I’m delighted to welcome you to your latest edition of EXETER.

In this publication you will read about some of the important research taking place here at Exeter. Research that is making a real difference in the world;

research that changes policy; research that seeks solutions to global problems.

One cannot fail to notice that climate change is at the forefront of political debate. Our Global Systems Institute continues to develop, seeking solutions to the world’s biggest environmental

challenges, and last September we launched our new Masters in Global Sustainability Solutions to support a new generation who can continue to innovate and lead the transformation required.

We also became one of the first universities to sign a landmark green energy deal to ensure all our electricity comes from renewable sources.

Our research into mental health and wellbeing is leading to greater understanding of conditions that affect one in six adults in England such as anxiety, depression and loneliness, and is helping to change attitudes, provide support and develop treatment.

In addition our work with children has led to dramatic changes in services offered, is regularly cited in government and led to a CBE for the Medical School’s Professor Tamsin Ford in 2019.

You may have noticed that this introduction has a change from its regular author. This is because our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Steve Smith, is retiring this summer and I wished to pay tribute to him.

As one of the UK’s longest-serving and most successful Vice-Chancellors, Sir Steve has been an influential voice in higher education at a national and international level.

Since taking over as Vice-Chancellor at the University of Exeter in 2002, Steve has taken Exeter from an average league table position of 35th to become a regular Top-10 university, with a global reputation to match.

Steve’s vision for Exeter has seen the launch of a new Medical School, joining the prestigious Russell Group, achieving Gold in the government’s Teaching Excellence Framework, the creation of Exeter Science Park, and a new campus in Cornwall, bringing wider higher education provision to Cornwall for the first time.

His leadership has transformed the South West’s HE landscape and his national contribution has profoundly shaped the university sector we see today.

He has advised the government on how to best achieve world-class education performance for all children and young people and was instrumental in furthering understanding of widening participation and fair access agendas.

It’s no surprise that in 2011, Steve was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to higher education locally and nationally.

To honor Steve, we are creating a permanent endowment to establish the Sir Steve Smith Scholars Fund. This will help talented students from underrepresented socio-economic backgrounds achieve their potential far into the future.

I am pleased to be a founding donor to the Sir Steve Smith Scholars Fund and I hope that many others will join me in paying tribute to Steve in this fitting way.


Lord Myners of Truro, CBE Chancellor of the University of Exeter