Shirley Pearce, Loughborough University's new vice-chancellor, is keen to continue her work with industry
Shirley Pearce, a clinical psychologist, has been appointed vice-chancellor of Loughborough University. The professor of health psychology at the University of East Anglia will become the 19th female vice-chancellor among 120 university heads in the UK.
She has never felt her gender to be an obstacle, but she recognises that the gender imbalance in the senior ranks of higher education needs investigating. She said: "I think we need to understand better what it is that facilitates women to move up through managerial positions."
Professor Pearce has spent her working life in healthcare and believes her experiences have provided her with skills that will be applicable to Loughborough.
eason I'm attracted to Loughborough is its way of working. It's listening to industry about what research it needs," she said. "It's not for nothing that Loughborough students have the highest post-degree employment rates in the country." She hopes to continue the university's close links with industry.
Her passion for health professional training programmes, and improving patient care led her to co-ordinate programmes across sectors. She has proposed an innovative medical school in Norwich, which would operate as a joint venture between National Health Service trusts and UEA.
She believes this experience will be vital in talking to industry, working out employers' needs and tailoring courses to ensure graduates are as employable as possible.