BRITISH Aerospace has appointed Geraldine Kenney-Wallace, a chemical physicist, as vice-chancellor of its planned "Virtual University", writes Kam Patel.
Using electronic communication, the university will offer employees the chance to take courses from NVQs to PhDs.
The university will have three faculties: engineering and manufacturing technology, learning and a business school. It will be an "integral part" of the company, governed by a board made up of senior BAe directors and experts from academia and business.
It will be formally launched in September and should be operational by the end of 1998.
Dr Kenney-Wallace said: "This venture will be complementary to the work of other universities. We are not going to do this alone and will be looking for best practice and advice."
Other universities, either individually or in consortiums, may even want to take advantage of some of courses offered by the VU, she said.
London-born Dr Kenney-Wallace is joining BAe from the University of Toronto in Canada where she was professor of chemistry and physics between 1974 and 1990. Most recently she has been researching international business and technology at the university. She is a former chief executive and chair of the science council of Canada.