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Sir Keith Burnett FRS

Vice-Chair (Academic)
Study Group

Professor Sir Keith Burnett FRS is an eminent scientist who was formerly the Head of the Division of Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences at The University of Oxford. He also worked as a physicist in the United States and at Imperial College in London before spending two decades at Oxford and then 11 years as the President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Sheffield.

In addition to his role with Study Group, Sir Keith is Chair of the Nuffield Foundation - the charitable trust established in 1943 Lord Nuffield, the founder of Morris Motors, which aims to improve social well-being by funding research and innovation projects in education and social policy, and building research capacity in science and social science. He is also the Chair of the Academic Council of the Schmidt Science Fellows in partnership with the Rhodes Trust in Oxford, a global programme to support exemplary interdisciplinary science in partnership with the world’s leading universities. He has served as President of the U.K. Science Council, as a trustee of the Royal Society and as a member of the Prime-Minister’s Advisory Council on Science and Technology.

A speaker of Mandarin Chinese, Sir Keith has also been a significant leader of scientific and educational partnership between the UK and China. 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 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. He was awarded a knighthood in 2013 for services to Science and Higher Education.