Alfred Morris CBE reflects on 20 years at UWE

Issue date: 31 March 2006

Alfred Morris CBE The Bolland Lecture – Thursday 6 April 2006

Alfred Morris CBE will mark his 20 years at the helm of the University of the West of England at the 30th anniversary Bolland Lecture on Thursday 6 April 2006 at 18.00. Alfred retired as Vice-chancellor of UWE in December 2005 but has taken on a new role as Chairman of North Bristol NHS Trust. He has recently been declared High Sheriff Elect of Gloucestershire and will be 'sworn in' on 9 April in Gloucester Cathedral.

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.

Alfred Morris has given his lecture the title, 'Once upon a time…' and he will reflect and draw on his involvement in the development of higher education over the past 35 years in making some comments about some of the challenges and opportunities which lie ahead on a similar time scale.

He said, “This lecture provides an opportunity for me to draw on memories of a wonderful twenty years at UWE, but I shall be equally concerned to look to the future and the challenges ahead. In particular, I intend to emphasise the continuing importance of the idea of UWE as a new kind of 'civic' university.

His successor as Vice-Chancellor of UWE, Sir Howard Newby, said, “We are delighted to welcome Alfred back to the University and I look forward to his lecture enormously. Alfred is well known for his ability to engage and entertain and this is sure to be an enjoyable and illuminating evening.”


Editors notes:

Alfred Morris CBE DL
Before joining UWE Alfred Morris was a Senior Research Fellow; he led a Leverhulme Foundation funded team engaged in research at the University of Sussex in a project that looked into and made an international comparison of the planning, funding and organisation of universities and higher education.

He had become known in the UK and Europe as a broadcaster, conference speaker, and regular contributor to the Times Higher Education Supplement, Universities Quarterly, Higher Education Review and similar journals. He had also served for three years as specialist advisor on higher education to the House of Commons Select Committee on Education, Science and the Arts, alongside Michael Shattock now Professor of Higher Education Management at the Institute of Education in London.

The Select Committee's 1980 Report on Higher Education had prompted the Leverhulme Foundation to fund a programme of study focusing informed opinion and research findings on the major strategic options likely to be available to HEIs and policy-makers in the 1980s and 1990s. Alfred Morris served as a member of the small steering group for that programme, which was directed by Professors Gareth Williams and Tessa Blackstone, later Minister for Education.

The research based seminars and the series of publications that followed from 1981 to 1983 proved hugely influential and Alfred Morris was joint editor and a contributor to the monograph on "Resources and Higher Education", with Professor John Sizer who later became Chief Executive of the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council.

In the years that followed his arrival in Bristol, Alfred Morris chaired a PCFC review that resulted in the publication of a much praised report on 'The Use of Performance Indicators in HE'. He also served on numerous national policy bodies, including: the Council for National Academic Awards; the Higher Education Quality Council; the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales; and, the Further Education Funding Council for England.

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