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Lord Paul appointed First Chancellor of University of Westminster

March 05, 2006 10:50 IST
In a rare distinction, Non Resident Indian industrialist Lord Swraj Paul has been appointed the First Chancellor of the prestigious University of Westminster in London.

75-year-old Lord Paul, who is already the Chancellor of the Wolverhampton University, in the United Kingdom, will represent the Westminster University in his non-executive role and promote its interests. Plans are afoot for a formal installation ceremony sometime in May/June 2006, official sources said.

Raised to the peerage as Baron Paul of Marylebone in 1996, Lord Paul already has strong links with the university, hosting the annual visit of Indian journalists to study on Chevening Scholarships at Westminster. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters in 1997.

Lord Paul, the Chairman of Caparo Group, a global steel, engineering and property development business, and also Chairman of the Olympic Delivery Committee with the key task of initiating measures to acquire land and provide infrastructure for the London Olympics 2012, said on Sunday he was delighted to accept the invitation to work more closely with the university.

"I am looking forward to developing this role as the Chancellor at the University of Westminster. I am passionate about the benefits of education and the mission at Westminster, with its strong emphasis on international partnerships, fits perfectly with my vision."

"Universities such as Westminster, with its commitment to diversity and multiculturalism, can be such a positive vehicle for change. I am very much looking forward to representing it, both in the UK and internationally," Lord Paul, Ambassador for Overseas British Business, said.

As a post-1992 university, Westminster has no tradition of having a Chancellor role but Vice-Chancellor Geoffrey Copland is confident the move will bring great benefit.

"The University is honoured that Lord Paul has agreed to be our First Chancellor. He has been a strong supporter over the years and his commitment to diversity and to international education and partnerships is well known. He has displayed a strong commitment to education as a vehicle for opportunities for personal and professional development, with an emphasis on widening participation and equality.

"I believe that we could not find a better advocate of our mission and look forward to working closely with him to promote not just the university but all that we stand for," said Copland.

A philanthropist, Lord Paul has made large donations to many organisations, including a million pound to save the London Zoo from closure. He has also worked to develop strong Indo-British relations.

Lord Paul was part of the Board of Olympics which fought a keen battle in Singapore and won the games for Britain for the year 2012.
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