Sir Hilary to serve ACU governing council

Kingston – Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles was elected last Friday, July 29, to a new leadership role on the Council of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU).

According to a UWI media release, Sir Hilary was elected by his peers across the international academic community to serve on the governing council for the ACU for three years until August 2025.

The council oversees the ACU’s activities and determines its future strategic direction.

“It is indeed an honour to be invited to serve within the ACU, particularly in this capacity to impact its future strategic direction,” Sir Hilary said.

“The UWI has a legacy of partnership with the ACU that we are proud to continue to nurture in this new dimension of service. This is also another opportunity to deepen my lifelong career engagement in higher education. I am grateful and humbled.”

This new leadership role for Sir Hilary follows his appointment in May this year by UNESCO to serve on the Council of the United Nations University for a six-year term, as well as his recognition as UN Visionary Expert on Higher Education last year.

The ACU is the world’s first and oldest international university network, established in 1913 to provide a forum for universities to share information, knowledge, and ideas.

The ACU Council comprises Vice-Chancellors from across the Commonwealth, each of whom has been nominated and elected by their peers within the ACU membership network, and will also act as a Trustee for the association.

“I am delighted to be welcoming five new members to the ACU’s Council,” Dr Joanna Newman, the ACU’s chief executive and secretary general, said.

“Our Council represents the diversity and strength of Commonwealth cooperation and our Strategic Plan, The Road to 2030, makes the case for the role of higher education in addressing each of the 17 SDGs (sustainable development goals). I look forward to working closely with our Council members in our shared mission to build a better world through higher education.”

Chair of ACU Council and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, Professor Cheryl de la Rey, added: “A warm welcome to our newest members of the ACU Council, who join us as the world emerges from a period of unprecedented disruption.

“They bring with them a wealth of leadership experience and I look forward to sharing in their knowledge, drawing on our diverse communities, and working together to ensure the ACU continues to be a dynamic and exciting global network at the heart of international higher education – now and into the future.”


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