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Irish professor to become the first woman to run Oxford University in 785 years

Didn’t she do well?

St Andrews University degree ceremony Professor Louise Richardson (L), meeting Hillary Clinton at St Andrew's University in 2013. Source: PA WIRE

PROFESSOR LOUISE RICHARDSON looks set to become Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University – the first woman ever to hold the crucial position.

A political scientist originally from Tramore, Co Waterford, Richardson was today nominated to the position, which involves overseeing the nearly 1000-year-old institution.

The 56-year-old academic is currently Principal and Vice Chancellor at St Andrew’s University in Fife.

Once her nomination is approved, she will take over at the helm on 1 January 2016.

In a statement today, Richardson said:

Oxford is one of the world’s great universities. I feel enormously privileged to be given the opportunity to lead this remarkable institution during an exciting time for higher education.

PA-12869248 Professor Louise Richardson, meeting Queen Elizabeth II in 2012.

Oxford’s Chancellor Chris Patten – a former Conservative MP and Governor of Hong Kong – heaped praise on the Irish woman, saying:

Her distinguished record both as an educational leader and as an outstanding scholar provides an excellent basis for her to lead Oxford in the coming years.

Richardson went to secondary school at the Ursuline Convent in Waterford, before getting a history degree at Trinity College Dublin, a Master’s degree in political science from UCLA, and a Master’s and PhD in government from Harvard University.

She is considered a global expert in the field of terrorism and international security.

Oxford University has had more than 300 Vice-Chancellors since the year 1230.

Richardson is set to make history by becoming the first woman to get the job.

Read: Ireland’s ’25 most powerful Irish women’ honoured>

Read: ‘No limitations’ – Ireland’s top women scientists gather to showcase their work>

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Dan MacGuill

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