The Installation of Vice-Chancellor
Professor Sir Hilary Beckles

Tradition of the Installation Ceremony


This ceremony contains elements which are centuries old, based on the tradition of the medieval university such as the gowns, the oath and the mace.

The University’s tradition tell us where we have come from and , knowing where we have come from helps to give us a clear idea of where we want to go to next.

The installation of a Vice-Chancellor points to a most significant intersection of tradition and renewal in the life of a university.

  • Tradition because we continue to follow the practice of appointing a single head to act on our behalf as a community of scholars.
  • Renewal because we choose an outstanding individual to bring his gifts to bear on this most important of regional institutions and steer it into the future.

The installation ceremony is an important rite. It is the formal act of welcoming and including the Vice-Chancellor into the academy Rites, which are ceremonial acts prescribed by tradition or sectoral decree, known and practiced in all societies and reflect their beliefs and values.

There is significance in this ritual and in particular the meaning of tradition, in the way in which the office of the Vice-Chancellor ‘captures’ its holder, and how the conferment of authority is signified.