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Vice Chancellor, University of Birmingham

Professor Sir 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.

Sir David 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.

Sir David 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 Russell Group, 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 and was a member of the Government's Independent Review Panel looking at Higher Education Funding and Student Finance. More recently, he was a member of the Advisory Group, led by Sir Paul Nurse, reviewing UK Research Councils.

He is currently Chair of Universitas 21, Chair and NED of Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), a Board Member of Universities UK (UUK) and NED of INTO University Partnerships, and a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). He is also a Board Member of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, and serves as an International Member of the Hong Kong University Grants Committee.

In January 2012, he was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant for the county of West Midlands, and in June 2014 he was awarded a Knighthood for services to Higher Education.

Since 1991 Sir David has been a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, serving as its Literary Director 1994-2000 and as chair of its Studies in History Board 2000-2004. He has published extensively on the history of the British state, the history of ideas, and electoral politics.

He is married with three children. He enjoys music, politics, walking, sport, and good wine; and includes writing on football amongst his list of publications.


  • –present
    Vice Chancellor, University of Birmingham


  • 1980 
    University of Oxford, BA