancellor of the University of the West of England has been elected as the new chair of the University Alliance as the mission group expands its membership to 24 institutions.

December 21, 2011

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.

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