Over the last five years, King's College London has developed a distinctive approach to arts and cultural partnerships and articulated a new role for the university within London’s cultural landscape. Across King’s, partnerships with artists and cultural organisations are now embedded in each faculty and the university leads the international higher education sector in its integrated approach to cultural engagement. In this new role, Munira will lead delivery of the university’s refreshed cultural strategy to 2023 and its dedicated Culture team, including executive directorship of the newly launched Science Gallery London on King’s Guy’s Campus at London Bridge.
Speaking about the appointment, Dr Munira Mirza said: ‘I am delighted to be joining King's College London - a world-class university in the world’s cultural capital. King’s truly values the role of culture in stimulating new ideas and connecting the academic world to wider society; a mission that is close to my heart.Under Deborah Bull’s leadership of its innovative cultural strategy, the university has pioneered new forms of engagement with local and broader communities, including the recently opened Science Gallery London.
'It has also catalysed a range of innovative research partnerships between different academic departments and the creative sector. I'm looking forward to building upon this work, enhancing King’s contribution to the cultural landscape and expanding the local, national and global reach of King’s unique cultural community.’
Baroness Bull said: ‘I am absolutely delighted to welcome Dr Munira Mirza to King’s College London where she will lead a strong Culture team with a track record of impressive achievements and ambitious plans for the future. She will bring a wealth of experience, new networks and fresh perspectives to the role and to King’s, enriching the university’s core priorities of education, research and service through arts and culture and ensuring that King’s continues to lead the higher education sector in imaginative and effective engagement with the cultural sector. I greatly look forward to working with Munira and to seeing the cultural community at King’s thrive and develop under her direction.’
Dr Munira Mirza’s eighteen-year career has spanned arts, academia, politics and media. As Deputy Mayor for Culture and Education in London (2008 – 2016), Munira led City Hall’s cultural planning for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and initiated a broad range of pioneering programmes including the first London Night Time Commission, the £24m London Schools Excellence Fund and the London Curriculum and Creative Enterprise Zones.
Munira, who is currently on the board of the Royal Opera House and a Trustee of the Illuminated River Foundation, joins King’s from HENI, an international arts services business, where she was Head of Digital. At HENI she initiated HENI Talks, a non-profit digital library of short educational films about visual arts. Munira worked within a diverse range of arts and charitable organisations before joining City Hall, including Tate, Policy Exchange and the Royal Society of Arts. She has previously served on the boards of Arts Council England (London Council), the Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Royal College of Music.
Munira studied English at Oxford University and completed her MA and PhD in Sociology at the University of Kent. She has published several books, including The Politics of Culture: The Case for Universalism and writes and speaks regularly on culture, politics and social policy.
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About King’s College London
King’s College London is one of the top 10 UK universities in the world (2017/18 QS World University Rankings) and among the oldest in England. King's has more than 31,000 students (of whom nearly 11,700 are graduate students) from some 150 countries worldwide, and some 8,500 staff. Across King’s College London, arts and culture offer distinctive opportunities to students and academics, helping to deliver world-class education and research that drives innovation, creates impact and engages beyond the university.
Throughout every faculty, partnerships with artists and cultural organisations enhance curricular and co-curricular learning and enrich research while serving the needs of the cultural sector and the communities around us. These partnerships offer students new ways of learning, new networks and skills that increase employability and they inspire academics to approach and communicate research in new and imaginative ways. Across King’s, a range of spaces are dedicated to these activities, from the extraordinary Gordon Museum of Pathology, to the Inigo Rooms and the Arcade at Bush House, with Science Gallery London now open on King’s Guy’s Campus. Connecting with London and beyond, the university’s innovative approach to culture enhances an inclusive cultural community at King's and supports the education, research and service ambitions set out in Vision 2029.