Imran Khan resigns as University of Bradford chancellor

image captionImran Khan was appointed chancellor of the University of Bradford in 2005

Former cricketer Imran Khan has resigned as chancellor of the University of Bradford, citing his "increasing political commitments".

He will step down on 30 November after nine years in the role.

The university's vice-chancellor Brian Cantor said Mr Khan had been "a wonderful role model for our students".

Mr Khan, who is a leader of the opposition in Pakistan, was criticised by some students earlier this year for not attending graduation ceremonies.

Prof Cantor said: "Imran has played a critical and important role for us as chancellor of the university.

"He has awarded degrees to many students here at Bradford, and has also set up one of the fastest growing colleges in Pakistan, Namal College, where students also receive University of Bradford degrees."

Mr Khan's party Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leads the government in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

'Instrumental figurehead'

"It has been my honour to serve as chancellor of the University of Bradford. This has been a rewarding and informative experience and one that I will cherish," Mr Khan said.

"My increasing political commitments as well as my fundraising work with SKMCT and Namal College has made it increasingly challenging for me to give the kind of time commitments required as Chancellor of the University of Bradford."

In February, student newspaper The Bradford Student said it was "time for senior management... and Imran Khan himself to seriously consider whether he is capable of continuing the role... with the commitment that such a prestigious role, like chancellor, entails".

At the time, the university urged students to be more "sympathetic" to his responsibilities in Pakistan.

Student union officer Sam Butterworth said: "We regret to hear Imran Khan has stepped down.

"He has been an instrumental figurehead for the university and the city, and his work in politics and humanitarian work is a big inspiration."

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