In 2008, the University embarked on a new and ambitious strategic direction. The aim was to locate the University in its traditional heartland of west London, become more employer focused and improve its reputation as the University of achievement.
The University successfully divested itself of the Reading Further Education provision and closed its Slough, Berkshire site; it was also given permission by the Privy Council to change its name to 'The University of West London'. As a result it is now clearly and unambiguously viewed as an institution of higher learning situated on one main West London campus, with two sites at St. Mary's Road in Ealing and Paragon House in Brentford. There is also a University 'Hub' in Berkshire which will be the location for our health based courses.
The success of this strategy has become apparent through a number of achievements: in 2011 we gained one of the Queen's Anniversary Prizes for our work in hospitality; we remain one of the leading universities in the UK for employability (getting over 90% of our students into jobs within six months of graduating); our Nursing and Allied Health courses were rated the best in England and we continue to have the highest number of applications for undergraduate study for all UK universities.
Professor Peter John was appointed to the post of Vice-Chancellor in 2007, arriving from the University of Plymouth where he was Dean, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor. Prior to that, he held a number of academic posts at the University of Bristol and the University of Reading.
Professor John studied at the Universities of Wales, London, and Oxford (Jesus College), has a doctorate from the University of Bristol and holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Plymouth. He was also a visiting professor at the University of Bristol.
He is a member of the executive board of the think tank Million+, sits on the board of London Higher, is a member of numerous local and regional boards as well as being a trustee of a major charity. He is a member of the student experience and quality network of Universities UK and was recently a finalist for the Inspiring University Leader of the Year award (2015).
Professor John has written widely on the policy and practice of education including six books and over 80 papers in academic journals. In the UK’s prestigious Research Assessment Exercise his work was rated as ‘internationally excellent’ and he is about to publish his latest book ‘Dimensions of Marketization in Higher Education’ (Routledge).