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Published: 20 March 2015

University of Surrey announces the departure of Professor Sir Christopher Snowden

The University of Surrey has announced that Professor Sir Christopher Snowden is to stand down as its President and Vice-Chancellor at the end of September 2015 to take up the equivalent role at the University of Southampton.

Sir Christopher joined the University of Surrey in 2005. Over the last ten years, he has led the organisation through a period of significant change and has been instrumental in improving its standing and securing a very strong position for the future. During his tenure, the University has:

• risen in all three league tables for UK universities, moving to sixth in The Guardian league table 2015, its highest ever ranking. Surrey climbed to eleventh in The Times/Sunday Times and achieved twelfth in The Complete University Guide 2015

• been ranked in first place for graduate employability when compared with chartered universities in England

• achieved eighth place in the country for student satisfaction in the 2014 National Student Survey, with an overall satisfaction rating of 91 per cent. Surrey was also ranked fourth for student satisfaction in the Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2015

• enjoyed record growth in 2014 undergraduate intake whilst maintaining high entry standards

Dr Jim Glover, Chair of the University’s Council, said: “Sir Christopher is a truly exceptional Vice-Chancellor who has made an outstanding impact over the last ten years. Thanks to his leadership, commitment to academic excellence and an unwavering focus on the student experience, he will be leaving the University in a very strong position and with a clear strategy for the future. His dedication to the University is very much appreciated and I thank him for all that he has brought to the role.”

Speaking about his decision to leave Surrey, Professor Sir Christopher Snowden said: “I came to Surrey in 2005 with a clear intention to help the University achieve a top ten position in UK University league tables. Having achieved this, I now feel ready to seek new challenges elsewhere in the higher education sector. It has been a real honour to lead the organisation over the past ten years, and I have greatly valued the opportunity to work with so many talented and passionate colleagues and students across the University community.”

In his remaining six months, Sir Christopher will continue to direct the University with the assistance of a strong leadership team while another exceptional leader is being sought. The University Council has commenced the process to select a new President and Vice-Chancellor through the University’s Nominations Committee, and opportunities will be provided for all interested parties to contribute as the recruitment process progresses.

Editors' Notes

About the University of Surrey

The University of Surrey is one of the UK’s leading professional, scientific and technological universities with a world class research profile and a reputation for excellence in teaching and research.

Ground-breaking research at the University is bringing direct benefit to all spheres of life – helping industry to maintain its competitive edge and creating improvements in the areas of health, medicine, space science, the environment, communications, defence and social policy. Programmes in science and technology have gained widespread recognition and it also boasts flourishing programmes in dance and music, social sciences, management and languages and law.

In addition to the campus on 150 hectares just outside Guildford, Surrey, the University also owns and runs the Surrey Research Park, which provides facilities for 110 companies employing 2,750 staff. The University of Surrey was recently ranked 6th in The Guardian league table of UK universities for 2015.