Lord Michael Hastings of Scarisbrick CBE, Global Head of Corporate Citizenship at KPMG, has been installed as Regent’s University London’s new Chancellor at a special ceremony on Tuesday 21 February, 2017.
Lord Hastings, a former Head of Political and Public Affairs at the BBC, and its first Head of Corporate Responsibility, is set to bring a wealth of experience to his new role.
Accepting his title from Regent’s Pro-Chancellor, Dr Diana Walford, and former Chancellor, Professor John Drew, Lord Hastings said:
“It is a huge honour for me to become the second Chancellor of Regent’s University London.
“I would like to thank Vice Chancellor Professor Aldwyn Cooper, and Professor John Drew, who stand for all of Regent’s University London’s values - internationalism, inclusivity, diversity, excellence, intelligence, factual detail, debate, deep thought and commitment.
“I want to be sure that we work together to serve our students, as they grow to become men and women of dignity and substance. The challenge for them, and us, is to maintain a focus on our values.
“The more we communicate to ourselves the things that matter, the more we believe and act upon them, and the more our life takes on meaning.”
Discussing business, education, and his hopes for the future at Regent’s University London, Lord Hastings added:
“A healthy society necessitates healthy corporations which positively help in moulding the world by giving, rather than just taking.
“Global citizenship is about developing a much bigger identity. KPMG has a strong set of core values, which state a commitment to the communities we work in and serve, and actions designed to protect the environment.
“My responsibility is to ensure the success of the policy areas which bring these values to life.
“From being a classroom teacher at Greenway Secondary school in Uxbridge, to becoming a mentor and educator, I’ve observed that learning is about much more than being in a structured university or college environment.
“Universities like Regent’s have a responsibility to reach out beyond our success, intelligence and privilege.
“We want to make the world a richer place. This is not necessarily about finance, but culturally and socially through justice and fairness. These are not just empty hopes - they are about raising the most desperate people to a level where they can enjoy the same quality of life that many take for granted.”
The event also saw Honorary Senior Fellowship Awards presented to Count Herman Van Rompuy, former Prime Minister of Belgium and the first President of the European Commission; Jacqueline Minor, for her work as the European Commission's Head of Representation in the UK; and Raj Pradhan, recognised for his achievements in corporate governance and financial management.
Commenting on the current state of European and global politics, Mr Van Rompuy commented:
“We have to find a new balance between openness, protection and identity. We underestimated the need of large groups of our citizens to be protected from developments that threaten their security, safety and sense of fairness, but we shouldn’t sacrifice our open democracies, societies and economies.
“Europe and the US have to restore that balance – internally and externally. It’s not yet too late. It’s doable. But rising nationalism and populism make the action urgent.”