Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, University of Cambridge
Professor of Political Economy and Fellow, and Fellow of Fitzwilliam College
Member, CSaP Management Committee
Professor Bhaskar Vira, a Fellow of Fitzwilliam College and Head of the Department of Geography, was appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education for three years with effect from 1 October 2022.
Bhaskar Vira studied economics and political economy at the Universities of Delhi and Cambridge. He has taught in the Department of Geography at Cambridge since 1998 and has been Professor of Political Economy since 2017. He is Director of Studies in Geography and Graduate Tutor at Fitzwilliam College, and a Trustee of the Gates Cambridge Trust.
Professor Vira’s research focuses on the changing political economy of development, especially in India; and on political ecology, focusing on forests, wildlife and land-use change and the social and political context for biodiversity conservation. As well as being Founding Director of the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute, he is involved in a number of interdisciplinary research networks and centres, including the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, the Centre for Science and Policy and the Global Food Security strategic research initiative. He is leading a major programme on Decent Work and Youth Livelihoods, with a particular focus on the Global South. He was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2021.
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education leads the development and implementation of strategy and policy relating to education. Major initiatives that are led by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education currently include: widening access to, and increasing participation in, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes; increasing international student recruitment; and implementing a comprehensive student mental-health and wellbeing strategy. There is also a strong focus at the moment on promoting educational excellence and improving the student experience following the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.