Alumni Profiles

Sir Howard Newby

'I arrived at UWC Atlantic College as a working-class scholarship boy from Derby in the third cohort of entrants. It was a huge culture shock – my first time away from home and an entrée into a world I scarcely knew existed. The internationalisation – an enduring legacy – was the easy bit. More difficult was to become accustomed to a single-sex school (I had always been co-educated) and the social divide between fee-payers and those of us on scholarships.

In retrospect Atlantic College allowed me to stand on my own two feet and to mature as a person. As a result the transition to university was easy. My wife, Sheila, and I returned a few years ago and St Donat’s still cast its seductive spell.'

Sir Howard Newby, KB, CBE, BA, PhD, AcSS, is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool.

Sir Howard was previously Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol having previously spent five years as the Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).  He was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton from 1994 to 2001 and was previously Chairman and Chief Executive of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

From 1999 to 2001, Sir Howard was President of Universities UK, the UK body which represents the university sector. He was also President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science for 2001-2002.  He was made a CBE in 1995 for services to social science and a knighthood in 2000 for services to higher education.

Sir Howard was formerly a Professor of Sociology in both the UK and USA and has published a large number of books and articles on social change in rural England.  He has a lifelong interest in railway history and is currently Deputy Chairman of the Railway Heritage Committee, and chairs the Board of the National Railway Museum. He is also a Trustee of the National Museum of Science and Industry and a governor of the British Film Institute and a Trustee of the National Football Museum.

Since he arrived at the University, Sir Howard has instituted a new strategic plan and been active in driving forward the University at the heart of the regional knowledge economy. He and his wife, Sheila, live in Sefton Park.