The new Vice-Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth, Professor Graham Galbraith, welcomed 5,500 new undergraduate students this weekend and presented his vision for the University, and for them.
Professor Galbraith, who took up his post on September 2, said: “I am new to the city and the University and like our new first year students, I am thrilled to be here and excited and ambitious for what lies ahead.
“I want us to be internationally known as a leading student-facing university. That means providing the very best learning and teaching experience supported by world class research and active engagement with business and the community; a university which develops in our students the academic and personal attributes which will provide a foundation for their future success.
“Our students will go on to become pharmacists, lawyers, teachers, journalists, paramedics, scientists, entrepreneurs, business people, artists… the list is endless. Like their predecessors, those starting this week will contribute an enormous amount to the city through volunteering and skills. Many of them will stay living here after they graduate.
“My message to them is to commit to your studies, take advantage of all the opportunities that come your way and embrace this time by becoming involved in the student and city community. It will be through taking part that you will find fulfilling careers after university and will form the friendships that last a lifetime.”
Professor Galbraith praised the work of his predecessor Professor John Craven CBE and said it was a testament to his leadership that the University was in excellent financial shape and had remained popular during a turbulent period for higher education.
He said: “We have a diverse and committed student body and I am most proud of our very strong student satisfaction result which is well above the sector average and places us in the top 30 universities in the country.
“I have been hugely impressed by the staff and students I have met so far for their commitment to work together to grow the University.
“We do so many things well. We do world leading research in areas such as cosmology where we delve into all areas of the universe; European studies, which is the largest centre in the country; and biomedical science where, among lots of things, we investigate drug delivery and brain tumours.
“We have excellent real-life learning facilities, such as the medical simulation suite and model pharmacy, the Bloomberg suite which mimics city traders’ desks, a state of the art journalism newsroom and a mock courtroom.
“I am also sure there will be many other opportunities for us to develop our expertise and I am talking and listening to staff and students to hear their ideas.”
Professor Galbraith was previously Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Hertfordshire, and prior to that he held the role of Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) at Glasgow Caledonian University. He has a BSc(1st class) in Environmental Engineering, an MSc, Mechanical Engineering and a PhD from the University of Strathclyde.