Mr Speaker to be new university chancellor

Speaker John Bercow
Speaker John Bercow

The Speaker of the House of Commons is the new Chancellor of the University of Bedfordshire, it was announced on Wednesday.

The Rt Hon John Bercow MP will succeed Baroness Ros Howells, who completes her five year term this spring.

John Bercow

John Bercow

Mr Bercow will formally take up the appointment in June.

As Chancellor, Mr Bercow will represent the University on special occasions, confer degrees at graduation ceremonies and preside over meetings of the University Court.

Mr Bercow said: “I am hugely honoured to accept this role. The fundamental principles of social mobility, internationalism, intellectual curiosity and achievement are close to my heart. I hope that I am able to support, and represent, the University’s commitment and ambitions across these areas, and beyond.

“Having visited the University recently, I was impressed by the world-leading research that is taking place, the commitment to developing students as citizens, and the shared commitment to realise the potential of all students no matter their background.

“I am already looking forward to my formal installation, and playing my part in supporting the University’s work.”

Mr Bercow is a constituency neighbour of the University’s main campuses (Luton and Bedford), and in particular its newest location, University Campus Milton Keynes.

His installation as Chancellor was approved by the University Board of Governors’ Nominations Committee and will formally take place at a graduation ceremony in June.

Bill Rammell, Vice Chancellor, said: “We are delighted that John Bercow has agreed to be our new Chancellor. John will be a tremendous ambassador for the University and our mission to transform lives and communities.

“I know that students, staff and others across the University community will share my delight in welcoming John Bercow as the newest member of that community.

“Baroness Howells will be a tough act to follow. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ros for her dedication, friendship and commitment to the University, our students and our mission. I’m delighted that she has agreed to continue to support the University as Pro-Chancellor.”

The announcement of the new Chancellor follows other recent exciting news at the University, including the award of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for research, and the internationally significant work of Professor Stephen Bax in ‘decoding’ the Voynich manuscript.