Sarfraz Manzoor announced as University of Bedfordshire Chancellor

Mon 27 February, 2023
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The University of Bedfordshire is pleased to announce that Sarfraz Manzoor – author, broadcaster and screenwriter– will be the University’s new Chancellor.

Manzoor – who was born in Pakistan and grew up in Luton – has seen critical acclaim for his writing which has often reflected on identity, belonging and the challenges and opportunities of multiculturalism. He gained international recognition when his memoir 'Greetings from Bury Park’ (2007), which described his childhood growing up in Luton in a British Pakistani family, was adapted into the 2019 feature film ‘Blinded by the Light’.

Professor Rebecca Bunting, Vice Chancellor of the University of Bedfordshire, said: “We are proud to have Sarfraz join the University as Chancellor. His ethos, and the passion shown throughout his career and life experiences, embody all that we strive to instil in our students and staff during their time at Bedfordshire.

“We believe his values and desire to positively showcase diversity in Britain as well as his affection for the local area makes him stand out as a truly inspirational person to hold the position of Chancellor.”

Manzoor started his career as a broadcaster and journalist, before scripting and presenting documentaries for BBC television and radio. In his most recent book ‘They’, Manzoor aims to understand and bridge the antipathy and mistrust between Muslims and non-Muslims, telling us ‘we must leave our silos of certainty and get to know people who are different’.

Ahead of his inauguration, Manzoor commented:  “I am thrilled to be joining the University of Bedfordshire as Chancellor. I grew up in this town, went to school and college here, spent many teenage days in the central library and the Arndale Centre trying to imagine a life and world larger than the world into which I had been born. The idea that I would one day be asked to become Chancellor of my home town’s university was not even within the realm of imagination.

“I look forward to working with the Vice Chancellor to get to know both the university and its students better. I am keen that my time as Chancellor allows me to contribute in ways beyond simply the merely ceremonial.”

Simon Yun-Farmborough, Chair of the University’s Board of Governors, added: “I am delighted to welcome Sarfraz as our next Chancellor. He will be an inspiration to our students and will bring tremendous value to our university community. I look forward to working with him.”

Manzoor’s position will be made official at a Graduation ceremony in the summer at the University’s Putteridge Bury Campus. As Chancellor, Manzoor will represent the University on special occasions, and confer degrees at graduation ceremonies.


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