Published: 2017-06-15 17:10
Last Updated: 2017-06-15 17:55
For the first time in any British university’s history, the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) appointed a Palestinian academic to one of its top positions. Conceptual artist Professor Bashir Makhoul was appointed Vice-Chancellor in April 2017, but officially joined the UCA team in June.
Having stepped up the career ladder from Birmingham City University, where he was Deputy Vice-Chancellor with strategic leadership for academic development, student recruitment, marketing and internationalisation, Makhoul is the first Palestinian academic to hold this position, and is believed to be only the second scholar from a non-Western background to ever be made Vice-Chancellor in the UK.
Professor Makhoul said: “I’ve been extremely impressed by the level of staff commitment at the University for the Creative Arts. The quality of education on offer is extremely high, and the facilities students learn in are first rate. Further work now needs to be done to make these great attributes more visible, particularly internationally.”
“The creative industries are rapidly evolving to encompass a range of technological and management disciplines. Universities need to ensure that their portfolio maximises these growth opportunities and continues to empower students from all cultures and backgrounds to make a contribution in their chosen field globally,” the professor added.
While Makhoul’s academic career spans 22 years, he is also a published author, editor and artist. The creative artist maintains a studio in Beijing and his work has been exhibited at several high-profile venues including the Hayward Gallery, Tate Liverpool, 2013 Venice Biennale and the Aichi Biennale in Japan.
“The panel was extremely impressed with Professor Makhoul’s experience and with the levels of activity he’s been able to maintain as a leader, academic and artist. He’s ideally placed to build on UCA’s recent league table gains and further develop our international links,” Rob Taylor, Chair of the Board of Governors at UCA, said.
If you’re interested in viewing Makhoul’s artwork, you can find it on show in Australia, Liverpool and Beirut, while a large exhibition is planned for next year in Mexico.