Former BBC director becomes university chancellor

Dame Jenny Ambramsky introduces Elizabeth II, who is wearing a blue coat and hat, to radio presenters
Dame Jenny Abramsky introduced Elizabeth II to radio presenters during a visit to the BBC's Broadcasting House in 2006 [BBC]

A former BBC director has said it is a "real honour" to be named the eighth chancellor at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

Dame Jenny Abramsky graduated from the Norwich university in 1968 with a bachelor's degree in English and went on to a nearly 40-year career in the BBC.

She was on the corporation's executive board as director of audio and music, and its most senior female employee, when she left in 2008.

Her appointment follows a turbulent period at the UEA, after a £45m deficit was forecasted last year.

Dame Jenny said she had "a great many fond memories" of her time as a student and "to return in this capacity is a source of huge personal pride".

She said: "A few things have changed since I graduated here, but the sense of achievement that comes with completing your degree will always be special, and I can’t wait to share some of that joy [at graduation] this summer.”

Dame Jenny's BBC career included launching Radio 5 Live, the BBC News website in 1997, and becoming the first female editor of the Radio 4 Today programme.

She has held various other senior roles at organisations and she is chairwoman at the Royal Academy of Music.

UEA, which was founded in 1963, was placed in the top 25 of UK universities last year.

Vice-chancellor Prof David Maguire - himself appointed last year - said: “I couldn’t be more delighted to have Jenny joining UEA as chancellor."

The role is to act as a figurehead for the university, including chairing the annual general meeting and conferring degrees at graduation ceremonies.

Dame Jenny succeeded Dame Karen Jones as chancellor, who held the role since 2016.

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