Stormy waters or calm seas ahead for Higher Education?

Issue date: 10 June 2005

Issue date: 10/06/05

University of Bristol VC speaks at Bristol UWE’s annual Bolland Lecture
16 June 2005 at 18.00

The University of the West of England has invited the Vice Chancellor of the neighbouring University of Bristol, Professor Eric Thomas to give the annual Bolland Lecture on 16 June in the Glendinning Lecture Theatre at UWE’s Frenchay Campus.

Professor Thomas’s lecture is entitled ‘Higher Education – a Weather Forecast’ and he will discuss and debate issues facing higher education today and invites us to consider whether we face calmer waters or stormy seas!

Professor Thomas said, “The Higher Education Act has been passed and quieter times are said to lie ahead for higher education, with significant additional public investment in prospect. Is this likely to prove an accurate weather forecast? There will certainly be more money but there are also some very substantial challenges on the horizon. How are we going to fund and celebrate diversity of mission amongst universities? How might we fund some universities as global players? How do we sustain our values and independence in the face of cries to be economic engines? How do we manage in an increasingly deregulated market?”

The Bolland Lecture was established in 1976 to commemorate Dr Robert Bolland, who held the post of Director of Bristol Polytechnic from its foundation in 1969 to his death in 1974. The Bolland Lecture reception begins at 17.30 followed by the lecture at 18.00 and supper in the Merchant Suite at 19.45. For more information please e-mail or telephone 0117 32 83934


Editor’s notes

Professor Eric Thomas has been Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol since 2001.

Professor Thomas, who is 52 years old and married with two children, studied medicine at Newcastle University. He taught and researched at Sheffield and Newcastle universities before being appointed Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Southampton University in 1991. In the same year, he became a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Southampton University Hospitals Trust.

He was made Head of Southampton's School of Medicine in 1995 and Dean of its Faculty of Medicine, Health and Biological Sciences in 1998.

He is currently a member of the Board of the South West Regional Development Agency, a member of the South West Regional Sports Board, a member of Universities UK Health Committee and Chairman of Worldwide Universities Network (WUN). He also sits on a regional strategic committee that feeds into the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

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