Colin Riordan

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Colin Riordan is a British academic who has been President and Vice-Chancellor at Cardiff University since 1 September 2012.[1]


Professor Riordan obtained his PhD from the University of Manchester in 1986.[2]


Professor Riordan taught English as a foreign language at Julius-Maximilians-Universitat Wurzburg in Germany (1982–84). He was Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer in German at Swansea University from 1986 to 1998.

He became Professor of German at Newcastle University in 1998, later being appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor and Provost of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in August 2005.[3]

In October 2007 he took up the post of Vice-Chancellor at the University of Essex.[4] On 1 September 2012 he became Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University.[5]

In 2015, under his purview as Vice-Chancellor, Professor Riordan announced that Cardiff University would launch five new flagship research centres, each focusing on a world issue. These include resolving chronic diseases; the scarcity of water; the prevention of crime; studying big data; and creating smarter energy systems.[6]

Research and publications[edit]

He has published on post-war German literature and culture,[7] including editing books on the writers Jurek Becker, Uwe Johnson and Peter Schneider.[8]


In 2013 he became chair of Higher Education Wales, the body which represents the interests of Higher Education Institutions in Wales.


Academic offices
Preceded by
Sir Ivor Crewe
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Essex
Succeeded by
Anthony Forster
Preceded by
David Grant
Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University
Succeeded by