Chairs of the Network

The Chair of Universitas 21 is currently Professor David Eastwood, Vice Chancellor of the University of Birmingham. Chairmanship of the network rotates on a biennial basis.

Professor David Eastwood became Vice Chancellor of the University of Birmingham in April 2009. Previously, he was Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), a post he had held since September 2006. Former posts also included Vice Chancellor of the University of East Anglia, and Chief Executive of the Arts and Humanities Research Board.

Professor David Eastwood, Vice Chancellor of the University of Birmingham & Chair of U21

Professor Eastwood held a chair in Modern History at the University of Wales, Swansea, where he was also a Head of Department, Dean, and Pro Vice Chancellor. While at Swansea he co-founded the National Centre for Public Policy. He was Fellow and Senior Tutor of Pembroke College (1988–1995) and is now an Honorary Fellow of both St Peter’s College, Oxford, from where he graduated in 1980; Keble College, Oxford, where he was a Research Fellow from 1983 to 1987; and also the University of Swansea.

Professor Eastwood has served on numerous national bodies and committees, including as a member of the Research Support Libraries Group 2002-2003, the Roberts Review of the Research Assessment Exercise, the Tomlinson Group on 14-19 Education 2003-2004, the Councils of the John Innes Centre and the Sainsbury Laboratory, and the Board of the Quality Assurance Agency. He has chaired the 1994 Group of Universities, UUK’s Longer Term Strategy Group, the Association of the Universities of the East of England, and Supporting Professionalism in Admissions (SPA). He also chaired the Westminster Education Commission in 2009. More recently he was a member of the Government's Independent Review Panel looking at Higher Education Funding and Student Finance, and he now serves as an International Member of the Hong Kong University Grants Committee.

He is currently Chair of the Russell Group, a Director of Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), a Board Member of Universities UK (UUK), a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and a member of the Advisory Board of the Higher Education Policy Institute.

Professor Eastwood was elected Chair of Universitas 21 in May 2014.

Past Chairs

  • (2013-2014) Professor Fred Hilmer, UNSW Australia
  • (2012-2013) Dr Hugh Brady, University College Dublin
  • (2010-2012) Professor Glyn Davis, University of Melbourne
  • (2008-2010) Professor John Casteen, University of Virginia
  • (2007-2008) Professor Heather Munroe-Blum, McGill University
  • (2004-2007) Professor John Hay, University of Queensland
  • (2003-2004) Professor John Hood, University of Auckland
  • (2001- 2003) Professor Graeme Davis, University of Glasgow
  • (1997- 2001) Professor Alan Gilbert, University of Melbourne