New Universities UK Chief Executive urges universities to fight back against misconceptions and misinformation

29 August 2017

In his first public speech, the new Chief Executive of Universities UK Alistair Jarvis has issued a rally call to universities, calling on them to address the reputational challenge of 'being unfairly categorised as elite, aloof and detached from communities'.​

He said: "It is time to fight back. It is time for universities to address this crisis of confidence. Universities are positive and powerful institutions delivering deep and lasting value to communities in all corners of the world. Universities are forces for good in our world."

Speaking to over 900 higher education professionals in a keynote speech at CASE Europe's annual conference in Birmingham, Alistair Jarvis challenged the university sector to redouble its efforts to highlight the value and positive impact of universities.

He added: "We need to respond to reputational challenges, robustly, with evidence, promoting our values, promoting our impact and engaging with diverse range of audiences. Now is the time to demonstrate the huge value and positive impact of universities."​


  1. A copy of the full speech from Alistair Jarvis is available to view here​. The CASE Europe Annual Conference is Europe's biggest gathering of higher education professionals responsible for external relations, with c1000 people in attendance.
  2. Alistair Jarvis was appointed Chief Executive of Universities UK on 7 August 2017. ​

Key Contacts

Steven Jefferies

Steven Jefferies

Head of Media
Universities UK

Luke Lambert

Luke Lambert

Press and Social Media Officer
Universities UK

Clara Plackett

Clara Plackett

Senior Press and Social Media Officer
Universities UK


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