Vice-Chancellor Keith Burnett has confirmed his intention to retire after his 65th birthday, and will step down over the next few months.

It was announced by Tony Pedder, the Chair of University of Sheffield Council, who praised the Vice-Chancellor’s work over the last 10 years.

He said: “Over the last decade, the University of Sheffield has grown in standing as a centre of global scholarship committed to making a difference in our own region and around the world.

“In pursuit of our agreed strategy, Sir Keith has led a focus on the development of international partnerships, which bring opportunities to our students and staff, as well as economic benefits to our region.”

Burnett has been the head figure at the University since 2007, and has held a number of positions at a national level as well as his job at the University of Sheffield.

He co-founded the #WeAreInternational campaign in 2013, and has helped forge better links with China, being honoured by the Vice-Premier of the country in 2016 for his commitment to Chinese language and culture.

Burnett said following the announcement: “I am truly honoured to have been given the opportunity to lead the University of Sheffield over this past decade. During that time, I have met many inspirational staff, students and alumni around the world, and I am proud to have represented them here in the UK and overseas.

“There could be no greater privilege than to help talented young people in our own locality and right across the globe to achieve their own educational potential and to see our scholars do real good across the world.

“As we enter this period of transition, I am now looking forward to helping secure the opportunities we have begun to develop and to prepare to hand over the responsibility of leadership to whoever is chosen to be the next Vice-Chancellor.

“That individual will inherit a legacy of public education which began with our University’s founders – the people of Sheffield themselves. I am sure they will find this is a powerful inspiration, just as I have.”

As well as being President and Vice-Chancellor of the University, Burnett has also been the President of the Science Council and the chair-elect of the Nuffield Foundation.


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