Profile of Professor Sir Steve West CBE

UWE Bristol's Vice-Chancellor, President and Chief Executive Officer

Image of Vice-Chancellor, Steve WestThe Vice-Chancellor is the academic leader and chief executive, responsible for the strategic oversight, financial sustainability and academic direction of the University.

Professor Sir Steve has been Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West of England, Bristol since 2007.

He trained as a Podiatrist and Podiatric Surgeon in London, working in the NHS and private/commercial sector from 1982. He entered academia in 1984 as a lecturer, then senior lecturer, at The Chelsea School of Chiropody and Podiatric Medicine, The London Foot Hospital and Westminster University. He developed his research interests at King’s College London in the Department of Bioengineering.

In 1990 he took up a post as Associate Dean and Head of the Department of Podiatry at Huddersfield University, and later became Dean of the School of Health and Behavioural Sciences in 1992.

In 1995 he joined UWE Bristol as Dean of the Faculty of Health and Social Care and Professor of Health and Social Care. In this post he merged three Colleges of Health into a new faculty, establishing one of the largest Faculties of Health and Social Care in the UK.

In 2005 he became Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University with the planning and resources portfolio, and in 2006 was appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor. In August 2007 Professor Sir Steve took up post as Vice-Chancellor, at the age of 46.

Professor Sir Steve is a Fellow of the Society of Chiropodists, Fellow of the Royal College of Podiatry and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine. He continues to develop his research interest in lower limb biomechanics and the diabetic foot and holds a number of honorary and advisory appointments in his discipline, and healthcare policy and practice, both nationally and internationally, including Member of the Health Education England, Podiatry strategic oversight group.

In June 2013, Professor Sir Steve was appointed as the first Chair of Health Innovation West of England, formerly the West of England Academic Health Science Network (WEAHSN). The network was established in 2013 as one of 15 across the country that aimed to transform health and healthcare by putting innovation at the heart of the NHS. The Government and NHS England have relicensed Academic Health Science Networks from 1 October 2023 for a further five years. To better reflect their role as the innovation arm of the NHS, their name also changed from this date to Health Innovation West of England. In this role, Professor Sir Steve brings together a wide range of partners including health commissioners and providers, universities, industry and other stakeholders to improve some of the big and difficult health issues affecting the UK.

He became Deputy Lieutenant for the county of Gloucestershire in 2012 and was awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the New Year's Honours list 2017, for services to higher education.

He was awarded a knighthood in the King’s Birthday Honours List 2023 for his major contributions to education, health, and business, underpinned by a profound commitment to transforming lives.

Professor Sir Steve is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Patron of Great Western Air Ambulance Charity and Honorary Member of the Bristol Rotary Club. He is also a Member of The Society of Merchant Venturers. In 2021 he was made an Honorary Member of the Faculty of Public Health.

Professor Sir Steve West served as President of Universities UK from 2021 to 2023.

His other previous external commitments include Non-Executive Director for the Office for Students and Chair of University Alliance. Professor Sir Steve also served as Non-Executive Director for University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust, Chair of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, President of Bristol Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the West of England Initiative and President of the South West CBI.

Civic and professional engagement

Professor Sir Steve's non-executive directorships, national and regional positions.

Position Duration
Board member of Universities UK 2023-to date
Non-Executive Director for the Integrated Care Board for Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG)
2022-to date
Trustee of Bristol Zoo 2022-to-date
Director of University Alliance 2019-to date
Chair of Health Innovation West of England 2013-to date

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