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The University of Southampton

New Vice-Chancellor appointed

Published: 20 March 2015
Professor Sir Christopher Snowden

Professor Sir Christopher Snowden appointed as the next Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton.

The University of Southampton is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Sir Christopher Snowden, as its tenth Vice-Chancellor from October 2015.

Sir Christopher is the current President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Surrey and President of Universities UK.

Professor Snowden succeeds Professor Don Nutbeam who has served Southampton as Vice-Chancellor since 2009. Professor Nutbeam announced last year that he would be retiring as Vice-Chancellor, allowing sufficient time to search for his successor.

Professor Snowden’s appointment, confirmed by the University of Southampton Council, follows an exhaustive search and rigorous selection process with interest from a range of extremely talented, diverse and experienced candidates from higher education and other sectors, both national and international.

He joins Southampton at a time when the University’s global reputation for research, education and enterprise continues to rise. With an annual turnover in excess of £500M and research income surpassing £100M year-on-year, Southampton:

  • is one of the country’s strongest universities for research, ranking 8th amongst all UK institutions in the recent Research Excellence Framework for research intensity;
  • has a growing population of high quality undergraduate and postgraduate students;
  • expands its international links and influence through strategic partnerships with universities and businesses around the globe including specific ties with organisations in Malaysia, Singapore, China, the United States, South America and throughout Europe;
  • thrives at the forefront of innovative education in a whole range of areas, not least of which is the University’s leadership in the development of MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses);
  • has created the UK’s largest university-business collaboration with Lloyd’s Register

Professor Snowden commented that, “I am honoured and delighted to be joining the University of Southampton as its Vice-Chancellor and look forward to building on its strong international reputation to achieve even greater success in the future. I am particularly excited at the prospect of leading a university which has academic strength in depth across a wide range of disciplines, with real international reach and playing such an important role nationally and regionally.”

Professor Snowden is a distinguished engineer with wide international experience of leadership in academia and industry. He joined the University of Surrey in 2005 as President and Vice-Chancellor and was knighted in the 2012 New Year’s Honours for services to higher education and engineering.

Professor Snowden is a member of the Prime Minister’s advisory Council for Science and Technology and President of Universities UK (2013-2015). He has just become Chair of the Queen Elizabeth II Prize Committee – the ‘Nobel Prize’ of Engineering and sits on the governing body of the UK’s InnovateUK.

Gill Rider, Chair of Council at the University of Southampton, believes that Professor Snowden’s extensive experience will provide the “strong leadership necessary to build on the University of Southampton’s position as one of the UK’s top universities for research, education and enterprise”.

“Professor Sir Christopher Snowden is the perfect choice to lead the University of Southampton forward to achieve its goals and aspirations,” she continued. “This is an exciting time for the University as we welcome a new Vice-Chancellor and look to a bright and successful future in which we are ‘changing the world for the better’.”

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