UCL News


UCL launches global search for new President & Provost

13 August 2019

UCL has today launched a global search to recruit an outstanding new President & Provost to succeed Professor Michael Arthur in September next year. The role presents a rare opportunity to lead one of the world’s most ambitious, impactful, collaborative and global universities.

UCL quad

Consistently ranked amongst the world top 10, UCL is renowned for its radical and progressive thinking, bringing its multidisciplinary expertise together in new ways to target the major challenges of today and tomorrow.

Based in the heart of London, the university is highly global with a wide portfolio of strategic partnerships with universities, institutions, charities, NGOs, governments and philanthropists around the world. Our diverse community of staff, student and alumni represent nearly 200 countries.

UCL was founded in 1826 to open higher education to students from a wider range of backgrounds and to change the way we create and share knowledge. In 1878, we became the first university in England to welcome women on equal terms with men.

That radical spirit is alive and nurtured today across UCL and underpins our ground-breaking research. Our staff and students are taking on some of the biggest challenges of our time and making vital contributions for the good of humanity.

UCL’s current President & Provost Professor Michael Arthur will be stepping down from the role at the end of the next academic year after seven years. During this time, Professor Arthur has overseen the university’s rise up the world rankings to eighth in the QS World University Rankings (2020), secured UCL’s position as the most successful institute in collaborative research in Europe and put the university on a strong and sustainable financial footing.

Professor Arthur has pioneered Transforming UCL, the largest capital programme in the university’s history, which is investing over £1 billion over ten years to refurbish and develop some of our most iconic buildings – including the development of UCL’s new Student Centre (one of only 320 globally to achieve BREEAM’s highest ‘Outstanding’ classification for sustainability), UCL’s new campus UCL East and the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) hub.

Under his personal leadership, Professor Arthur has also ensured that UCL is considered a sector-leader on equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI). UCL is the only university in the UK to hold both an Athena SWAN Silver institutional award (for gender equality) and a Bronze Race Equality Charter award.

Professor Arthur has also launched the It’s All Academic Campaign, UCL’s most impactful philanthropy and engagement campaign to date.  The Campaign has reached the £535 million milestone of its £600 million goal, raising vital funds for UCL’s world-impacting research, student support and transformative capital projects. The Campaign has also engaged alumni volunteers globally to give 180,000 volunteer hours.

Victor Chu, UCL’s Chair of Council, said: “Our current President & Provost Professor Michael Arthur is leaving UCL in a very strong position.

“In his successor, we are seeking an outstanding leader who will be thoroughly respected within UCL and beyond, an exceptional individual who will have a crucial external role to play in representing UCL both nationally and internationally, interacting with governments and influencing the development of higher education in the UK.

“The successful candidate will have the visionary leadership and skills to develop and maintain relationships with those who share our vision of the importance of higher education and academic excellence.”

The global search for UCL’s new President & Provost is being managed by international recruitment agency Perrett Laver.


Media contact

Jake Hawkes

Tel: +44 (0)20 3108 8581

Email: j.hawkes [at] ucl.ac.uk