Parkes attended King Edward's School, Birmingham and St John's College Cambridge, where he obtained a first class degree in mechanical engineering. He married Margaret Parr (1925-2007) and they had two children.
Other posts included Head of the Department of Engineering at Leicester University in the 1960s and Chairman of the UK University Grants Committee in the early 1980s. From 1989 to 1991 he was Chairman of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals.
Sir James Sharp Tait
|Vice-Chancellor, City University, London
Professor Raoul N. Franklin
William Walsh (acting)
|Vice-Chancellor, University of Leeds
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