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Rediff.com  » Business » Swraj Paul is Westminster varsity chancellor

Swraj Paul is Westminster varsity chancellor

October 10, 2006 11:40 IST
In a unique distinction, Lord Swraj Paul has taken over as the first chancellor of the prestigious University of Westminster that has some 24,000 students, including many from India and another 150 countries.

At a colourful ceremony at the Whitehall in London on Monday night, the 75-year-old Labour peer was appointed as the chancellor of the University, established in 1838.

The NRI industrialist who is already chancellor of Wolverhampton University, thus became the first person to be chancellor of two universities simultaneously. Britain's chancellor of Exchequer Gordon Brown, a number of MPs and academicians attended the function.

In his acceptance speech, Lord Paul said he supported the British government's vision to widen participation and to attract 100,000 more international students by 2011 - especially from the strong emerging global markets like India and China. "And I will do everything I can in my role as chancellor to make this vision a reality," Lord Paul, who is also British Ambassador for Overseas Business said amid cheers from the gathering.

"I also encourage our students to spend a term abroad in countries like the USA, India, China or Japan, as living and breathing new experiences is really the only way to fully immerse yourself in new cultures," he said.

Lord Paul said through his business, social and political activities, he has worked extensively in the global markets and would be looking to transfer his knowledge and contacts to develop the University of Westminister.

H S Rao