The Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Durham University, Professor Anthony Forster, has been appointed as the next Vice-Chancellor of the University of Essex.
Political Scientist Professor Forster, who joined Durham from the University of Bristol in 2006, will take over from Professor Colin Riordan as Essex's Vice-Chancellor later this year.
Professor Forster, 47, previously held the posts of Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Social Sciences and Health) at Durham. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and an elected Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences, Professor Forster has served as Special Advisor to the House of Lords Select Committee on European Common Foreign and Security Policy. He is an expert on British defence policy, and is particularly interested in the duty of care owed by the government to British servicemen and women.
Following a first degree in Politics at the University of Hull and service in the army, Professor Forster read for an MPhil and a DPhil in European Politics at the University of Oxford and held posts at the University of Nottingham, King's College London and the University of Bristol.
The first member of his immediate family to go to university, Professor Forster serves on the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)'s Widening Access and Participation Strategic Advisory Committee. He is also a board member of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education.
David Currie, Chair of the University of Essex governing body, Council, said: "Professor Forster will bring wide strategic leadership and management experience to Essex. He has played a leading role in placing research-led teaching, growth in postgraduate student numbers, internationalisation of the curriculum and development of international partnerships at the heart of Durham's strategy.
"His skills and experience will help us to maintain and advance Essex's position as an internationally-renowned research university, and to continue to develop the experience and opportunities we offer to our students."
Professor Forster, who will be moving to Essex with his wife Victoria, said: "It is an honour to be appointed Vice-Chancellor of Essex which has a global reputation for teaching and research and a very strong commitment to the region.
“I was attracted by Essex's commitment to interdisciplinarity, inclusivity and internationalisation, and to leading a university which is not only pre-eminent in the social sciences, but which is committed to interdisciplinary excellence across the range of its research and teaching activities.
“Notwithstanding the challenges of the current higher education landscape, I want to ensure Essex's outstanding research reputation goes from strength to strength and I will strive to ensure that Essex's student experience is second to none, so that we not only produce graduates who are in high demand by employers, but that we also support our students in reaching their full potential.
“I am really looking forward to meeting and working with students and staff and to leading Essex in further developing the University's profile and reputation. The 50th anniversary of the founding of the University in 2014 makes this a very special period in Essex's history and I am particularly excited about how we can develop ever stronger ties with our worldwide body of alumni."