Vice-Chancellor becomes President of Universities UK

The University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Janet Beer, has become the new President of Universities UK (UUK), the organisation which represents 136 universities in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Professor Beer’s two year term of office coincides with UUK’s 100 anniversary and, in her first interview since becoming President, she reflects on the significance of this milestone.


Speaking on her Presidency, Professor Beer said, “It is a great honour to take on the role of President of Universities UK. Higher education is a force for good and universities have a positive and profound impact on both the lives of individuals and on society as a whole. I know this uniting theme resonates strongly with universities across all four nations and UUK’s 100 year anniversary celebrations will provide a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate this locally, nationally and internationally.

“Of course, during my presidency there will be many other priorities to address – not least the implications of Brexit negotiations for higher education; university funding and tuition fees; maximising the potential offered by the new Industrial Strategy; and strategies to support students’ mental health and wellbeing during their time at University.”

Regional and national roles

Professor Beer has been the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool since 2015 and before this was the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University for seven years. She was Vice-President of UUK, England and Northern Ireland before taking up the Presidency and was a member of its recent taskforce on dealing with violence against women, harassment and hate crime affecting university students.

Professor Beer also chairs the Liverpool Knowledge Quarter Board and is a member of the Liverpool Science Park Board. In June she was appointed by the Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram as the adviser on Higher Education for the Liverpool City Region.

Professor Beer’s inaugural speech as President will take place as part of UUK’s annual member conference in September with Vice-Chancellors, sector leaders and the Minister of State for Universities and Science in attendance.

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