Sir Anthony Seldon, the outgoing master of Wellington College, has been appointed vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham.
Sir Anthony will leave his post at the Berkshire independent school in August and begin the new role in September. His father, Arthur Seldon, helped to found the University of Buckingham 40 years ago. It is one of a small number of independent universities in the UK and the only one with a royal charter.
Sir Anthony said he was looking forward to making the university a “truly pioneering academic institution.” “There are many exciting developments already in train at Buckingham, including the new medical school,” he added.
He will move to live in Buckingham with his wife, Dr Joanna Seldon, who was diagnosed with an incurable cancer four years ago. A statement from the university said Sir Anthony had considered leaving full-time work because of his wife’s health, but that they “have both decided that it is better for him to keep working full-time”.
It said: “Joanna looks forward to playing as much part in the life of the university as she is able to do.”
Sir Anthony attracted media attention in 2006 when he introduced “happiness lessons” to the Wellington curriculum, a move that has since been followed by other schools. In 2009 Wellington became the first private school to act as the full sponsor of a state-funded academy, the Wellington Academy in Wiltshire.
The university’s chancellor, Lady Keswick, said: “We are very pleased indeed at this announcement. Sir Anthony has transformed two large independent schools, Brighton College and Wellington College, and made each of them formidably strong institutions.
“He is also a distinguished academic in his own right…We believe he has the mixture of leadership, innovation and academic track record to make the University of Buckingham one of Britain’s leading universities.”