University of Edinburgh principal Timothy O'Shea to step down

Written by Tom Freeman on 21 June 2016 in News

Sir Timothy O'Shea to leave the University of Edinburgh in September 2017

Sir Tim O'Shea - credit Scottish Government/Russell Fallis

University of Edinburgh principal Sir Timothy O'Shea has announced he is to step down next year after fifteen years in the role.

O’Shea, a computer scientist, has been vice chancellor and principal of the university since 2002. He will formally leave office in September 2017.

“I am extremely proud of what we as an institution have achieved over recent years,” he said.


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Deputy First Minister and education secretary John Swinney, said: "The quality of Scottish universities is crucially important to perceptions of Scotland around the world.

“Under Sir Tim's leadership, the University of Edinburgh has built on its reputation as one of the world's great universities and is widely regarded as a powerhouse of ideas and innovation across the breadth of academic endeavour, bringing distinction and talent to Scotland."

The university said it would begin a recruitment process for O’Shea’s successor shortly.

The announcement comes as O’Shea joined 95 other vice chancellors from universities across the UK to write an open letter warning of the impact a Leave vote in Thursday's EU referendum would have on the sector.

“EU membership supports British universities to attract the brightest and best minds from across Europe, enhancing university research and teaching and contributing to economic growth.

“Voluntarily cutting ourselves out of the world’s largest economic bloc would undermine our position as a global leader in science and innovation, impoverish our campuses and limit opportunities for British people,” the letter said.

Other Scottish signatories include Professor Anton Muscatelli of the University of Glasgow, Professor Sir Jim McDonald of University of Strathclyde, Professor Andrea Nolan of Edinburgh Napier University, Professor Richard A Williams of Heriot-Watt University, Professor Petra Wend of Queen Mary University Edinburgh, Professor Sir Ian Diamond of the University of Aberdeen, Professor Gerry McCormac of the University of Stirling and Professor Craig Mahoney of the University of the West of Scotland

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