The University of Suffolk is starting the search for a new vice-chancellor after current head Prof Helen Langton announced she is returning to Wales next year.

She has been appointed as the new vice-chancellor of Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Prof Langton has led the Ipswich-based university for more than five years and has overseen significant rises in the UK university rankings.

She will continue her role at Suffolk until Easter 2024, taking up her new position at Cardiff Met on April 8 next year.

Prof Langton said: “I am immensely proud of the colleagues I have worked with in Suffolk and all we have achieved together, especially during the extremely challenging period when we had to adapt and respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“Over the past five years, we have risen significantly in the UK university rankings, particularly for graduate employment, we have achieved our first rankings for world-leading and internationally excellent research, and we have invested in state-of-the-art teaching and learning facilities in Ipswich.

“I remain fully committed to leading the university forward for the next six months, but I will hand over the reins with the confidence that Suffolk is in a strong position to continue to transform the lives of our students and play a leading role in the development and success of our region.”

Prof Langton, who has close family in Cardiff, said she was excited to return to Wales to get to know the staff and students at Cardiff Met and to join the innovative, progressive and well-established university.

In June this year, Prof Langton received an MBE in the King’s Birthday Honours list in recognition of her contribution to education, health service provision and community engagement. 

Chair of the University of Suffolk board, Ian Ailles, said: “Prof Langton has served the university with distinction, embarking on an ambitious path for future growth.

"The development of the university’s values has set a clear tone for the way it will work with staff, students and the community to transform lives and enhance our region and beyond.

“We will now begin the search for her successor to build on this clear vision and work with the established leadership team to achieve further success for the university.”