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New Vice-Chancellor to drive University’s continuing growth

The University of Suffolk has appointed an experienced Vice-Chancellor to drive forward its ambitious growth plans, develop further research excellence and expand vital community partnerships.

Professor Jenny Higham is currently Vice-Chancellor of St George’s, University of London. She will take up her position in Suffolk in time for the start of the 2024 autumn term, taking over from Professor Helen Langton, MBE, who retires in the summer.

Professor Higham joined specialist health sciences university St George’s in 2015 as the first female leader in its 290-year history and has driven a major transformation. St George’s now ranks joint eighth in the UK for research impact in the most recent national Research Excellence Framework and top in the UK for Graduate Prospects in the 2024 Complete University Guide.

Implementation of an ambitious strategy recently culminated in a commitment to merge with City, University of London, to become City St George’s, University of London.

Professor Higham currently has national responsibilities in the university sector, sitting on the boards of both the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) and Universities UK (UUK); since 2021 she has been the Universities UK Funding Policy Lead. She is also a Council member for the All-Party Parliamentary University Group.

Professor Higham has a specialist medical background and to date is the only woman to chair the Medical Schools Council. Previously she worked at Imperial College London, serving as Vice-Dean for Institutional Affairs and Director of Education for the Faculty of Medicine. She led Imperial’s work to create the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine in Singapore, a partnership with Nanyang Technological University.

Chair of the University of Suffolk Board, Ian Ailles, said: “Professor Higham’s expertise in leadership and health, combined with her wider contributions to the sector, make her the ideal choice to lead the next phase of our University’s growth and development.

“Professor Langton is a hard act to follow, having built our reputation as a modern and transformative university, growing our research profile, our campus and our partnerships with health, business and our community. I look forward to working with Professor Higham to drive new opportunities and build the next stage of Suffolk’s journey.”

Professor Higham said: “I am excited about the opportunities my new role presents, having watched the University’s development under Professor Langton’s leadership and its increasing contribution to the region’s economic, social and cultural growth. I look forward to working with colleagues, students and partners to build on that success.

“On a personal note, having spent my youth in Norfolk, I am thrilled to be returning to the East of England, where I have many friends and family.”

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Suffolk Chamber

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