President and Vice-Chancellor

As President and Vice-Chancellor, Nishan works with all colleagues to build on the University’s world class reputation in research and teaching to make a positive change in the world. He is responsible for all University activities and leads the direction for overall business and academic strategies.

Professor Nishan Canagarajah became President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Leicester in November 2019. 

Nishan was born and educated in Sri Lanka, before moving to the UK where he received his BA (Hons) and PhD degrees from the University of Cambridge in 1989 and 1993. He joined the University of Leicester from the University of Bristol where he was Pro Vice-Chancellor with responsibility for research and enterprise.

He had been a member of staff at Bristol throughout his academic career since taking up a post as a research assistant in 1993. Nishan worked his way through the academic ranks, serving as the Faculty of Engineering Research Director, Head of Department of Computer Science, Head of Merchant Venturers School of Engineering and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering.

He became Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise in August 2014, establishing two cross disciplinary research institutes to address societal issues and worked to establish a key partnership with the Alan Turing Institute.

Nishan is internationally recognised for his engineering research on signal processing and texture classification. He served on national and international research funding, governance and postgraduate education panels as well as acting as a technical consultant for Sony, BT, BBC, Orange, Thales, Toshiba and the Met Police.

As University of Bristol lead for equality, diversity and inclusion, Nishan championed a diverse and welcoming University community that reflected his role as one of the Bristol Race Equality Commissioners and position on the Governing Board of the Bristol City Funds.

How to get in touch

Executive Assistant to the President and Vice-Chancellor

Jacqui Harley
+44 (0)116 252 2322

"Our academic excellence makes us leaders in the field of research which we will be celebrating in the lead-up to our 100th anniversary. Universities have the ability to transform lives and I truly believe in the motto of this institution, ‘So that they may have life’. I would like to make sure everyone who comes into contact with this institution has their life transformed because of the University of Leicester."