New Vice-Chancellor named

The University of Leicester is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Nishan Canagarajah as its next President and Vice-Chancellor with effect from Monday 4 November 2019.

Professor Nishan Canagarajah is currently Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Bristol with responsibility for Research and Enterprise.

Nishan was born and educated in Sri Lanka, then received his BA (Hons) and PhD degrees from the University of Cambridge in 1989 and 1993 respectively. He joined the University of Bristol in 1993 and became a Professor of Multimedia Signal Processing in 2004. 

He has since served as the Faculty of Engineering Research Director (2006-2009), Head of Department of Computer Science (2009-2010), Head of Merchant Venturers School of Engineering (2010-2011) and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering (2011-2014). Nishan took up the post of Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise in August 2014 where he has held overall responsibility for all research and enterprise activities. He is also the University lead on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

Nishan is internationally recognised for his research on signal processing and has led a number of successful international research partnerships.

Nishan has served on a number of national and international panels on research funding, governance and postgraduate education including EPSRC Strategic Advisory Network, Alan Turing Institute Board and NBT NHS Trust Board. He has acted as a technical consultant for a number of industrial partners including Sony, BT, BBC, Orange, Thales, Toshiba and the Met Police.

The Chair of Council for the University of Leicester, Gary Dixon, announcing the appointment said: “I am pleased that the post attracted a very strong field of candidates and that we have been able to make an excellent appointment. The selection committee were especially impressed by Nishan’s wide research experience, his outstanding performance with business and local enterprise and his inspiring leadership style. I know that the Council is very much looking forward to working closely with him.”

Professor Nishan Canagarajah said: “I am both honoured and delighted to take up this role at the University of Leicester. The University has a strong reputation for its international research, its commitment to widening participation and its pioneering approach to learning and teaching. I am really looking forward to joining such a vibrant, diverse and inclusive university and city and working with colleagues to make Leicester a partner of choice for students and staff, to enhance our reputation across the world and to further build our strong research and civic partnerships”.

The President of the University of Leicester Students’ Union, Oge Obioha, said: "The Students’ Union are really looking forward to working with Professor Canagarajah to enhance the student academic experience and promote student wellbeing. Huge congratulations to him on being our first BAME VC.”

Gary Dixon also commended the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Edmund Burke: “I would like to put on record the Council’s thanks for the contribution of Professor Burke, who has worked hard to achieve significant progress in a number of key areas across the University. His openness and transparency has been welcomed by colleagues and he has been instrumental in driving through a number of key initiatives to strengthen the University’s performance.”

Professor Burke, Acting Vice-Chancellor, said: “I look forward to welcoming Nishan and working with him to develop the future strategy for our University as we proudly look forward to our second Century.”

Professor Canagarajah will join the University on Monday 4 November 2019.