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Speeches and statements

Below is a selection of the Vice-Chancellor's recent speeches and statements, including conference appearances and University events.


Holocaust Memorial Day Commemoration address

28 January 2018

Professor Tim Blackman reflects on rifts in society, human morality and the power of words in his speech for Holocaust Memorial Day in the Quad.

Read Professor Blackman's memorial.


Guest lecture: desegregating Britain's class-divided universities, Ruskin College, Oxford

21 November 2017

As guest lecturer at Ruskin College, Professor Tim Blackman outlines his arguments for a comprehensive university model to increase the diversity of UK universities and address social stratification.

Read Professor Blackman's lecture.

Middlesex University Scholarship Awards

15 November 2017

Professor Tim Blackman speaks about the changing nature of what is taught in universities, from knowledge to skills, how Middlesex assists social mobility and how scholarships are particularly important in giving confidence to students.

Read Professor Blackman's opening speech.

Opening of Middlesex's new campus in Mauritius

8 November 2017

Professor Tim Blackman speaks at the official opening of Middlesex University’s Mauritius campus, describing the University as a symbol of the island’s transformation and a driver of new opportunities.

Read Professor Blackman's official opening speech.

North London Social Work Teaching Partnership Inaugural Conference

31 October 2017

Professor Tim Blackman describes the pressures on the social work profession, the importance of social work as an area of study at Middlesex and the University's commitment to practice-based learning, at a conference bringing together academics, local authority representatives and care charity Norwood.

Read Professor Blackman's conference speech.

Launch of Middlesex University's new 5-year strategy, London City Hall

17 October 2017

Professor Tim Blackman makes the welcome address at Middlesex University’s five-year strategy launch at London City Hall, setting out Middlesex’s stall as a University for Skills which transforms potential into success.

Read Professor Blackman's strategy launch speech.

Tea Party for New International Students

20 September 2017

A warm welcome speech to international students from Professor Tim Blackman, outlining Middlesex's achievements and commitment to diversity, and urging students to be helpful to each other.

Read Professor Blackman's welcome speech.

Speech on global rankings, Festival of Higher Education, University of Buckingham

28 June 2017

Professor Tim Blackman critiques global university rankings as being detached from social and economic realities, arguing universities should be valued for their individual strengths, and seen in their geographical and demographic context.

Read Professor Blackman's speech.

Middlesex University Research Students Summer Conference

28 June 2017

Professor Tim Blackman talks about breaking down disciplinary divides, the importance of applied rather than "discovery" research and presenting knowledge in an accessible format, to demonstrate the social value of universities and to effect change.

Read Professor Blackman's conference speech.

20th Public Health England Conference on Genomics and Proteomics of Human Pathogens at Middlesex University

23 June 2017

Professor Tim Blackman heralds Middlesex's applied and collaboration-focused research, and supports calls for more women going into science and improved public science education in his address to the conference.

Read Professor Blackman's conference speech.

11th International Gender and Education Association Conference

21 June 2017

An outline of feminist scholarship at Middlesex, both theoretical and practical aspects, and of the University's embrace of diversity, in Professor Tim Blackman's welcome address to conference delegates.

Read Professor Blackman's conference speech.

Capital City College Group Governors’ Away-day

7 June 2017

Professor Tim Blackman describes Middlesex's educational strategy and calls for broad-based collaboration and partnership with further education colleges to create a major tertiary cluster.

Read Professor Blackman's welcome away-day speech.

Recognising Credit to support social mobility. SEEC symposium on ‘Learning without Boundaries’, London

12 May 2017

As the Keynote speaker for the symposium, Professor Tim Blackman states that credits can impede innovation and argues for competency-based learning and assessment, with the belief that universities should be mixed environments of both cognitive ability and diversity.

Read Professor Blackman's Learning without Boundaries speech.

'Made in Middlesex' campaign launch event

9 March 2017

Professor Tim Blackman expresses his pride and celebration of the 'Made in Middlesex' campaign which celebrates the University’s exceptional staff, students and alumni, and recognises their many, many achievements and successes.

Read Professor Blackman's Made in Middlesex launch speech.

Middlesex University Annual Careers Conference for Teachers and Advisors

8 February 2017

Professor Tim Blackman welcomes fellow teachers and advisors, and reflects on the importance and value that a university degree and experience can provide.

Read Professor Blackman's Careers Conference welcome speech.

US travel restrictions

6 February 2017

Following President Trump’s executive order temporarily banning entry to the US from seven Muslim-majority countries, Professor Tim Blackman urges the US President to think again about travel restrictions to the US.

