My week - 24 June 2013 - Thousands of visitors, three V-Cs and one well-deserved honour

A regular update from Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Arthur.

Professor Michael Arthur

Campus was teeming with visitors this week, as prospective students, their parents and families came to our Open Days. This year, for the first time, we added a third Open Day earlier in the week. We’re still processing the figures from Saturday, but initial statistics show that around 9,000 people attended the Tuesday Open Day and the same number on Friday.  As we were in competition with other universities in the region also having their own open days last week, this was a very encouraging turnout.

As usual, our staff and students were absolutely brilliant, both in the run up to the Open Days and during the days themselves. A massive thank you to the Estates team for making the campus look so welcoming, to the student ambassadors who worked incredibly hard directing people to different destinations, and to all colleagues who helped make a visit to Leeds a memorable occasion for so many people. I’m sure that our collective efforts will translate into thousands of young people choosing to come here, beginning a long and fruitful relationship with the University and the city.

The University hosted the regional dinner of the Arts & Humanities Research Council in the Great Hall this week, with more than 100 guests. As you can see from the photograph below, we had a very rare occurrence whereby the previous, current and incoming Vice-Chancellors of the University of Leeds were all in attendance – a triumvirate of VCs or, as someone was heard to say, quite  a ‘grandeur’ of VCs !

Sir Alan Wilson, Professor Michael Arthur, and Sir Alan Langlands

My predecessor Sir Alan Wilson was there in his capacity as current chair of the AHRC, whilst our incoming VC, Sir Alan Langlands, attended as a consequence of his long association with the AHRC through his role as Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).  Other guests included AHRC Chief Executive, Professor Rick Rylance, many of our own academics, representatives from our strategic partners, such as Opera North, other regional universities and local museums and art galleries

I was particularly proud to host the event, as we are fortunate enough to have a large number of AHRC grant holders, including recent recipients of substantial AHRC awards, Dr Matthew Treherne (School of Modern Languages & Cultures SMLC) and Professor David Cooper (School of Music), and Professor Stuart Taberner and Dr Helen Finch (both SMLC) who were awarded two of just seven AHRC Fellowships given last year.

I was delighted to learn that Linda Pollard, the University's Pro-Chancellor, has been made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.  Linda was recognised for her services to business and to the community in Yorkshire and the Humber. I am sure that everyone at the University who has worked with Linda during her two terms of office appreciates the service, advice and wisdom she has given to us and that you would all like to join me in offering her our warmest congratulations.


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