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New Chief Executive announced for Universities UK

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Vivienne Stern MBE has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of Universities UK (UUK), the organisation which represents 140 universities in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. She will take up this role from September 2022.

Vivienne is currently Director of Universities UK International (UUKi), part of UUK which represents the collective voice of UK universities on the global stage. Since taking up this post in 2014 she has played a significant role in major policy and political decisions including the introduction of a new Graduate Route visa, influencing the creation of the Turing Scheme which funds students to spend time abroad, and working to shape the International Education Strategy which committed the UK Government to growth in international student numbers to 600k by 2030 – a target achieved almost a decade early.

She was awarded an MBE for Services to International Education in the New Years’ Honours List 2022, and in 2021 received the European Association of International Educators’ “Vision and Leadership” award and the PIEoneer “Outstanding Contribution to the Industry” award. She has held a number of roles in the organisation since joining UUK in 2001.

Vivienne Stern MBE said:“Our universities are one of the UK’s outstanding strengths. It is an enormous privilege to be asked to represent them, and to lead the talented team at Universities UK.

“I look forward to working with the President, the Board, and all those who work in our universities to ensure that they are equipped to fulfil their potential, nationally and internationally, in education, research and in the many positive ways they contribute to the public good.

“I would also like to pay tribute to UUK’s outgoing Chief Executive, Alistair Jarvis CBE, for the exceptional leadership he has given the sector and UUK and look forward to building on the strong legacy he leaves.”

Professor Steve West CBE, President of Universities UK, said: “The challenges and opportunities afforded by the current economic, social and political climate mean that UUK needs a Chief Executive with a strong track record in campaigning, political advocacy, and the ability to connect with a diverse range of stakeholders. Vivienne’s skills, experience, sector knowledge and reputation – at home and abroad  – more than equip her for this demanding role.

“Many UUK members, including the UUK Board, have worked closely with Vivienne and benefitted from her insights and expertise for a number of years, and I know we will all look forward to working alongside her as CEO from the autumn.”

The appointment was made by a panel consisting of the UUK President, three Vice Presidents, the Treasurer and representatives of the UUK Board to reflect the diversity of UUK membership. The decision has been ratified by the UUK Board and shared with UUK members and staff.

Alistair Jarvis CBE, who has been UUK’s Chief Executive since 2017 and member of the senior team since 2013, will be leaving the organisation at the end of May to take up a new role at the University of London as Pro Vice-Chancellor Partnerships and Governance.

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