The University of Sheffield’s President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Koen Lamberts has been appointed as Chair of the Board of Trustees at the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

Professor Lamberts, an exceptional leader in the UK higher education sector, was appointed following an extensive recruitment process and will take up the post from 1 September 2019.

UCAS is an independent charity and the UK’s shared admissions service for higher education, which manages almost three million applications, from around 700,000 people each year, for full-time undergraduate courses at more than 380 universities and colleges across the UK.

Professor Lamberts said: “I’m excited to take up the role of Chair for UCAS. As the higher education sector as a whole experiences financial pressures, regulatory changes, fierce competition and political uncertainties, I look forward to supporting and challenging UCAS, as an independent, transparent and trusted organisation, to inform the debate, support student choices and offer valuable services to universities and colleges.”

Professor Lamberts, previously Vice-Chancellor of the University of York, has a proven track record in chairing a variety of organisations and providing strategic guidance during times of change. He currently serves as Chair of the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).

Clare Marchant, UCAS’ Chief Executive, said: “We’re delighted to welcome such an experienced higher education leader as Chair of our Board of Trustees, and I look forward to working with Koen to shape the future of UCAS to ensure we’re anticipating and seeking out new opportunities, delivering the best possible service to students and advisers, universities and colleges, and meeting their needs both today and in coming years.”

Outgoing UCAS Chair, Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Exeter, added: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the seven years as Chair of the Board of Trustees for UCAS, working with fantastic colleagues on the Board and extremely committed and dedicated UCAS staff.

“I’m thrilled that we have secured Koen Lamberts as my successor, as his skills are well-suited to some of the shared issues being managed by universities and colleges across the UK.”