Appointment of new Vice-Chancellor


Professor Elwen Evans, KC, has been appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD). 

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Professor Elwen Evans, KC

She will succeed Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, who will retire having been in post for 23 years and will start her role as Vice-Chancellor Designate in June, taking over from Professor Hughes as Vice-Chancellor in September.

Professor Elwen Evans, KC is currently Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Swansea University and has responsibility for the Welsh Language and Culture within the University.

Professor Evans, who will be the first female leader of the universities and predecessor institutions, said: “I feel deeply honoured to have been appointed to the role of Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales and University of Wales Trinity Saint David.  I look forward to working with colleagues, students and governors within the University and external partners to ensure the continued success of both prestigious institutions.”

Professor Evans read Law at Girton College, Cambridge, graduating with a double first: M.A. (Cantab). On graduating she attended the Inns of Court School of Law and was called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn in 1980. She was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2002.

Professor Evans has enjoyed a very successful career as a barrister, choosing to practice mainly in Wales. She has undertaken a wide range of legal work, specialising in criminal law at trial and appellate levels. Her work has included many serious, complex, sensitive, and high-profile cases such as leading the prosecution team in the April Jones case and the defence team in the Gleision mine disaster case. She sits as a Crown Court Recorder having been appointed in 2001. She was Head of Iscoed Chambers for over 15 years, stepping down on her appointment to Swansea University in 2015.  She was appointed to the role of Head of the College of Law & Criminology where she was responsible for establishing the Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law.  In 2020, she was appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and is credited with having led the successful growth of the Faculty during this period. Her portfolio also included strategic leadership of the University’s civic mission activities and the successful development of the University’s relationships with key partners including alumni and donors.   

A native Welsh speaker, she is a Bencher of her Inn, has been honoured by Gorsedd y Beirdd for her services to Law in Wales and was a Commissioner on the Commission on Justice in Wales. She has served on a wide range of external bodies and committees reflecting her areas of professional experience and interest. In 2018, she was included in the top 10 of a list celebrating 100 of Wales’ most inspirational women.

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The Venerable Randolph Thomas and Professor Elwen Evans, KC

The Venerable Randolph Thomas, Chair of the Universities’ Councils said: “I’m delighted that Professor Elwen Evans, KC, has been appointed to the role of Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.  Professor Evans has enjoyed an eminent legal and academic career and we look forward to her leadership of these historic institutions”.

Emlyn Dole, Chair Designate of the University Council added: “My sincerest congratulations to Professor Elwen Evans on her appointment as Vice-Chancellor. I look forward to working with her to fulfil the University’s mission of transforming education and the lives of the individuals and communities we serve”.

Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, concluded: “I’d like to congratulate Professor Evans on her appointment and wish her well in the role. She is renowned as a creative and dynamic leader who has a demonstrable track record in delivering successful programmes of transformation, cultural change, and strategic development. 

“She joins institutions that have never been afraid of change. The transformative journey of both the University of Wales and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David has the wellbeing of the nation at its heart. Our new Vice-Chancellor will continue the work to establish a new university for Wales. She can be assured of the full support of the Universities as she starts on this exciting new chapter of the history of our institutions.”

Note to Editor

Picture:  Professor Elwen Evans, KC

Photographer:  Aled Llywelyn

Further Information

For further information please contact Eleri Beynon / 07968 249335