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Russell Group announces UCL Provost Malcolm Grant as next Chairman

5 December 2005

(Press release issued on behalf of the Russell Group by UCL)

The Russell Group today announced that Professor Malcolm Grant, President and Provost of UCL (University College London) is to take over as Chairman of the Group from Professor Michael Sterling, Vice Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, when Professor Sterling’s term of office ends on 30 June 2006. In addition, the Group also set out its future plans, including its intention to recruit a Director General.

In recent years the influence and activities of the Russell Group have increased greatly. In 2003, this led to the creation of a more professional structure for the Group, with its work being directed by a part-time Chairman and an Executive Director with assistance from a whole variety of professional Sub-Groups. It has now decided that there is a need for a significant step-change in its activities and organisation.

The Group wishes specifically to promote and support the contribution of top-level university research to national economic growth and innovation, and also to represent more clearly in an increasingly competitive global environment the value of the very high quality research-based education provided by its members. The Russell Group therefore needs to extend its investment in policy analysis and in representation.

Accordingly, the Group is now looking to expand its staffing, including most significantly the appointment of an individual of the highest quality as Director General, to work with the Chairman and member Vice-Chancellors in leading the Group in these new activities and identity. The wider work of the Group and its important relationships with other organisations, particularly Universities UK, will of course continue.

Professor Sterling said: "This is an important stage in the development of the Russell Group. The clearer identification of the Group as an important representational body has created the need for it to be able to develop for itself powerful evidence-based policy work and for it to be much more pro-active in the promotion of that work.

Professor Grant said: "I am delighted to have been elected to lead the Russell Group into this new and exciting phase of its development. I look forward to working with our new Director General and with my colleague Vice Chancellors and to confirming the Russell Group as a leading organisation in higher education, which carries the confidence of Government, of other stakeholders, and of course of its member institutions.”

Ends

Notes for Editors

About the Russell Group

The Russell Group is an association of 19 major research-intensive universities of the United Kingdom. Formed in 1994 at a meeting convened in the Hotel Russell, London, the Group is composed of the Vice-Chancellors/Principals of the Universities listed opposite. There are also a number of active sub-groups.

In 2003/4, Russell Group Universities accounted for over 60% (£1.7billion) of UK Universities' research grant and contract income, approximately 55% of all doctorates awarded in the United Kingdom, and over 30% of all students studying in the UK from outside the EU. In the 2001 national Research Assessment Exercise, 78% of the staff in grade 5* departments and 57% of the staff in grade 5 departments were located within Russell Group Universities.

The aims and objectives of the Russell Group are to promote the interests of Universities in which teaching and learning are undertaken within a culture of research excellence, and to identify and disseminate new thinking and ideas about the organisation and management of such institutions.

The 19 member institutions of the Russell Group are: University of Birmingham; University of Bristol; University of Cambridge; Cardiff University; University of Edinburgh; University of Glasgow; Imperial College London; King’s College London; University of Leeds; University of Liverpool; London School of Economics & Political Science; University of Manchester; University of Newcastle; University of Nottingham; University of Oxford; University of Sheffield; University of Southampton; University College London and University of Warwick.