Professor White has indicated his intention to step down from his role as Vice-Chancellor and President on 31 July 2024, his announcement being made now to facilitate the search for his successor and help to ensure we continue to build on our strong foundations and the trajectory of success in recent years.

So much has been achieved during Professor White’s term of office. In line with the current University strategy, student satisfaction at undergraduate level has improved greatly from modest base to 1st in England in the National Student Survey for two years in a row (of institutions listed in the Guardian rankings). This has contributed to University undergraduate applications being now at historically high levels, with student quality having also grown. Postgraduate applications have grown over 20% this year and in terms of employability the University has reached the top 3 non-specialist universities in the UK. Research activity has grown, as evidenced by strong growth in QR funding following the last Research Excellence Framework (REF), and a series of new research institutes have been launched. Entrepreneurship has grown substantially in recent years, for example with student engagement in this area having grown more than 160% in the past year alone. Professor White notes with profound gratitude the dedication of hard-working colleagues across the University in these successes and the many other achievements of recent years.

While maintaining healthy and prudent financial and operational resources to ensure the institution is on strong financial ground for the future, investments have been made across the University’s activity. This has been reflected in national and international league table performance, being in the top ten in all three national rankings and entering the QS Top 100 globally for Graduate Employability, culminating in the University of Bath being named The Times and Sunday Times ‘University of the Year 2023’.

Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Ian White DL FREng said: “It has been, and continues to be, a profound honour to be Vice-Chancellor and President of this wonderful institution. With the University in such a strong position, I wish it every ongoing success, while personally looking forward to the remainder of my term and embarking on a range of new opportunities in research, enterprise and education both at the University and elsewhere in the future.”

Pamela Chesters CBE, Chair of Council, said: “We are really grateful to Ian for his leadership and the outstanding progress of recent years. While understanding and supporting Ian’s longer-term desire to move towards a portfolio career, Council was delighted that this would include continuing his research here at Bath.

“Nearer to his actual departure date I know we will all want to mark his very substantial contribution, which has led to us being named University of the Year 2023. For now, however, it is important that we remain focussed on the delivery of our strategy under Ian’s guidance and leadership, as we build for the future from our strong foundations.”