Professor Bashir Makhoul

President & Vice-Chancellor

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Professor Bashir Makhoul

Professor Bashir Makhoul joined UCA from Birmingham City University, where he was Deputy Vice-Chancellor with strategic leadership for academic development, student recruitment, marketing and internationalisation.

Professor Bashir Makhoul


Professor Makhoul is a writer, editor and artist with a substantial track record of driving globalisation initiatives within higher education. He joined UCA in 2017 and spearheaded the creation of the UK’s first Business School for the Creative Industries. He has led a number of global partnerships and established UCA’s first joint overseas partnership – the Institute for Creativity and Innovation (ICI) – with the University of Xiamen, one of the leading and most prestigious universities in China. These changes led to UCA being named the Times and Sunday Times Modern University of the Year in 2019.

Prior to joining UCA, he held a number of high-profile positions as Pro Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Rector at other UK universities. Professor Makhoul champions an inclusive approach to internationalisation that recognises the different needs and cultural experiences of students from across the globe. At UCA, this is reflected in a creative community where diversity is a strength, rather than an obstacle.

Widely acknowledged as a global authority on Palestinian art, he is an author of Palestinian Video Art and co-author of Conflict and Compassion, Contemporary Art from Global Asia, and Origins of Palestinian Art, which art historian WTJ Mitchell described as “a masterful performance of fairness and objectivity, combined with a passion for the subject that will make it the most important point of departure for all future writing on this subject.”

Professor Makhoul’s artistic practice engages with themes of conflict, displacement and identity. He has exhibited at a range of high-profile venues and events, including the Hayward Gallery, London; the Tate and The Bluecoat, Liverpool; the Icon Gallery, Birmingham, the Hausamlietzu Platz, Berlin; the 55th Venice Biennale; the Kuala Lumpur Biennale; the Arab World Institute, Paris, the Palestinian Museum, the Today Museum, Beijing and many others.

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