Professor Andrea Nolan, Principal & Vice-Chancellor at Edinburgh Napier University, was elected to the post by her peer group of Principals. She is the first woman to hold the role of Convener at Universities Scotland.
Professor Nolan is already an active member of Universities Scotland, having served as Convener of the Research and Knowledge Exchange Committee.
She takes on the role at very challenging and highly fluid time for higher education with the Brexit vote to leave the EU adding to other policy and funding challenges in Scotland and the UK.
Professor Nolan said: “I am excited to take on the Convenership of Universities Scotland at a time of many opportunities and challenges for higher education.
“I feel privileged to play a part in what is a truly internationally leading sector, one in which Scotland can take great pride.
"The commitment of our staff, the diversity of the sector and its excellence together enable our universities to make a significant contribution to Scottish society, culture and economy and on the world stage.
“Building on our platform of excellence in teaching, research and knowledge exchange, I will work with my colleagues in partnership with our many stakeholders to increase accessibility to Higher Education for underrepresented students and communities, to support businesses, public and third sectors to innovate and internationalise through our research and graduates, and seek to ensure long-term sustainable and competitive funding of higher education here in Scotland to enable delivery of our ambition, and maintenance of our world-standing in Higher Education.
“Higher education will also need a clear voice in Brexit negotiations over the coming years, so that Scotland continues to have access to talent and ideas that we value so highly from across Europe and beyond.”
Professor Nolan takes over the Convenership role from Professor Sir Pete Downes, Principal at the University of Dundee who served two consecutive terms in the role from 2012.
Professor Gerry McCormac, Principal of the University of Stirling takes on the role of Vice Convener of Universities Scotland. He also takes up the post on 1 August and serves for a two year period.