Administered by:
University of Cambridge
A "vice-chancellor" (commonly called a "VC") of a university in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, other Commonwealth countries, and some universities in Hong Kong is the chief executive of the university. In Scotland, Canada, and Ireland, the chief executive of a university is usually called principal or president, with vice-chancellor being an honorific associated with this title, allowing the individual to bestow degrees in absence of the chancellor.

Strictly speaking, the VC is only a deputy to the chancellor of the university, but the chancellor is usually a prominent public figure who acts as a ceremonial figurehead only (e.g., the chancellor of the University of Cambridge for 36 years was Prince Philip), while the vice-chancellor acts as the day-to-day chief executive. An assistant to a vice-chancellor is called a pro-vice-chancellor or deputy vice-chancellor; these were traditionally academics who were elected to take on additional responsibilities in addition to their regular teaching and research for a limited time, but are now increasingly commonly permanent appointments. In some universities (e.g. in Australian universities: Deakin University, Macquarie University), there are several deputy vice-chancellors subordinate to the vice-chancellor, with pro-vice-chancellor being a position at executive level ranking below deputy vice-chancellor.

There are a few exceptions within England. For example, the charter of the University of Manchester provides for the vice-chancellor to also use the title president, and the first vice-chancellor, Alan Gilbert (200410), used president as his main title. The University of Warwick now officially uses "vice-chancellor and president" (VCP), although the holder is usually still known as the vice-chancellor in all but official documents. The chief executives of the constituent colleges of the University of London, many of which are now functionally independent universities, generally use the title principal, although the chief executive of Imperial College has the title rector, and Birkbeck College is headed by the master.