Cambridge alumni and chairman of NHS England Malcolm Grant will be formally appointed as Chancellor of the University of York in a ceremony on 27 October.
He will replace Greg Dyke, chairman of the FA and former director-general of the BBC, in the role that involves conferring degrees and chairing the Court of the University of York. The Court is a body of ambassadors and affiliates tasked with “represent[ing] its interests in the wider world”.
Grant has previously served as President of University College London and was knighted in 2013 for his services to higher education. During that time he launched ‘The Campaign for UCL’, a fundraising project tasked with generating £300mn for facilities and research initiatives. Of the total amount raised, £50mn was used to fund student bursaries, scholarships and postdoctoral study.
Also a barrister and an academic lawyer, Grant acted as chairman of the Russell Group of universities from 2006 to 2009. During that time he criticised cuts by the government to research funding that Grant claimed would “prevent hundreds of PhD students from embarking on pioneering research”.
Following the announcement of his appointment, Grant told Nouse that he believes “the current tuition fee model is going to have to be revisited”. He also claimed that “continued economic austerity will not be favourable to university funding” and that he sees Britain leaving the EU as “a major threat for research funding and also to the flow of international students”.
Commenting on his appointment, Grant said: “I look forward to helping the University achieve the next phase of its development at an enormously challenging time for Higher Education globally. Following Greg Dyke’s inspirational leadership will not be easy, but I am determined to continue to build on the record of success of this remarkable institution.”
In keeping with University of York tradition, Grant will issue honorary degrees to three notable names at his inauguration in Central Hall. The recipients will be economists Robert Chote and Sharon White – also the Chief Executive of regulatory body Ofcom – and Dr Hermann Hauser, Austrian entrepreneur and Physics PhD.
Honorary degree recipients will lead invitation-only masterclasses to students in their areas of speciality at 2:00pm on the day of the inauguration, following a showcase of the University’s new Research Champions at 10am.