Edinburgh Uni ends global hunt for new principal

The next Principal and Vice-Chancellor

Professor, Peter Mathieson
The next Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor, Peter Mathieson
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A LEADING academic who is currently president and vice-chancellor of the University of Hong Kong has been chosen to head up Edinburgh University.

Professor Peter Mathieson will take up his new post as principal and vice-chancellor when Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea steps down from the role in September after 15 years in the job.

The university, which has more than 33,000 students, said Prof Mathieson’s salary was still being finalised.

However, last year it emerged Prof O’Shea had a salary package worth £289,000.

Prof Mathieson, who has a background in medical research and teaching, specialising in renal medicine, was appointed after a “wide-ranging and comprehensive international search”.

Prof Mathieson, who attended a state grammar school in Penzance, Cornwall, said he was looking forward to taking over the role “during exciting and challenging times in the world of higher education”.

He said: “I am absolutely delighted to be joining the University of Edinburgh as its next principal and vice-chancellor.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the University of Hong Kong and I now look forward to leading the University of Edinburgh forward into its next chapter.

“Like Hong Kong, Edinburgh is a truly global institution with a great reputation for excellence in teaching and research.

“Working together with students, staff and supporters, I am confident we can build on that reputation in the future – during what are exciting and challenging times in the world of higher education.”

Anne Richards, chair of the recruitment panel and vice-convener of the University Court, said: “We saw a number of candidates of a very high calibre for this post and are extremely pleased to have recruited Professor Mathieson as Edinburgh’s next principal and vice-chancellor.

“He has a wealth of experience at a senior level in higher education and we’re particularly pleased to have attracted a candidate from a highly prestigious institution such as the University of Hong Kong.

“He has a very strong legacy on which to build and we have every confidence that he is the person to lead the University of Edinburgh into an exciting new era.”

Prof Mathieson was previously dean of the faculty of medicine and dentistry at Bristol University.

He has a first-class honours degree in medicine from London University and a PhD from Cambridge University.

In 2015 Prof Mathieson’s university e-mail was hacked several times as cyber attacks hit Hong Kong’s universities.

More than 100 academic and government agencies were hacked.

shan.ross@jpress.co.uk