Lord Bilimoria was formally installed of the University of Birmingham on 17th July 2014, becoming the seventh Chancellor of on of the United Kingdom’s leading research universities. He follows a long line of distinguished predecessors including; the great Liberal Unionist statesman, Joseph Chamberlain, who founded the university in 1900; the former Prime Minister, Anthony Eden, Earl of Avon; and Sir Dominic Cadbury, who stepped down last December after 11 years in the role.
Speaking at the ceremony, the University of Birmingham’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir David Eastwood, said: ‘I am delighted that Lord Bilimoria has agreed to become Chancellor of the University of Birmingham. He embodies the character, spirit, and ethos of the University. We know that, like those Chancellors before him, Lord Bilimoria will make a powerful and lasting contribution to this University. It is my very great pleasure to welcome him to our vibrant global community.’
The Chancellor acts as the ceremonial figurehead of the University and has an important ambassadorial role, working with the Vice-Chancellor and the Pro-Chancellor to raise the University’s profile and advance its interests nationally and internationally.
On accepting the role, Lord Bilimoria said: ‘The University of Birmingham is a wonderful institution with such an illustrious history dating back to its foundation by Joseph Chamberlain in 1900. It is also the University where my mother, my uncle and my maternal grandfather studied. I am delighted to have the opportunity to take on such a prominent role at the University that has not only been named The Times and The Sunday Times University of the Year 2013–14, but is genuinely going from strength to strength. I believe that there is enormous potential in continuing to build mutually beneficial links between business, industry and the University. I am looking forward enormously to the role.’
Lord Bilimoria also received an honorary doctorate from the University – his second in a single week following an award from Exeter University in recognition of his significant contribution to public life and business in the United Kingdom. This follows similar accolades from Brunel University, Heriot Watt University, Staffordshire University, London Metropolitan University, Cranfield University and the University of West London.
The University of Birmingham has been named as The Times and The Sunday Times University of the Year 2013/14 and is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers, teachers and more than 4,000 international students from nearly 150 countries.
The University is home to nearly 30,000 students. With more than 7,500 postgraduate students from across the world, Birmingham is one of the most popular universities for postgraduate study in the UK. The University plays an integral role in the economic, social and cultural growth of local and regional communities; working closely with businesses and organisations, employing approximately 6,000 staff and providing 10,000 graduates annually.
A link to the full ceremony can be found here.