Nishan Canagarajah

President & Vice-Chancellor at University of Leicester

As President and Vice-Chancellor, Nishan works with all colleagues to build on the University’s world class reputation in research and teaching to make a positive change in the world. He is responsible for all University activities and leads the direction for overall business and academic strategies.

Nishan was born and educated in Sri Lanka, before moving to the UK where he received his BA (Hons) and PhD degrees from the University of Cambridge in 1989 and 1993.

He joined the University of Bristol as a research assistant in 1993 and worked in a number of academic roles, serving as the Faculty of Engineering Research Director, Head of Department of Computer Science, Head of Merchant Venturers School of Engineering and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering. He became Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise in August 2014.

Nishan is internationally recognised for his research on signal processing and texture classification. He served on national and international research funding, governance and postgraduate education panels, as well as acting as a technical consultant for Sony, BT, BBC, Orange, Thales, Toshiba and the Met Police.

As University of Bristol lead for equality, diversity and inclusion, Nishan championed a diverse and welcoming University community that reflected his role as one of the Bristol Race Equality Commissioners and position on the Governing Board of the Bristol City Funds.



  • President & Vice-Chancellor

    November, 2019 - present