Sir Paul Grice formally installed as Principal of Queen Margaret University

By Press Office

Sir Paul Grice has formally taken the helm of Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, (QMU) after being installed as Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the institution at a ceremony in Musselburgh today (Friday 29 November).

Sir Paul, who was previously Clerk and Chief Executive of the Scottish Parliament, took up the role of Principal and Vice-Chancellor on 1 October 2019, but today’s installation ceremony, hosted in the heart of Musselburgh at The Brunton, saw him assume his ceremonial robes of office in front of staff, students and representatives of the communities that the University serves.

Knighted in the New Year Honours List 2016 for services to the Scottish Parliament and voluntary services to higher education and the community in Scotland, Sir Paul has held senior roles in government organisations in London and Scotland. He was involved in the constitutional group with responsibility for the referendum on establishing the Scottish Parliament and he went on to manage the Scotland Act which laid the foundation for the new constitutional framework. A fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, he is also a Policy Leaders Fellow at the Centre for Science and Policy at the University of Cambridge and a board member of Policy Scotland at the University of Glasgow, and has a deep understanding of the higher education sector and its challenges. He champions both the importance of research in universities and of the student experience. 

The installation ceremony provided the University’s Chancellor, Prue Leith CBE, the opportunity to formally welcome Sir Paul to QMU. “Today is an exciting day for Queen Margaret University. We are privileged to have a leader of Sir Paul’s calibre at the helm to steer QMU into the next decade, and I am certain we will continue to build on the University’s many achievements so far.”

The Rt Hon Ken Macintosh MSP, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, said: “Paul has already made an exceptional contribution to public life in Scotland, and today’s installation marks the start of an exciting new chapter. QMU’s commitment to educational excellence and to social justice make him the university’s ideal head for the years ahead and I know that both staff and students will welcome the leadership he provides.”

Sir Paul said: “I am absolutely delighted to be taking on the role of Principal and Vice-Chancellor at Queen Margaret University. I have been touched by the warm welcome I have received.

“I have also been struck by the energy, commitment and creativity of the staff and by the quality of our students. I am looking forward enormously to helping the university build on its considerable achievements.”


Paul Grice standing proudly in his ceremonial robes


Notes to Editor

Queen Margaret University (QMU) has a history going back to 1875. Our mission is to foster intellectual capital with both a theoretical and practical focus, giving students and staff the confidence to make a real difference to the world around them.

We are known not only for our excellent, relevant teaching, research and knowledge exchange but also for the care and respect we give our students, staff and partners. As a thriving campus university we strive to create a community without borders, helping to improve people’s lives locally, nationally and internationally. We are ambitious and enterprising, and, in everything we do, we are committed to social justice.

For further media information please contact Karen Keith, Media Relations and Content Officer on E:, T: 0131 474 0000.

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