Staffordshire University Vice-Chancellor Professor Liz Barnes was appointed Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University in April 2016. She was formally installed at a ceremony in Stoke Minster on International Women’s Day.
At the event, Prof Barnes talked about the importance of recognising ‘different’ types of universities. In her Installation address, she said: “For me the biggest challenge in the current climate is continuing to champion and prove the worth of the rich diversity of Universities in the UK.
“Sadly, social mobility is frequently couched in terms of students from disadvantaged backgrounds going to the ‘best universities’, rather than recognising that our universities offer different experiences to suit the needs of individuals by offering a broad portfolio of courses and ways to study, and for many the opportunity to stay at home or earn while they learn.
Higher education and particularly universities like Staffordshire transform lives. It is the broader impact that we see that matters for society – Staffordshire University Vice-Chancellor Professor Liz Barnes
“Higher education and particularly universities like Staffordshire transform lives. It is the broader impact that we see that matters for society. I feel humbled when I hear of what it has taken to come to University – more than 40% of our students are mature students who have not come through the traditional route.
“Something I have noticed even more since arriving at Staffordshire University is how many people I meet both across the UK and overseas that are Staffordshire graduates. They run global companies, work at top levels in government, they are vice-chancellors, top lawyers, deputy leaders of the council and the list goes on.”
“I want to see us play an even bigger part in the future of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire and believe that the time is right. We have a huge opportunity with our bid to become the City of Culture for 2021. Culture unites communities and we are fortunate to have a broad cultural offer in Stoke-on-Trent, from premiership football to our world famous ceramics industry and our fabulous theatres.
In his welcoming speech at Professor Barnes’ Installation, Chancellor Lord Stafford said: “Professor Barnes is only the fourth Vice-Chancellor to hold this distinguished position in 25 years, since Staffordshire was awarded University status in 1992.
“Her vision for our University and its students is clear and achievable – we will be a strong, regional, connected university – connected to the needs of students and academic partners, to business and society.”