UWE Bristol Vice-Chancellor Professor Steve West responds to election results

Issue date: 08 May 2015

Steve West, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of the West of England

Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of the West of England Professor Steve West has announced that it is important that the University remains focused on its ambitions for the future as the indications point to a Conservative second term this morning.

“The University has a clear and ambitious strategic direction. Our responsibility is to work with our staff, students and partners to deliver the best opportunities and outcomes for our graduates through high quality, sustainable teaching and research.

“Working with Westminster as well as our region will continue to be a priority for us to ensure we maximise our influence and commitment to creating an exciting and sustainable future for all.”

Professor West has shown a real commitment to reaching out to all areas of influence in a bid to wave the flag for UWE Bristol interests and to bang the drum for practice oriented universities that focus on science, technology, design and the professions.

Perhaps most significantly as Chair of the University Alliance (UA) he uses this position to speak for the sector to influence Westminster and to ensure that Universities under the UA umbrella are heard and represented at the highest level.

In the run up to the election Professor West delivered a speech at the Universities UK (UUK) conference that spelt out the neutrality of universities and the emphasis on scoping for the long term. In a recent blog post he emphasised this.

“Universities think and operate long term. They are also politically neutral and represent many sectors and sections of their locality and region. This makes them well placed to be anchors for their region – joining up across the various elements of a place, coordinating and developing the high-level opportunities and catalysts that will really shape the future.

“In the heated public policy debate ahead of the General Election it may be that university voices are more important than ever. Universities can and should shine a light on what is possible and lead the way by building the bridges, networks and capacity to deliver.

“We will be inviting our local MPs (re-elected and those new to post) to visit the university regularly so that we can all work together to continue to campaign for investment that will keep the region buoyant and retain growth so that we build good future prospects for our graduates.”

Professor West was recently rated as the 45th most influential person in Higher Education and the 10th most influential UK Vice-Chancellor according to Higher Education Power List – 2015.

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