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Professor Shirley Congdon


"Shirley’s priority is to engender a vibrant culture for staff and students reinforcing the University’s commitment to excellence in teaching & learning, research, knowledge exchange and equality, diversity and inclusion.

Having lived and worked in the Bradford City Region for ten years she is committed to positioning the University at the centre of the region’s social and economic regeneration."

Shirley is responsible for the leadership and management of the University of Bradford, leading the development of its values and strategy.  Shirley is the eighth Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bradford and is the first woman to hold the role.  Shirley has significant experience of working in higher education championing the quality of the student experience, widening participation, engagement with business and communities and advancing the quality of research and innovation.

Originally qualifying as a Registered Nurse, Shirley’s professional and academic expertise lies within the area of health and social care, service modernisation and cultural change, research methods and evidence-based practice.  She has a strong track record in all aspects of university leadership, having worked within the field of higher education for 25 years and held senior roles in three different universities.

Shirley is committed to value led leadership, equality, diversity and inclusion, increasing social inclusion and mobility through widening participation in higher education; opening up opportunities and unlocking potential for people of all backgrounds. 

A tireless ambassador for students, she is committed to ensuring that they get the best possible education and support that leads to a rewarding career after they graduate.  Her number one priority is to place the student experience at the heart of all aspects of University activities.

Shirley is the Executive Board champion for Religion/Belief issues.

Shirley Congdon, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Bradford

Shirley is a member of the following Boards:

  • Bradford Breakthrough
  • Bradford Wellbeing Board
  • Bradford Education and Skills Board
  • Bradford Economic Partnership Board
  • Bradford Economic Recovery Board
  • Health and Social Care Economic Partnership Board (Co-Chair)
  • Local Economic Partnership Board
  • National Science and Media Museum Advisory Board
  • Outbreak Control Board
  • Public Services Executive
  • Strategic Coordination Group
  • West Yorkshire Economic Recovery Board
  • West Yorkshire and Harrogate People Board
  • Yorkshire Universities Board (Chair)
  • Universities UK Board member.