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Our Chancellors

The Chancellor is the leading ambassador and formal head of the University. The day-to-day running of the University is managed by the Vice-Chancellor and the University Executive.

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The University of Southampton is delighted to announce the appointment of Rt Hon Justine Greening and Lord Patel of Bradford as our joint University Chancellors.

This is the first time the University has appointed joint Chancellors and their initial term will be for five years. They will take up their roles as of 1 June 2024, succeeding Ruby Wax who has completed her five-year term as Chancellor.

Rt Hon Justine Greening


Justine studied at Southampton, living at Glen Eyre Halls of residence and playing for the University’s squash team. She graduated with first class honours in 1990 with a degree in Business Economics and Accounting.

Justine was elected Conservative MP for Putney, Roehampton and Southfields in 2005 and remained an MP until 2019. She served as Secretary of State for Transport from October 2011 to September 2012 and Secretary of State for International Development from September 2012 until July 2016. She then served as Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities from July 2016 to January 2018, during which time she launched the Social Mobility Action Plan and the Gender Pay Gap regulations. Since leaving Parliament in late 2019, Justine has campaigned for social mobility and equality of opportunity. In July 2023 she was awarded an honorary doctorate at Southampton.

She comments: “I am honoured to be offered the role of Chancellor for the University that has played such an important part in my life and career. I have been immensely proud of all that the University has achieved and in particular I have found the work Southampton is doing on social mobility and widening participation to be truly inspiring. While I have always maintained a valued relationship with Southampton as an alumna, I look forward to a deepening connection with the University community during my term in this role.”

Lord Patel of Bradford

Lord Patel began his career as a social worker, later moving into academia and government roles relating to health, education and social care. He was made an OBE in 1999 for services to ethnic minority health issues. He is a member of the House of Lords and was made a life peer in 2006. In 2018, Lord Patel was appointed Chair of Social Work England, the regulator for child, family and adult social workers in England. He is Chair of the India Business Group.

He already had links with the University, as a valued patron for The India Centre for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development. He was awarded an honorary degree in 2018.

Lord Patel said: “I am delighted to take up this ambassadorial role at the University of Southampton and I will do my very best to contribute to the university’s continuing development, growth and success. I have always been hugely impressed with the world-class research that takes place here and the impact it has globally. I look forward to engaging with staff, students and alumni to learn even more about this remarkable institution.”

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