Published: 15/04/2012 12:00 - Updated: 16/04/2012 12:49

University appoints new Vice Chancellor

Vice chancellor of the University of Bedfordshire, Bill Rammell
Vice chancellor of the University of Bedfordshire, Bill Rammell

A former Government Minister of State for Higher Education is to become the new Vice Chancellor of the University of Bedfordshire.

Bill Rammell (left), who is currently deputy Vice Chancellor at Plymouth University, will take up his new role in August for the start of the new academic year.

In his first interview since landing the role Mr Rammell told Bedfordshire on Sunday the university received unfair criticism over so-called ‘Mickey Mouse’ education and in an ‘ideal world’ the university wouldn’t charge £9,000-a-year for courses.

Mr Rammell, who takes over from Professor Les Ebdon – who is to take up a position as Director of Fair Access to Higher Education at the Office for Fair Access – said: “I am delighted to be joining Bedfordshire at such an exciting time for both the university and the higher education sector. I am well acquainted with it and have watched its reputation grow over recent years. The university excels at widening participation, transforming lives and communities.

I look forward to building on its success.

“I think people who have been criticising this university and other institutes about the courses they are running are ill-informed. New courses that are introduced from the outset receive criticism but if you look at the number of applications the university has received, for them it tells its own story.”

Speaking about the university’s fees – which from next year will be the same as Oxford and Cambridge – he said: “In an ideal world I wouldn’t want to be charging those figures but if you want a good student experience, and with cuts to the education funding, you have to. We need to explain this more to people out there and make them aware of it better.”

Mr Rammell spent more than a year at Plymouth University. Before that he was MP for Harlow for 13 years, during which time he was Minister of State for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education and Minister of State at the Foreign Office and for the Armed Forces.

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