University of Roehampton appoints two prominent women’s rights champions as new Chancellor and Pro Chancellor

  • Thursday, April 14, 2022

The University of Roehampton has appointed Baroness Sandip Verma as its new Chancellor and Her Excellency Nomatemba Tambo as Pro Chancellor. Both will start their new roles with immediate effect and serve on a three-year term.


Image - University of Roehampton appoints two prominent women’s rights champions as new Chancellor and Pro Chancellor

Baroness Sandip Verma (left) and Her Excellency Nomatemba Tambo (right)

Baroness Verma, a member of the House of Lords since 2006, is a highly respected British-Indian politician and businesswoman. As Chancellor, she will be the ceremonial head and ambassador of the University of Roehampton. As an advocate of the University, she will be responsible for promoting the strategic aims and the institution’s activities, including any philanthropic campaigns in the wider global and national community, and serve as an inspirational role model to the University's 10,000 students.

Baroness Verma was formerly Ministerial Champion for Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Overseas. She chairs the UN Women's national committee for UK. Baroness Verma served as a minister for Energy and Climate Change, as minister for International Development and government whip for the coalition government. She was the Chair of the EU Sub Committee for Goods, a Member of the EU Select Committee. Baroness Verma holds a number of positions and roles in the private sector, a strong and consistent voice for equality, diversity and inclusion that cuts across all her work.

Her Excellency Nomatemba Tambo is a South African diplomat, educated in the United Kingdom and a highly respected individual who brings a wealth of knowledge to the University. As Pro Chancellor, she too will be an ambassador for Roehampton and, as with the Chancellor, will attend graduation ceremonies as Presiding Officer.

An alumna of the University of Roehampton, having graduated in English and History. She holds an LLB from Witwatersrand University, South Africa. Her Excellency has been involved in various sectors, having presented a TV women’s magazine programme and owned a manufacturing company for mens suits. Nomatemba Tambo is Trustee for the Oliver and Adelaide Foundation. Nomatemba Tambo is the current South Africa High Commissioner to the UK and Northern Ireland. Prior to this, she served in a number of diplomatic posts, including South Africa Ambassador to Italy, Malta, Albania, and San Marino as well as Permanent Representative to UN-based agencies in Rome and Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau. Highly involved in charity work, she is Patron of Schools Aid, South Africa, Patron of The Young Film Makers Programme, Patron of the Denis Hurley Association, among many other projects. Nomatemba Tambo is the daughter to apartheid-struggle hero and former President of the African National Congress (ANC) Oliver Reginald Tambo and heroine Adelaide Tambo.

Their appointments follow the retirement of former Chancellor Professor Dame Jacqueline Wilson in August 2020.

Professor Jean-Noël Ezingeard, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Roehampton, said: “Baroness Verma and Her Excellency Nomatemba Tambo are both renowned leaders and politicians and as our new Chancellor and Pro Chancellor, I know they will both play an important role in supporting the aims, mission, and values of the University within the community that we serve, especially when it comes to broadening access to education. I look forward to working with them to continue to build an inclusive community of learning that values people as individuals, built on our strong commitment to providing excellent educational outcomes for all, regardless of background.”

Commenting on her appointment as Chancellor, Baroness Verma said: “I am eager to support the University of Roehampton, which has a rich history of unlocking the potential of students and communities of every age and background. As an advocate on diversity, gender issues and on lifelong learning and education development, I hope to use my role as Chancellor to promote the University's aims, mission, and values on the global, national and community level while supporting the development of the students. Working in collaboration with my new colleagues, I hope to serve as an inspirational figure for the University’s students and community alike.”

Her Excellency Nomatemba Tambo, Pro Chancellor at the University of Roehampton, said: “It is an honour to be appointed as the Pro Chancellor at the University where I first studied for my bachelor degree many years ago. As an alumna, I have first-hand experience on how the University strives to provide the best for its students irrespective of race, class or gender. In my new role I will be working closely with the new Chancellor as well as the senior team to continue to strengthen the University’s aim of broadening the provision of education for all, encouraging students to grow as individuals and providing them with opportunities to develop their skills and interests beyond their subject of study.”