International Institute for Higher Education Research & Capacity Building

Professor (Dr.) Michael Spence

Dr Michael Spence has led the University of Sydney as Vice-Chancellor and Principal since 2008 and is the University’s 25th Vice-Chancellor. Dr Spence holds a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Oxford and before returning to Sydney headed Oxford’s law faculty and its social sciences division. During his time as Vice-Chancellor, the University of Sydney has forged a distinctive new strategy focused on the transformation of undergraduate education, promoting interdisciplinary research, and strengthening the culture around our core values.

He was instrumental in leading the University’s unprecedented $1 billion INSPIRED philanthropic campaign, promoting greater academic partnerships with industry, government and community organisations, and in diversifying the University’s international student cohort with particular emphasis on India. Most recently, he initiated the Sydney Scholars India Scholarship program in February 2019, aimed at unearthing India’s future visionary leaders. This scholarship is one of the most generous scholarship programs available to Indian international students from an Australian university.

In 2017, he was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours for service to leadership of the tertiary education sector, to the advancement of equitable access to educational opportunities, to developing programs focused on multidisciplinary research, and to the Anglican Church of Australia.