Difference between Chancellor & Vice Chancellor


The words chancellor and vice chancellor are commonly heard in higher education, but not many people know the differences between the two. This article aims to highlight the functions and responsibilities of vice chancellors and chancellors to increase awareness.

Chancellor vs Vice Chancellor

In most Commonwealth countries, the chancellor is the titular or ceremonial head of all universities, while the vice chancellor handles the day-to-day operations. In the US, however, the chancellor is the executive head of a university. In Europe, the equivalent of a vice chancellor is a rector, with a great chancellor as the titular head. Australia is an exception, where the chancellor is both ceremonial and executive head, with a pro chancellor or deputy chancellor serving as a deputy. Different countries use different titles for the vice chancellor, such as president, rector, or principal. In the US, universities have presidents equivalent to vice chancellors, and there is a separate chancellor who oversees all state universities. The title of president in the US should not be confused with the highest-ranking university officer in other countries.


In summary, a vice chancellor is the executive head of a university in most Commonwealth countries, while the chancellor is the titular head. In the US, the president is the chief executive, and the chancellor oversees multiple universities.

Key Takeaways

1. In most commonwealth countries, the Chancellor is the ceremonial head of all Universities, while the Vice Chancellor is the executive head responsible for day-to-day operations.
2. In the US, the President is the chief executive of a university, while the Chancellor is the titular head of all state universities.
3. Australia is an exception where the Chancellor is both the ceremonial and executive head, with a Deputy Chancellor assisting in these roles.

Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen is a talented writer with a flair for developing captivating content in a range of formats. Her commitment to thorough research and producing top-notch material has contributed to over 4 years of professional writing and editing experience. Outside of work, Maria finds pleasure in solitary activities and immersing herself in nature. Her introspective nature and passion for self-reflection inspire her creativity. She believes that spending time alone and observing the natural world can provide valuable insights and foster personal growth, broadening her perspective as a writer.


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