Birmingham V-C new Russell Group chair
Professor David Eastwood has been selected as the new chair of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Professor Eastwood has been Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham since 2009.
He will take over at the beginning of September from the current chair Professor Michael Arthur, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds.
The Russell Group represents 20 leading universities in the UK which are committed to maintaining the very best research, an outstanding teaching and learning experience, and unrivalled links with business and the public sector. It will soon formally expand to include four new members.
Professor Eastwood is thrilled with his new appointment. “I am honoured to have been chosen to chair the Russell Group at this exciting and challenging time for higher education - and research-intensive universities in particular.
“The UK boasts world-class universities in terms of reputation, quality, and impact. They play a key role in educating both undergraduate and postgraduate students, carrying out ground-breaking research and developing innovative products and spin-out companies.
“In my term as Russell Group chair I am determined to help ensure that they are able to continue to succeed on a global stage.”
Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group, welcomed Prof. Eastwood.
“Professor Eastwood’s experience as Vice-Chancellor of two universities and Chief Executive of both the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the Arts and Humanities Research Board gives him invaluable knowledge.
“I look forward to working closely with him as we embark on a challenging time for universities.
“I have greatly enjoyed working with Professor Michael Arthur and I would like to personally thank him - as I know would all the other Vice-Chancellors - for the important contribution he has made at a time of great change.”
Professor Michael Arthur wished the new chair the best of luck. “The last three years have been a momentous and challenging time for higher education in the UK and I’m delighted to have been at the heart of it. I hope David Eastwood finds the experience of chairing this fantastic organisation as rewarding as I have.”
The Russell Group was formed in 1994 soon after the university sector expanded and diversified. It was initially convened by a group of Vice-Chancellors with a particular interest in world-class research and education. In 2006 the Russell Group appointed its first Director General, Dr Wendy Piatt, to create the Russell Group organisation in order to provide strategy, policy development, and communications for its members. It will expand on 1 August to include four new members - taking the total to 24.