Champion of the creative industries and founder of the BBC Asian Network Anita Bhalla OBE has been named as the next Chair of Birmingham City University’s Board of Governors.
Anita will take up her position as Deputy Chair on the Board from October this year, before taking over as Chair when current incumbent Mark Hopton’s term of office finishes in May 2023.
A passionate Brummie herself, Anita will bring her deep understanding of the region to the roles of Deputy Chair and Chair, as the University continues working towards the goals laid out in its Strategy 2025.
In addition to her advocacy for the creative arts, Anita’s 26-year career with the BBC has seen her take on a varied range of roles – from a Correspondent to being Head of Political and Community Affairs to Head of Public Space Broadcasting. Alumna Anita also studied for her Master’s at BCU and understands the University’s mission in terms of both being the University for our city and transforming lives.
She knows Higher Education well, having previously served as a Governor at BCU, and subsequently been Vice-Chair of the Council at the University of Warwick. Her own personal CV speaks of a career devoted to public service – she was a member of Birmingham’s recent Social Inclusion Commission and is currently interim Chair of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Chair of the West Midlands Mayor Leadership Commission and much more besides.
Professor Philip Plowden, Vice-Chancellor, Birmingham City University, said: “Anita is the ideal person to take us forward and I am so pleased that she will be our next Chair of Governors.
“Her experience across the fields of journalism, creative arts and of course, social mobility, is an ideal match for us as a University, and I very much look forward to working with her. I have no doubt she will provide a fresh degree of constructive challenge to ensure everyone at BCU is doing all we can to provide the very best experience for our students and the communities we serve.”
“We are all delighted to have secured a person of Anita’s calibre to lead the Board when my term finishes next year,” Mark Hopton said. “I’m pleased that we will have the opportunity to work together for some months when she formally joins us in October, and I know I will be leaving the Board in very good hands.”
Anita said: “I am thrilled and excited to be joining Birmingham City University at a time when there are so many opportunities ahead of us as well as the inevitable challenges.
“Our University and students are vital to the economic and social growth of the region and I hope to play my part in helping this to become a reality. I am looking forward to working with a dedicated team to ensure we do the best for our students and the region.”