Read Professor Blackman's full speech.

Opening of the Ritterman Building celebration event

2 February 2017

Professor Tim Blackman welcomes colleagues and friends of Middlesex University to the opening of Ritterman Building, a 21st century building which seeks to combine craft, design, research, creativity, science, technology with the rich diversity of our students.

Read Professor Blackman's Ritterman Building launch speech.

Sean Greer-Perry dedication, Middlesex University

1 February 2017

Leading the dedication to Sean Greer-Perry, Professor Tim Blackman remembers our colleague and highlights the importance of the arts and creativity in today's world.

Read Professor Blackman's dedication.

Holocaust Memorial Day Service, Middlesex University

29 January 2017

Professor Tim Blackman opens the Holocaust Memorial Day service and reflects on how we must learn from the lessons of the past through basic human goodness, systems of justice and hope.

Read Professor Blackman's Holocaust memorial.

Launch of the CBI-Middlesex University report Bridges to the Future: India, CBI, London

23 January 2017

Professor Tim Blackman congratulates those colleagues who have contributed to the CBI report and looks toward the opportunities that lay ahead for the UK and India in higher education.

Read Professor Blackman's Bridges to the Future: India report launch speech.


Brands that ‘stand for’ as well as ‘stand out’

7 December 2016

Opening the Inaugural Annual Conference of the International Place Branding Association, Professor Tim Blackman considers some of the successes of place branding, how they were triggered, and the challenge of diversity as a brand.

Read Professor Blackman's International Place Branding Association conference speech.

London: our open city

1 December 2016

Professor Tim Blackman welcomed colleagues, students, and almost 40 visitors from 17 countries and 27 universities at the University’s Erasmus+ conference by reflecting on the importance of mobility and diversity in study and work.

Read Professor Blackman's Erasmus+ welcome speech.

Middlesex University, policy challenges and social mobility

20 November 2016

In an invited presentation to Barnet Labour Group, Professor Tim Blackman talks about Middlesex University, recent policy developments and his concerns about social mobility.

Read Professor Blackman's  presentation.

Access to higher education

17 November 2016

Professor Tim Blackman joined Alan Rusbridger and dinner guests at a HEPI-UPP Foundation debate on access to universities. This is his opening talk, arguing that we need to consider adopting the comprehensive principle in higher education.

Read Professor Blackman's HEPI-UPP Foundation debate.

Middlesex University Scholarship Ceremony

16 November 2016

Professor Tim Blackman welcomes students, staff and guests, and celebrates the achievements of Middlesex’s students.

Read Professor Blackman's Scholarship ceremony speech.

Middlesex University Hong Kong Graduation

13 November 2016

Professor Tim Blackman’s speech celebrates what London and Hong Kong share, and the importance of knowledge and cultural exchange.

Read Professor Blackman's Hong Kong graduation speech.

Universities and skills, WorldSkills dinner at the Institute of Directors

11 October 2016

In a talk at a dinner hosted by WorldSkills with business and college leaders, Professor Tim Blackman argues that universities need to change if they are to rise to the challenge of improving UK productivity.

Read Professor Blackman's WordSkills speech.

The 21st century university: diverse and inclusive, ACU Leaders Conference, Accra

28 July 2016

In a speech delivered to the Association of Commonwealth Universities, Professor Tim Blackman argues that research intensity, like academic selection, are measures which discourage diversity and disregard what modern employers require from graduates.

Read Professor Blackman's Association of Commonwealth Universities speech.

Future Women Leaders in STEM prize giving event, Mauritus

21 July 2016

Professor Tim Blackman outlines the need for more women in leadership roles within science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) industries explaining that diverse workforces perform better. Professor Blackman says that Africa has the opportunity to leapfrog the developed world by developing diverse scientific communities.

Read Professor Blackman's STEM prize giving speech.

Making the connection: universities and development, Mauritius and European Union Law Forum, Port Louis

18 July 2016

Professor Tim Blackman stresses the importance of higher education to sustainable and equitable development, citing evidence that if the higher education gap widens between countries then economic and civic development will diverge.

Read Professor Blackman's Mauritius and European Union Law Forum speech.

The engaged university: connected not disconnected, Middlesex University Business School Stakeholder Engagement event

16 July 2016

Professor Tim Blackman deliberates on the impact of Brexit. He discusses the threat to the UK’s position as a global leader in higher education, science and innovation and talks about how the Brexit vote reflects a deeper disparity in educational opportunities and outcomes.

Read Professor Blackman's stakeholder engagement speech.

