The Vice Chancellors’ Christmas Quiz 2020 – the answers

Answers to the quiz posted on December 20th. Congratulations if you scored more then 10 points out of 25.

But first a primer…. (4 points)

1. Who is the current chair of Universities UK?

[Julia Buckingham, VC Brunel University]

2. The director of Universities Scotland shares his name with an actor who played another legendary educator. Name him.

[Alastair Sim]

3. Which University’s chancellor and vice chancellor both served as MPs and held high office in parliament and government, respectively?

[University of Bedfordshire: John Bercow (Chancellor) and Bill Rammell (VC)]

4. Who is the UK’s longest-serving vice chancellor, appointed in 1993?

[John Cater, VC Edge Hill University]

Succession planning (6 points)

5. Which long-serving VC retired in August 2020 and was succeeded by Lisa Roberts?

[Steve Smith, University of Exeter]

6. Who has succeeded David Eastwood as Chair of the board of trustees of the USS pension scheme?

[Kate Barker]

7. Who succeeded Anton Muscatelli as chair of the Russell Group in 2020?

[Dame Nancy Rothwell, VC University of Manchester]

8. Who is still Interim Vice Chancellor of which university, almost two years after having assumed the role in February 2019?

[Andy Collop, De Montfort University]

9. Which university has a vacancy for chancellor after an embarrassing resignation as a result of a Newsnight interview in November 2019?

[University of Huddersfield, after the resignation og HRH Prince Andrew]

Pandemic response (4 points)

10. Which VC was the first to promise a fully open and covid-secure campus for the autumn of 2020?

[George Holmes, VC University of Bolton]

11. Which VC said the pandemic has ‘put a digital rocket up the backsides of mainstream HE’?

[Nick Petford, VC Northampton University]

12. Which VC’s response to impending lockdown in March and posted on Twitter was: ‘Off to the pub. Not sure when I’ll be doing this again. Happy Friday!’ ?

[Liz Barnes, VC Staffordshire University]

13. Which university’s management has been criticised for making redundancies to IT staff in the midst of the pivot to online ?

[University of Brighton]

Celebrity corner (6 points)

14. Which 2020 Strictly Come Dancing contestant is currently Chancellor of which university?

[Ranvir Singh, Chancellor of the University of Central Lancashire]

15. One former married couple, both actors and comedians, serve as chancellors of different universities. Name the actors and the universities.

[Dawn French, Falmouth University. Sir Lenny Henry, Birmingham City University]

Apologies (4 points)

16. Which VC has been forced to apologise twice to students this year? The second apology was an apology for not apologising.

[Dame Nancy Rothwell, VC Manchester]

17. Name one VC who was forced to apologise for bullying a senior colleague in 2020?

[Alice Gast, President of Imperial College]

18. Name another VC who apologised in 2019 for a culture of bullying at the university?

[Adam Tickell, VC University of Sussex]

19. The chief operating officer of which university sent an email to staff asking them to stop sending “borderline threatening” emails to professional services staff during the coronavirus lockdown?


Hopeful sign 1 point)

20. Which university’s strapline is “University for the Common Good”?

[Glasgow Caledonian University]


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