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.