V-cs go to ends of earth - and Derbyshire

August 18, 2006

Where do university heads escape in August after a gruelling year dealing with striking academics, litigious students and the latest government directives? Vice-chancellors are just as likely to take a UK break as they are to visit exotic destinations across the globe, a straw poll by The Times Higher reveals.

Steve Smith, Exeter University's v-c, is in Singapore (following a conference), while Bristol University's Eric Thomas has just returned from a tour of New England in the US (taking in Boston, Cape Cod, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine).

Paul Wellings, v-c of Lancaster University, travelled to Australia this year, while Manchester University's Alan Gilbert enjoyed a break in Kenya.

Les Ebdon, v-c of Bedfordshire University, took time off in Mexico, while Malcolm McVicar, Central Lancashire University's head, visited Greece.

But Mike Thorne, v-c of East London University, and Westminster University's Geoffrey Copland opted for cooler climes, both holidaying (separately) in Scotland this year. Kel Fidler, Northumbria University's v-c, went to Jersey.

Salford University's v-c Michael Harloe and Howard Newby of the University of the West of England both opted for the English countryside, visiting the Lake District and Derbyshire respectively.

Nigel Thrift, meanwhile, clearly has a lot on his plate as the new head of Warwick University. He is spending his all of his summer in the university's vice-chancellor lodge.

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