THE Vice Chancellor of the University of Bradford, Professor Brian Cantor, has announced he will step down from his role at the end of the current academic year.

Prof Cantor has served in the role since 2013, and the institution has taken great strides under his stewardship, including winning its first Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.

However, in recent months he has come under criticism following the announcement 200 administrative staff would be made redundant and student numbers at the university falling.

Recently, a motion for a vote of no confidence in Prof Cantor by the UCU University of Bradford Local Association was supported by 93.4 per cent of members on a 60.3 per cent turnout.

UNISON members at the university also backed strike action following a recent ballot. The number in favour of striking was 64 per cent, with 89 per cent in favour of other forms of industrial action, with turnout at 61 per cent.

Upon leaving the role, Prof Cantor will take up a role as Emeritus Professor at the University of Oxford.

Baroness Ann Taylor, chair of the University Council, said: “Council very much appreciates the work that Brian has done in recent years to enhance the University’s reputation and to place it in the right position to face the future challenges in higher education.

“It is an increasingly difficult time for everyone in this sector and we will miss Brian’s experience and wisdom.

"His leadership means he will be leaving us in a stronger position than when he came and for that we are extremely grateful.”

Professor Cantor said: “It has been a great privilege to be Vice-Chancellor at Bradford.

"When I moved to Bradford, we agreed a plan of renewing the university’s self-confidence as one of Britain’s first technology universities, enhancing the academic and managerial quality of the university, and then moving into investment-led growth.

“We have made great strides in the first two, but we have had to put growth on hold because of difficult external circumstances, leading to the management changes currently underway.

"I want to help see through these changes, which are essential for the future strength of the university.”

Since Mr Cantor joined the university, it won its first Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education, and achieved Silver in the Teaching Excellence Framework.

It has established its leadership of the World Technology Universities Network and attracted some of the most influential academics in their fields to be Anniversary Chairs.

The Digital Health Enterprise Zone has been created to change people’s lives through innovations in digital health and care, and the University continues to develop its plans to set up a medical school to complement its successful teaching of almost all other types of health professionals.

Before joining the university, Prof Cantor previously served as Professor of Materials and Head of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the University of Oxford, and research scientist and engineer at GE Corporate Research Labs in the USA.

He is acknowledged as a world authority on materials manufacturing. He was Vice-President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and was awarded a CBE for services to higher education in the 2013 New Year’s Honours.

He was educated at Manchester Grammar School and Christ’s College, Cambridge University.

"He has worked at universities in the UK and abroad, and has also worked for companies including Alcan, Elsevier, General Electric and Rolls-Royce. He has advised organisations such as NASA and the EU, and government and non-government agencies throughout the world.