Adam Tickell to become University of Birmingham vice-chancellor

The highly regarded HE leader has been vice-chancellor at the University of Sussex since 2016

The University of Birmingham has appointed Professor Adam Tickell as its next vice-chancellor and principal. He will take up his new role in January 2022, after the retirement of current vice-chancellor Professor Sir David Eastwood in December 2021.

Professor Tickell is currently vice-chancellor of the University of Sussex, a position he has held since 2016. He is a prominent voice for the university sector in the public eye – speaking in the media on topics ranging from the apprenticeship levy to freedom of speech, and working with government.

The appointment marks a return to Birmingham for Professor Tickell – he previously served as provost and vice-principal, and pro-vice-chancellor (research and knowledge transfer) at the provider. He has also occupied academic leadership positions at the University of Bristol and Royal Holloway and began his career as an economic geographer.

My ambition is for Birmingham to be known as the most innovative, vibrant and exciting place to work or study in the UK – Professor Adam Tickell

“I am thrilled to be taking on this exciting role at a crucial time for the university,” said Professor Tickell.

“Although the backdrop for universities is challenging, Birmingham is very well placed to thrive. It has been led exceptionally and has real academic strength, outstanding facilities and opportunities for students, state-of-the-art research facilities, and strong collaborations. My ambition is for Birmingham to be known as the most innovative, vibrant and exciting place to work or study in the UK.”

Mervyn Walker, pro-chancellor and chair of council at the University of Birmingham said: “I am delighted to congratulate Professor Tickell on his appointment. This was a rigorous and highly competitive selection process, and the standard was exceptionally high.

“Professor Tickell has an impressive track-record of leadership in higher education. He brings a combination of clear strategic vision, a collegiate leadership style, intellectual credibility, a depth and breadth of academic understanding, and genuine national influence: qualities that the selection committee felt would be invaluable to lead the university in its aspiration to become a global top 50 university.

“Under Professor Sir David Eastwood’s leadership, the research, education, civic mission, and global influence of the university have been transformed, and we are now firmly established as an innovative and bold global institution. Sir David’s legacy provides a truly remarkable platform on which to build, one which allows us to set the even more stretching aim of becoming one of the world’s leading universities. In Professor Tickell we believe we have found the right person to lead the whole university community in achieving these ambitions.”

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