Glasgow Caledonian seeks to fill capital position

University is scouting for a new dean to be academic lead at its London campus. Plus the latest higher education jobs and appointments

May 1, 2014

Source: Alamy

À la mode: the London campus offers postgrad courses in fashion and luxury

Glasgow Caledonian University is looking for a new dean to lead the academic development of its London campus – a position that requires a “keen eye” for what rivals are up to in the capital’s ferociously competitive market for international students.

Two months ago, Northumbria University became the latest UK university based outside the capital to announce that it was establishing an outpost in London to reel in more international students.

It will join universities including Anglia Ruskin, Bangor, Coventry, Cumbria, East Anglia, Glyndwr, Liverpool, Sunderland, Ulster and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in setting up shop in the capital.

Then there is the University of South Wales, which is also hunting for a head for its new London Centre. The operation, opening in September, will offer undergraduate, postgraduate and short courses in the capital’s Docklands area.

As a result, the new dean of Glasgow Caledonian’s capital site, which opened in September 2010, “will almost certainly have to have a very keen eye in terms of competitor analysis”, explained Stephen Holt, the head of the campus in Spitalfields, East London.

Mr Holt, who oversees the operational side, said the new position of dean will be the “academic lead” and must “provide a clear vision for the academic development” of the campus.

The campus currently offers postgraduate courses across an “eclectic” mix of subjects, from fashion and luxury, construction and project management to banking, finance and risk.

“It’s not a specialist campus, [and] that brings its own challenges about how you develop that campus effectively across the [subject] mix,” Mr Holt said.

The new dean may well have to steer the campus away from exclusively postgraduate courses, he explained. “I think it’s absolutely possible that the next step would be to look at undergraduate provision or top-up provision and professional development programmes.” However, he emphasised, the “core offer” would remain “postgraduate niche” rather than a “mass” undergraduate campus.

In 2014-15, Glasgow Caledonian aims to have 350 students in London, and there is a strong ambition to grow from there, Mr Holt said.

Given the site’s physical constraints, the new dean will have to be “creative” about how to accommodate extra students, possibly by introducing part-time or distance learning courses.

As for a candidate’s experience, 80 per cent of students on campus are from outside the European Union, so a record of working with international students or in London is key, Mr Holt said.

Moving to this job from a head of department position would “represent natural [career] progression”, he added.

The role will be a wide-ranging one because the London campus has a core administrative staff of just 13 and yet has to administer six different subject areas. The new dean will have to wear “more than one hat”, Mr Holt stressed. “Everything will come across your desk.”

Management material: other leadership roles

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Salford Business School wants to add to its management team by appointing a director of its MBA programmes.
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Joseph Ulanowski, reader in the School of Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics at the University of Hertfordshire, has been appointed professor of optics.

Birmingham City University has named Sue Rivers the new head of the School of Law. Dr Rivers, a barrister and chartered surveyor, has previously held roles at Coventry and BPP universities.

The School of Advanced Study, University of London has made several new appointments. Andrew Hussey has been named the first director of a new Centre for Post-Colonial Studies and the first professor of cultural history. Philip Murphy, currently professor of British and Commonwealth history at the University of Reading, has been appointed director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies. Elaine Walters has become deputy chief executive of the School of Advanced Study and director of operations for Senate House Library.

Nick Kaye, professor of performance studies and dean of the College of Humanities at the University of Exeter, has been named deputy vice-chancellor (education). He will assume the role on 1 August, succeeding Janice Kay, who will take over from Neil Armstrong as provost and senior deputy vice-chancellor. Mark Goodwin will take over responsibility for the College of Humanities. Exeter has also appointed Debra Myhill dean of the College of Social Sciences and International Studies, replacing Robert Van de Noort, who is moving to the University of Reading.

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