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HEFCW Council member biography

Professor Sir Keith Burnett FRS FLSW

Professor Sir Keith Burnett

Appointment: 1 December 2017 to 30 November 2020

Professor Sir Keith Burnett FRS FLSW is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield. Previously, he was Head of the Division of Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences at the University of Oxford. He is a member of the Council of the Royal Society and sits on the Prime-Minister’s Council of Science and Technology. He is also President of the UK Science Council which includes professional bodies and learned societies across science, as well as practising scientists at all levels within education and industry.

Sir Keith has also served as a member of the Board of the Higher Educational Funding Council for England, and is on the Boards of the UK Atomic Energy Authority and the National Council for Universities and Business. Sir Keith is a regular commentator in the UK and international media on issues of education, science and innovation and the economy. A longstanding advocate for high-quality vocational education and technician training, Sir Keith is proud that his own university is home not only undergraduates and postgraduates but has now trained 1,000 industry-sponsored apprentices in its Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.

Sir Keith is also co-founder of the #weareinternational campaign which welcomes international students and scholars to the UK, now supported by over 100 UK universities including institutions in Wales. A speaker of Mandarin Chinese, he was given an Award for Outstanding Personal Achievement by the People’s Republic of China for his contribution to the understanding of Chinese language and culture.

Born in the Rhondda Valley, Professor Burnett attended Brynteg School in Bridgend and went on to read Physics at Jesus College in Oxford. He received a CBE for contributions to the scientific community in 2004, and was awarded a knighthood in 2013 for services to science and higher education.

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Council members

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