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Professor Mike Wilkinson

MA, PhD, CDir, FIoD, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement)

Vice-Chancellor's Group

Role at Solent

Mike joined Southampton Solent University as deputy vice-chancellor in August 2010, and is professor of international education. He is responsible for student recruitment; international matters; marketing; reputation and partnerships; and Solent Sport.

Mike is a chartered director and a fellow of the Institute of Directors. He is currently working on projects to further enhance the interaction of the University with business, education and voluntary organisations.


Mike was previously pro vice-chancellor at London South Bank University where he established strategic collaborations with several leading universities. These included founding the Confucius Institute for Traditional Chinese Medicine, London, and the Centre for Efficient and Renewable Energy in Buildings, both of which he chaired. He was formerly a board member of local strategic partnerships in two London boroughs and of the South Bank Employers' Group. 

Prior to returning to the sector in 2003, Mike worked for Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) - a global chemical company - for 22 years in leadership roles in research and development, marketing, export and licensing, strategic planning, logistics and business management. This included extensive international work in Asia Pacific, America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa and secondments to live in Germany (four years) and France (two years), where he operated through the German and French languages. He worked with the steel, aluminium, domestic appliance and building sectors as customers, and researched, developed and launched innovative, patented products into the market place. He has worked in the business-to-business and business-to-consumer sectors and has lengthy experience with household international brand names.

Mike is a visiting professor at the National Academy of Education Administration, Beijing, China and also at the Shanghai Institute of Design. His research interests include widening participation in higher education, strategy and leadership, particularly with an international dimension. Mike is an experienced governor in further education.


  • MA Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge (Trinity College).
  • PhD Synthetic Organic Chemistry, University of Cambridge (Trinity College).