Frances Cairncross CBE has been appointed Chair of the University Court at Heriot-Watt from January 1 2015.
For the last ten years, Mrs Cairncross has served as rector of Exeter College, Oxford, focusing much of her efforts on fundraising among the college’s many successful former students.
She said: “I wanted to give back to Scotland a little bit of the benefits I had as a youngster.”
And the mother-of-two, whose eldest daughter, Isabella, 37, completed some of her studies at Heriot-Watt, said that she was “thrilled” to be involved with the university.
She added: “The university’s international strategy is exciting, and it does very well on student satisfaction ratings. I look forward to working with this star of the Scottish university world.”