Pukaar News speaks to President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, Professor Paul Boyle.
He speaks in depth about the universities involvement with the HeForShe project launched by the United Nations, the Richard III funeral and what the future plans are for the university.
Professor Boyle also talks about what the University is doing to encourage international students to study in Leicester.
With a background as an academic, the professor grew up in Suffolk, before embarking on his career working in Wales, New Zealand and spending time in the States. Having spent most of his career in Scotland at the University of St Andrews before moving to the Midlands.
Seven months into his prestigious role at one of the most recognised educational institutions in the UK, the President and Vice-Chancellor speaks about the University of Leicester’s involvement in a new project to reduce gender inequality, “HeForShe is an exciting project launched by the United Nations, United Nations women’s unit are really trying to press home that men have to get more involved in thinking about equality for women. What they’ve done is launch a new campaign and they’re identifying ten universities, ten global businesses, ten nations states, so ten by ten by ten, who they’d like to stand up and be the first group of people to champion this new initiative. The first five universities have just been announced and Leicester is very proud to be the only UK university in that list of five.”
“In terms of gender issues, the University of Leicester is doing well already, we’ve seen some good progress, the critical thing is that while women do very, very well at undergraduate level, probably more than half of our students are women, which is great and is very different to what would have happened ten or twenty years ago. The problem is as you get more up the hierarchy, as you get up to the more senior positions our professorial staff for example only 22% of our professors are women, so some things happening along the way and we’ve got to think carefully about what the various factors might be, some of that could be choice, but it may not be, there are all sorts of factors that are at play, what we’re trying to do is educate the people in the university both staff and students about gender bias, where it exists and where its often unconscious, where people don’t realise that it exists and try and help people understand why we need to make a difference in terms of gender equality.”
Speaking about the future of the University the President and Vice-Chancellor shares, “There’s all sorts of things going on at the University, it’s almost constant on a daily basis you hear about the next big breakthrough our space scientists are forever coming up with new things out there in Space, our medical scientists are always coming up with new findings, there has been some exciting ones recently particularly around blood cancer and some work around Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s all sorts of things happening at the university on a daily basis, which makes us realise how important these institutions are.”
“We educate, we bring people here to enjoy with us that sort of journey of discovery.”
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