The Brand You: how you stand out and what you stand for, Whitefield School achievement evening

11 July 2016

In a congratulatory speech at Whitefield School’s achievement evening Professor Tim Blackman talks about the history of the University, its brand and how Middlesex gives students the skills to succeed in professional and business life. He describes his personal journey from his school days to Vice-Chancellor and explains the importance of having a personal brand.

Read Professor Blackman's Whitefield school congratulatory speech.

Designing a better future, Middlesex University Research Students Summer Conference 2016

Following Britain’s decision to leave the EU, Professor Tim Blackman talks to research students about connectivity and how we need to value how the world is seen and understood differently by others.

Read Professor Blackman's summer conference speech.

Co-creating the engaged university, Middlesex University School of Health and Education Research and Knowledge Transfer Symposium

21 June 2016

Professor Tim Blackman recognises how every function of Middlesex University works to co-create the student experience and graduates by working together.

Read Professor Blackman's symposium speech.

Reflections on Student Flourishing, Middlesex University

9 June 2016

Education for employment is fundamental to people flourishing, argues Professor Tim Blackman at a Middlesex University higher education special interest group seminar.

Read Professor Blackman's seminar.

Thinking differently, Centre for Ideas Diversity Roundtable, Allianz Park, London

18 May 2016

Professor Tim Blackman’s keynote speech addresses the social diversity of students and staff at Middlesex University, and how recognising diversity as a resource creates opportunities to co-create learning.

Read Professor Blackman's Allianz Park keynote speech.

Middlesex: a work-based learning pioneer, Santander Universities Signing Ceremony

17 May 2016

Professor Tim Blackman thanks Santander for its valuable support that has changed the lives of more than 150 Middlesex University students through scholarships, internship schemes and other initiatives that have helped students transition from study into work.

Read Professor Blackman's Santander ceremony speech.

Equality and British Higher Education: A Contradiction in Terms? Widening Participation Conference - Higher Education: Transforming lives through life-wide learning, The Open University, Milton Keynes

27 April 2016

Returning to deliver a speech at his former university, Professor Tim Blackman talks about higher education and social class, contending that British universities are part of the structure that creates the class system.

Read Professor Blackman's Open University conference speech.

Beyond the teaching and research dichotomy, Annual Middlesex University Students' Union Teaching Awards

14 April 2016

Professor Tim Blackman reasons that research and learning are basically the same thing: learning. He states that teaching will come first at Middlesex because he wants the University to have the best teaching of any university in the world but emphasises that research is a crucial part of teaching. The key ingredients of good teaching and benefits of a university education are also outlined.

Read Professor Blackman's teaching awards speech.

Employability for the creative industries, Creative Careers Fair, Middlesex University

12 April 2016

In a talk to creative arts students, Professor Tim Blackman offers advice on the world of work and encourages students to change the downward trend of participation in the arts.

Read Professor Blackman's Creative Careers Fair speech.

The Professional Doctorate and the 21st Century University, 5th International Conference on Professional Doctorates, Belfast

15 March 2016

The research-led, academically selective university is considered the gold standard, and this is out of step with 21st century conditions, argues Professor Tim Blackman, as he weighs up the pros and cons of professional doctorates versus PhDs.

Read Professor Blackman's Professional Doctorates conference speech.

Purposeful diversity, Erasmus+ Conference, Middlesex University

10 February 2016

Professor Tim Blackman applauds the EU Erasmus+ higher education exchange scheme and talks about how working and studying with different people offers opportunity and possibility.

Read Professor Blackman's Erasmus+ conference speech.

Inauguration of the third Vice-Chancellor of Middlesex University

12 January 2016

In his inauguration speech Professor Tim Blackman talks about his personal journey to becoming Vice-Chancellor and the major events which have influenced him in his life such as working as a deckhand. He mixes his biography with that of the University and the local area and says that it is a privilege to be the Vice-Chancellor of Middlesex University in the company of such distinguished guests.

Read Professor Blackman's inauguration speech.


Ambitious Middlesex, Middlesex University Annual Teaching and Learning Conference

9 July 2015

Professor Tim Blackman’s highlights in this welcome addresses his one priority which is students first. He outlines the key pillars of the University to be creative, enterprising and global as well as outlining the importance of being ambitious and innovative, quoting Eric Robinson’s The New Polytechnics which criticises the academic focus of the old universities on discovery rather than creativity.

Read Professor's Blackman's teaching and learning conference speech.

Future Thinking

6 July 2015

Professor Tim Blackman sets out his stall to the Middlesex University Board of Governors at his first meeting as the university’s new Vice-Chancellor.

Read Professor Blackman's first speech as Vice-Chancellor.

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