Professor Sir Keith Burnett served as the President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Sheffield from 2007 to 2018. Prior to that, he was Head of the Division of Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences at the University of Oxford where he worked for twenty years.
A physicist who has worked in the USA and the UK, Sir Keith is a member of the Prime Minister’s Council of Science and Technology and is President of the UK Science Council. He is also the Chair of the Nuffield Foundation and of the Academic Council of the Schmidt Science Fellows in partnership with the Rhodes Trust in Oxford.
A speaker of Mandarin Chinese, Sir Keith is a leading advocate of partnership between the UK and China in Science and Innovation. In 2014 and 2016 he was given an Award for Outstanding Personal Achievement by the People’s Republic of China for his contribution to the understanding of Chinese language and culture.
Sir Keith is a regular commentator in the UK and international media on issues of education, science and innovation. He was the co-founder of the award-winning #WeAreInternational campaign which welcomes international students and scholars to the UK, now supported by over 100 UK universities, education providers and businesses and led by the U.K. Council for International Student Affairs.
Professor Burnett was awarded a knighthood in 2013 for services to Science and Higher Education.