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Alumni at heart of Principal’s vision

Principal Professor Peter Mathieson has reached out to Edinburgh’s alumni community by insisting their input is integral to the future of the University.

Professor Peter Mathieson

‘Future alumni’

Referring to current students as “our future alumni”, Professor Mathieson said it was crucial that the University continues to provide an environment where future leaders will develop and be nurtured.

“One of my earliest priorities will be to meet and speak to as many alumni as possible,” said Professor Mathieson, who holds a first class Honours degree in Medicine from the University of London and a PhD from the University of Cambridge.

“Our graduates are our greatest ambassadors, and the fundamental purpose of an institution like Edinburgh is to turn promising students into impactful alumni.

“Listening to the views of our alumni will be crucial in helping me to develop a sense of the main themes I want to concentrate on in the early days of my time in post. The University is already in a strong position and my priority will be to maintain and develop our excellence in research, teaching and knowledge exchange whilst also considering our future plans.”

New chapter

Professor Mathieson joins Edinburgh from the University of Hong Kong where he was President and Vice-Chancellor, having previously been Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Bristol. He succeeds Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, who held the role for 15 years.

Reflecting on the commencement of his new role at Edinburgh, Professor Mathieson said: “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to lead one of the world’s great universities into an exciting new chapter. I have been left a very strong legacy on which to build during what are stimulating and challenging times in the world of Higher Education.”

Exciting time

Professor Mathieson, whose father was born in Edinburgh, is energised by the undeniable challenges that lie ahead.

“Our main objective will always be to conduct world-class teaching and research,” he said. “But there are so many other areas for consideration – how we continue to ensure that the University remains globally relevant, how we widen access to the University, how we work most productively with our partners and neighbours in this great city. It’s going to be a hugely exciting time.”

Teaching

As well as leading the University, Professor Mathieson has already taught second-year medical students as part of their undergraduate degree programme, lecturing on kidney physiology and disease.

He is married to Tina, an orthodontist, and they have two grown-up children and a young grandson.

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