Tuesday 07 June 2016


Vice chancellor of Swansea University, Professor Richard B Davies, has been appointed as the new chairman of the British Council Wales advisory committee.

Professor Davies has been a member of the Wales Advisory Committee since 2012. The committee’s members include senior members of the Welsh education and arts sectors. The group ensures the British Council’s work reflects the priorities of Wales and helps shape its programme in the country. 

Professor Davies was appointed Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University in October 2003.  Under his leadership the university has adopted an ambitious agenda for change, building on its strengths and attracting substantial external investment. The university’s new £450m science and innovation Bay Campus was formally opened in September 2015.  The University has also been expanding its international links, attracting students from over 100 countries, developing strategic partnerships with universities elsewhere in the world, and working with a number of multi-national companies.

He said: “All Vice-Chancellors will speak warmly of the British Council, and I am no exception.  I have personally had successful experience of collaborating with the British Council around the globe, including in USA, Brazil, Dubai, Turkey, Iraq, China, South Korea, and Thailand. I have enjoyed the opportunity to share in the challenges and opportunities around the British Council’s specific activities related to Wales as a member of the Advisory Committee and being taken beyond my higher education “comfort zone” to appreciate the British Council’s proactive role in promoting internationally the distinctive cultural vibrancy of Wales, I am looking forward to stepping up my contribution.”  

Jenny Scott, director of British Council Wales, said: “We’re very pleased that Professor Davies has agreed to become our new chair. His well-informed advice, expertise and good humour have been a welcome addition to our Advisory Committee for many years and my team and I are looking forward to working with him to ensure that Wales makes the most of its distinctive assets internationally.”

Professor Davies was brought up in West Wales. He studied Engineering at Cambridge, and obtained a PhD at Bristol University. 

Notes to Editor

Professor Richard B Davies

Professor Davies’ first academic appointment was at Bristol University.  Subsequently, he worked in the department of City and Regional Planning at the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology (UWIST), now Cardiff University.  He was appointed to a Chair in Applied Statistics at Lancaster University in 1989, going on to become director of the 5* department, Dean of an Applied Sciences faculty, and then Pro-Vice Chancellor at Lancaster.

Professor Davies has worked across an unusually wide range of disciplines including Medicine, Metallurgy, and Social Science.  Most of his academic research was concerned with the development and application of statistical methods for the analysis of repeated measurements.  He has worked extensively with industry and has also undertaken contract research for government ministries.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide. 

We work in more than 100 countries and our 8,000 staff – including 2000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the Arts and delivering education and society programmes.

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publically-funded grant-in-aid provides less than 20 per cent of our turnover which last year was £864m. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally.

For more information, please visit: wales.britishcouncil.org/en

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