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A welcome from our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Eunice Simmons

A word from our Chancellor, Gyles Brandreth

This year, I’m very pleased (and relieved!) that I don’t need to rally everyone’s spirits as a result of another year of activity dampened by the pandemic – isn’t it wonderful that 2021/2022 allowed us to start having different conversations again, and in-person!

That said, as a university community we recognise that we are about to welcome 2022/23’s new undergraduates from the cohort of young people who were most affected by the disruption and constraints of the past couple of years.  We have given a lot of thought to how we can support these young people and help to create the opportunities and conditions for them to excel during their time with us, and beyond.

Facilitating connections and partnerships beyond our University is key, and is something that has flourished over the past year.  This year’s Review highlights just some of those relationships, and the benefits they have realised for our Citizen Students.

On that note, I’d like to share with you my own Citizen Student moment: this year I invited three of our students to join me at Clarence House as I recorded an episode of the Commonwealth Poetry Podcast, which I host every fortnight with my daughter Aphra.  We are exploring the 56 countries of the Commonwealth in turn, discovering each country through its traditions of poetry and song.  On this occasion we were meeting Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall (an honorary graduate of the University of Chester and now the Queen Consort) and Dame Joanna Lumley (another honorary Chester graduate), and our students were able to gain experience of the podcasting producing and editing process and to see behind the scenes of the recording.

I’ll leave you to enjoy our Annual Review for 2021/2022 and, as always, my sincere thanks go to all of our students, staff and stakeholders, for making our very special University what it is.

Gyles Brandreth

Profile photo of Gyles Brandreth