Anthony McClaran swaps Australia for St Mary’s v-c job

Catholic institution hires TEQSA chief executive who led QAA and Ucas

January 16, 2020
Anthony McClaran

Former Quality Assurance Agency chief executive Anthony McClaran is returning to the UK as vice-chancellor of St Mary’s University, Twickenham.

Mr McClaran, chief executive of Australia’s Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) since 2015, will join the Catholic institution in April. In an intercontinental swap, he will succeed Francis Campbell, who is leaving St Mary’s at the end of this month to become vice-chancellor of the University of Notre Dame Australia.

Mr McClaran, who led the QAA from 2009 to 2015, also served as chief executive of Ucas, the UK’s university admissions service, between 2003 and 2009. Before that, he held senior administrative roles at the universities of Hull and Gloucestershire.

St Mary’s has about 5,000 students and hosts the only faculties in the UK that are able to offer ecclesiastical degrees. Mr McClaran said he was “delighted” to join a university with “a rich history and an unparalleled commitment to the student experience”.

“I look forward to meeting colleagues over the coming months and helping take St Mary’s forward to achieve even more for our current and future students,” he said.

Mr McClaran left the QAA at a challenging time for the organisation, as it contended with a review of quality assurance in England that ended the system of regular institutional reviews that it conducted. His time in Australia has seen plans drawn up for TEQSA to gain new powers to tackle essay mills.

The Right Revd Richard Moth, bishop of Arundel and Brighton, and chair of the board of governors at St Mary’s, said Mr McClaran “brings a wealth of experience of the UK and international higher education sectors which will benefit the university greatly”.

In a statement, Australian education minister Dan Tehan thanked Mr McClaran for “leading TEQSA in its work protecting and enhancing the quality of Australian higher education”.

“His hard work has ensured that Australia remains a world leader in the provision of higher education and that our students receive the highest quality education,” Mr Tehan said.

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