University of Portsmouth’s Vice-Chancellor is to retire next summer

RETIRING John Craven
RETIRING John Craven
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THE Vice-Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth has announced his retirement next summer – after 16 years in the job.

Prof John Craven, who has often expressed concerns that the trebling of tuition fees from this September could put off poor students, said his decision was purely to do with the fact that he ‘never intended to go beyond 65’.

The Cambridge graduate, who will be 64 by the time he stands down, said: ‘When I started here in 1997 home undergraduates didn’t pay fees, but that has all changed.

‘The sector needs to review this year’s applications carefully – to see if the higher fees deters those from poorer backgrounds.’

The economist and founding chairman of the University Alliance group of the UK’s leading business-engaged universities is looking forward to spending his retirement gardening, choral singing, white-water rafting, and possibly going back to university to read philosophy.

He said: ‘There have been many ethical questions that have come up in work – it would be nice to think more deeply about them.’

Prof Craven said he hoped his successor would continue to develop graduate start-up schemes, and work with schools, councils and business.