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Lord Ashcroft steps down as ARU’s Chancellor

Published: 1 January 2021 at 00:01

Portrait photo of Lord Ashcroft

After nearly 20 years in role, he is succeeded by former surgeon Lord Ribeiro

Lord Michael Ashcroft KCMG PC has stepped down after nearly 20 years as Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), with Lord Bernard Ribeiro CBE FRCS appointed as his successor.

During his time as Chancellor, Lord Ashcroft (pictured right) has made a significant contribution to the growing success of ARU, including donations totalling £10 million to build two state-of-the-art Lord Ashcroft International Business School facilities in Chelmsford and Cambridge.

While serving as the Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Veterans’ Transition from 2012-18, Lord Ashcroft played an important role in establishing ARU’s Veterans & Families Research Hub.

As a young man, Lord Ashcroft – then Michael Ashcroft – was a student at Mid-Essex Technical College, a predecessor institution that is now part of ARU. Lord Ashcroft, who is a businessman, philanthropist, author and pollster, was appointed as Chancellor of ARU in 2001.

Lord Ribeiro qualified as a doctor in 1967 and became Consultant General Surgeon at Basildon Hospital in Essex in 1979, where he pioneered the use of keyhole surgery. He served as President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England from 2005-2008.

Lord Ribeiro

Born in the Gold Coast, now Ghana, in 1944, Lord Ribeiro (pictured right) was made a life peer in 2010, and has since held a number of public sector positions including Chairman of the Independent Reconfiguration Panel, advising the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

He currently sits on the Royal College of Surgeons of England’s diversity review panel and was recently appointed to the board of the Equality and Human Rights Commission to provide medical and public health expertise.

Lord Ashcroft said:

“It’s been a great pleasure and an enormous privilege to have served as Chancellor of ARU for the best part of two decades. I am proud that I have been able to make a contribution to ARU’s on-going success and to have encouraged so many talented young men and women to have pursued careers in business.

“I wholeheartedly believe in ARU's mission and its values, and I take enormous pride in seeing how the university has grown into the institution it is today. ARU outperforms most other universities when it comes to social mobility, as it truly encourages and supports people from all backgrounds to discover their strength and realise their potential.
“It is now time for me to hand over the baton. I have huge respect for Lord Ribeiro and his achievements in the field of health care, and I wish him the very best of luck for the future."

Lord Ribeiro said:

“Since receiving an Honorary Doctor of Science Award from Anglia Ruskin in 2008, I have taken enormous interest in how the university has grown and developed. Through my own medical background, I am aware of the important role Anglia Ruskin plays in educating healthcare professionals and other key workers that go on to serve across the East of England as well as further afield.

“Although Anglia Ruskin is a relatively new university, it already has a proud history and recent developments such as the new School of Medicine, which is a truly outstanding facility, and the new university in Peterborough, ARU Peterborough, point to an exciting future, which I am delighted to be part of.”