Professor Chris Day takes up Chair of the Russell Group

01 September 2023

Newcastle University Vice-Chancellor Professor Chris Day has today taken up his post as the new Chair of the Russell Group, taking over from Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell of the University of Manchester who led the organisation over the last three years. 

Professor Day has been Vice Chancellor and President of Newcastle University since 2017. Previously, he was a consultant hepatologist with an international reputation in medical research. 

Speaking as he took on his new role, Professor Day identified major challenges facing the sector including cost of living difficulties for students, securing sustainable funding to support high quality teaching and making the case for the economic contribution of research-intensive universities to communities around the UK. 

Commenting, Professor Day said: 

“I think undoubtedly in the economically challenging times that we’re in at the moment, what the Government and the public will like to hear about is how the research-intensive universities of the Russell Group will play a role in the economy. How we can – through education, research and our spending – contribute to growth in every corner of the UK and tackle global challenges like climate change. 

“The students we are teaching today will be the skilled workers businesses and public services like the NHS need tomorrow, but we know they’re getting less maintenance support than they used to. We’ve made big increases to hardship funds but students are facing the same cost pressures that we’re dealing with as universities. 

“We all want to set students up for success and that means delivering fair funding to protect high quality teaching and looking again at maintenance payments to ensure they reflect inflation.” 

Commenting, Dr Tim Bradshaw, Chief Executive of the Russell Group, said: 

“With students and universities facing similar economic pressures as families and businesses around the UK, this is a critical moment for the Russell Group.  

“Chris will provide vital experience and leadership as we work to make the case for our universities and the potential of the teaching, research and innovation work they deliver to build a bright future for the UK. I’m delighted to welcome him as our new Chair today, as we approach the run up to the next General Election. 

“I would also like to pay tribute to Nancy for leading our group through the pandemic and for always championing our world class universities, our researchers and the wider role the whole Russell Group community plays across the UK and internationally.” 

The Russell Group represents 24 leading UK universities, based across every region and nation of the country. The Russell Group believes world-class research and education are key to meeting global challenges and helping to create a dynamic economy, stronger communities and a better future for the UK. 

Media Enquiries
Policy Enquiries

Follow us on Twitter