From seed to blossom: policy efforts bear fruit

Jayne Mitchell seizes the chance to see her work at QAA in practice in a new role at East Midlands institution. Plus the latest higher education jobs and appointments

April 10, 2014

The new deputy vice-chancellor for academic affairs at Bishop Grosseteste University has spoken of how gratifying it was to see how her work at the Quality Assurance Agency had helped to make a difference to students.

Jayne Mitchell, who joined the Lincoln institution after an 11-year stint at the QAA, where she was most recently director of research, development and partnerships, said that when the Bishop Grosseteste post became available, she had reached a point where she felt “comfortable in leaving a body of work and taking on a new challenge”.

“All the moons were aligning at the right time,” Dr Mitchell said.

“I’ve been privileged to be involved in national and international policy development [at the QAA], and I’ve seen many different types of institutions. But I don’t think there’s any substitute for really seeing how that national work gets translated into making a difference to students.

“What I have noticed is just how much things have changed on the ground over that 11-year period. Seeing day to day…how institutions – Bishop Grosseteste particularly – have put a lot of effort into student engagement in their learning experience and their quality assurance has struck me the most.”

She added that it was great to see her national policy work for the QAA “actually being implemented, and implemented here well”.

In her new role, Dr Mitchell said she wanted to build on the work already done at Bishop Grosseteste in the areas of learning and teaching, internationalisation and research.

“We definitely want to grow our research capability and capacity. We have some fantastic partnerships already with partners in the UK, so we want to capitalise on those and grow that among our staff and students,” she said.

“Again, the international area is one where we want to strengthen partnerships. We also have links in India and some other countries around the world, and we want to make sure the internationalisation of the curriculum at Bishop Grosseteste reflects those partnerships we have.”

Underpinning all these elements, she added, is seeing how the university can diversify its academic portfolio.

“We have a strong tradition and good success particularly in initial teacher training and education, but we also think we have a lot to offer in some new areas.”

Dr Mitchell said she believed that Bishop Grosseteste had been looking for somebody with an “overview of national and international policy development”.

“I think having international research, learning and teaching, and student engagement activity within the oversight of one person enables you to make the connections and the links between those areas,” she said.

Leadership material: senior management roles

University of Wolverhampton
The University of Wolverhampton has two senior management posts that it is seeking to fill. It wants to appoint two deputy vice-chancellors – one for academic and one for access and lifelong learning.
Closing date for applications: 14 April 2014
View the full job description and apply for these roles

Macquarie University
Macquarie University in Sydney has an opening for a deputy vice-chancellor, academic.
Closing date for applications: 18 April 2014
View the full job description and apply for this role


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The University of London has named Sir Richard Dearlove chair of its board of trustees. Sir Richard, who is presently master of Pembroke College, Cambridge, will take over from Dame Jenny Abramsky on 1 August 2014.

Two specialists in human-computer interaction have joined the University of Lincoln’s School of Computer Science. Kathrin Gerling and John Shearer will continue their research into interactive technologies that have a purpose beyond entertainment.

Paul Marshall, chief executive of the Association of Business Schools, is to leave the organisation to take up the role of new business development director at University Partnership Programme. Julie Davis, deputy chief executive at the ABS, will take on the role of interim CEO.

University Campus Suffolk has named Penny Cavenagh dean of academic affairs with immediate effect. Professor Cavenagh was previously director of research and enterprise.

Carl Stychin, dean of City University London’s Law School, has been conferred with the title of academician by the Academy of Social Sciences. He was honoured for his work in the socio-legal study of gender, sexuality and law.

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