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University of Leeds vice-chancellor Simone Buitendijk to step down after three years

Her appointment will conclude on 31st December 2023


Professor Simone Buitendijk yesterday announced her intention to step down as vice-chancellor and president of the University of Leeds.

After three years in the role, she will leave the post on 31st December 2023 in order to pursue new leadership opportunities in higher education.

Replacing her as interim vice-chancellor and president is provost and deputy vice-chancellor, professor Hai-Sui Yu, who will transition into the position from 1st November 2023. Professor Yu will then remain in office until a global recruitment competition can identify a permanent successor.

Reflecting on her time as vice-chancellor, professor Buitendijk said: “I have truly enjoyed leading the community at Leeds and believe that our collective work to develop our strategy ‘universal values, global change’ has set the university on an ambitious course as a world leading institution with a unique emphasis on collaboration rather than competition to create a better world for all.

“Together we have achieved so much over the past three years, and with the conditions for the university’s future success now in place, I feel the time is right for me to start the next chapter of my career in leadership in UK and international higher education.

“I would like to thank everyone in the community for their support, their friendship and their collective endeavours to make the university of Leeds such a special place in which to learn, to teach and to undertake research. I know the University will be in excellent hands under Hai-Sui’s interim leadership and I wish the next vice-chancellor every success in taking the university on the next steps of its journey to help shape a better future for all.”

Chair of council Alastair da Costa paid tribute to professor Buitendijk and said:

“The university’s success and ambition under Simone’s leadership is reflected in it achieving its highest ever position of 75th in the most recent prestigious QS World University Rankings.