Vice-chancellors from across the Commonwealth join the ACU’s governing body

ACU Council July 2019

Vice-chancellors from universities across the Commonwealth are joining the ACU's governing body (Council), following a competitive election process.

The new members of Council are:

  • Professor Dr Md Akhtaruzzaman – University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Professor Sampath Amaratunge – University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka
  • Professor Amanda Broderick – University of East London, UK
  • Dr Rhonda L Lenton – York University, Canada
  • Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng – University of Cape Town, South Africa

These appointments follow a recent call for nominations to fill a number of vacancies on the ACU Council.

The following members of Council were also re-elected for a second term:

  • Engr Ahmed Farooq Bazai – Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences, Pakistan
  • Professor Deep Saini – University of Canberra, Australia

Professor Edward Byrne AC, President and Principal of King's College London, was elected by Council members as the new Chair of Council, succeeding Professor Amit Chakma, immediate past President of Western University, Canada, in the role. Professor Stuart Corbridge, Vice-Chancellor of Durham University, UK, was elected to the role of Honorary Treasurer, succeeding Professor Idris Rai, Vice-Chancellor of the State University of Zanzibar, Tanzania.

Dr Joanna Newman, ACU Chief Executive and Secretary General, said: 'I am delighted to welcome these new members to our Council, who represent the true diversity of our membership. Their collective experience working at the helm of some of the most innovative universities will greatly contribute to the success of the ACU, supporting the development of new programmes and initiatives that will help tackle global challenges and continue to advance the role of higher education across the Commonwealth and beyond.'

Professor Edward Byrne, President and Principal of King's College London, added: 'I am excited and honoured to have been appointed as Chair of the ACU Council. University partnerships are crucial to both cross-cultural understanding and ensuring the great issues of our time are adequately addressed. I have no doubt that the ACU will play a major role in the years ahead. I look forward to supporting the executive team and working with other trustees to ensure good governance in my time as Chair'.

More information

The ACU Council is the ACU's governing body and is responsible for overseeing the ACU's activities and determining its future strategic direction, while ensuring compliance with the laws of England, the ACU's Charter, Statutes and Regulations, and the ACU's core policies and procedures relating to governance.
The ACU Council is made up of vice-chancellors from across the Commonwealth, who are elected by their peers within the ACU membership network.

For further information, please email