Chancellor & Vice Chancellor

The position of Chancellor is an honorary one, that of the formal head of the University. The Chancellor of Bishop Grosseteste University is Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas, who was installed into the role on 9 April 2008 (originally as Provost before BGU gained University status in 2013). The Chancellor role includes the following elements:

  • Acting as a ceremonial figurehead at major public events, particularly at Graduation
  • Promoting and encouraging all aspects of the University's mission
  • Acting as an ambassador for the University, advancing its interests within their sphere of influence
  • Exercising a pastoral interest and concern for the activities of the students, staff and alumni of the University

The Vice Chancellor of BGU is responsible for running the institution on a day-to-day basis. The Reverend Canon Professor Peter Neil began in the role on 1 May 2013.


Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas

Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas was born and educated in New Zealand, graduating with an LLM from The University of Otago. After lecturing in law at Otago, she moved to England to teach law at Southampton University and then at King's College, University of London, where she was also Director of the Anglo French Law Degree (Sorbonne), the first joint degree in Europe.

In 1989, Judith entered private practice as an employment lawyer with law firm, Titmuss Sainer Dechert and in 1994 moved to law firm, Wilde Sapte, to become their Director of Education and Training. From 2000-2003 she was Special Adviser to the Chairman at Clifford Chance, the world's largest law firm.

Judith was a Board Member of Birkbeck College, University of London from 1993-2003 and was Chair of Governors from 1999-2003. She was also a Board Member of London Guildhall University from 1992-2002, a member of the Court and Council of Imperial College, University of London from 2001-2003, and Provost of King's College Cambridge from 2003-2006. She is currently Chairman of The Independent Schools Council and has been a Governor of the Sir John Cass Primary School, the City of London School for Girls, Senior Fellow of Eton and on the Council of Gresham College. She is a Governor of Westminster School and Westminster Abbey Choir School.

From 1986, Judith was closely involved in the running of the City of London. She was a member of the Court of Common Council until 2004 and sat on many committees of the Corporation of London including chairing the Education Committee. From 1996-2003 she was Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee. This effectively made her the leader of the Corporation of London, the body which governs the "square mile", London's financial district. During her time in the city she was a board member of International Financial Services, London, The City Disputes Panel, London First, The London First Centre and she was deputy Chairman of the 4Ps. In 2000 she became finance and business adviser to the Mayor of London and was Vice Chair of the London Development Agency and chaired its Business and Skills Committee until July 2004. She also chaired the Private Investment Commission for London. In 2003 she was made a vice president of London First. She is Chairman of The New West End Company.

She was a Governor of The English Speaking Union, a Trustee of the Geffrye Museum, The British Museum Development Trust, and The Natural History Museum. She is a trustee of The Imperial War Museum. She was the Chairman of The Royal Opera House from 2003 to 2008. In 2005 she was appointed a member of The Equality Commission which reported to the Prime Minister in 2007. She was an international member of the Diversity Advisory Board for Merrill Lynch and she was on the main Board of Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. from 2006 to 2008.

She is a Fellow of Birbeck College, The London Business School and City & Guilds Institute. She has been awarded Honorary Doctorates in Laws by The University of Otago, The City University and London Metropolitan University.


Reverend Canon Professor Peter Neil

The Rev Canon Professor Peter Neil was born on the Isle of Bute on the West coast of Scotland. He studied German and French at the University of Edinburgh and trained as a secondary teacher of Modern Languages at Jordanhill College of Education (now Strathclyde University) and Glasgow University. He later gained an MEd from Edinburgh.

He worked as a teacher of modern languages in Scotland before moving to Belfast where he became lecturer and senior lecturer in Education at Queen’s University Belfast. Whilst at Queen’s he established the Northern Ireland Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research (NICILT), was responsible for the PGCE secondary course and introduced masters’ courses and CPD for language teachers across Northern Ireland. He also completed a PhD in Education and began studying theology, gaining an MDiv from Union Theological College; he particularly enjoyed the challenge of learning Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic and Syriac in the context of his theological study.

In 2003 he took up post as director of Education and Lifelong Learning at Aberystwyth University and was responsible for managing a merged School which included the degree through the medium of Welsh, teacher Education courses, a diverse portfolio of lifelong learning courses and a centre for educational studies which produced materials for the Welsh‐medium school sector. In Aberystwyth he learned enough Welsh to communicate and was accepted for the priesthood in the Church in Wales, training at St Michael’s College, Llandaff, Cardiff.

He was ordained in St David’s Cathedral and served in three parishes in mid‐Wales as Assistant Curate. During this time he completed an MPhil in Theology at Cardiff University in ordinary theology, researching in the context of local rural churches. He returned to his native Scotland as Head of the School of Education and latterly as interim Executive Dean of the Faculty of Education, Health and Social Sciences in the University of the West of Scotland.

He has written books on Language Teaching, CPD and teacher mentoring and has researched various topics ranging from language education, self‐evaluation, school leadership and ordinary theology, publishing in peer‐refereed journals and speaking at international conferences. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He is currently Chair of the University Association for Lifelong Learning (UALL) and Govenor of the Europe Chapter of the Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion (CUAC).

He served with the Scottish Episcopal Church as Assistant Priest in three parishes within the South Ayrshire Team. He is continuing research in theology at the St Mary’s and St Giles’ Centre, Wales and is currently visiting professor at Glyndŵr University.

He was installed as Canon in Lincoln Cathedral and Prebyndery of Dunholme in Newport.

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