Welcoming our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk


Professor Buitendijk has taken up the post of Vice-Chancellor at Leeds.

She joins the University after four years as Vice-Provost (Education) and Professor of Maternal and Child Health at Imperial College London.

In a message to University staff, students and alumni, Professor Buitendijk said she was looking forward to continuing the great work already underway at Leeds, as well as hearing from members of the University community about their hopes for the future of the University.

She also emphasised the role of Universities in tackling global challenges, and said: “We will [solve the global challenges] through cutting-edge research and by training the next generation of global citizens.

“All it needs is for us to put all our efforts together and become more collaborative and inclusive, both within universities but most importantly, between universities globally.” 

Professor Buitendijk also praised the patience, hard work and contributions of the University community during the coronavirus crisis.

Prior to her role at Imperial, Professor Buitendijk held a senior leadership role as Vice-Rector at Leiden University in the Netherlands. She was responsible for education, student affairs and diversity; and played a major role in the overall strategic leadership and direction of the university as a member of a three-person leadership team.

She was previously head of a large research group in Applied Sciences at TNO in the Netherlands and concurrently Professor of Maternal and Child Health at Leiden University Medical Centre and Professor of Midwifery Studies at the University of Amsterdam Medical Centre.

In addition to strengthening the links between education and research in her previous roles, Professor Buitendijk has led large change programmes, worked to further equality, diversity and inclusion and has extensive experience of driving the digital and online learning agenda.