THE first female vice-chancellor of Oxford University has been nominated by committee members and could take up her post next January.

Professor Louise Richardson, currently the principal and vice-chancellor of St Andrews University, said she felt “enormously privileged” by the nomination.

Born in the Republic of Ireland, she has graduated from Trinity College, Dublin; California University; and Harvard.

She has led St Andrews for more than six years and has a background in terrorism and security studies, on which she has advised policymakers and international bodies.

On her nomination, she said: “Oxford is one of the world’s great universities. I feel enormously privileged to be given the opportunity to lead this remarkable institution during an exciting time for higher education.

“I am very much looking forward to working with talented, experienced and dedicated colleagues to advance Oxford’s pre-eminent global position in research, scholarship and teaching.”

The nomination committee was chaired by the chancellor of Oxford University, Lord Patten of Barnes.

He said: “The panel was deeply impressed by Professor Richardson’s strong commitment to the educational and scholarly values which Oxford holds dear.

“Her distinguished record both as an educational leader and as an outstanding scholar provides an excellent basis for her to lead Oxford in the coming years.”

Subject to the approval of Congregation, the university’s parliament, Professor Richardson will succeed the present vice-chancellor, Professor Andrew Hamilton, on January 1, 2016.

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