Skip to main content

Advance HE Board

Advance HE’s Board was established on 31 March 2018 following the merger of three organisations, Equality Challenge Unit, Higher Education Academy and the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education. Each of the previous Boards nominated one of their members to join the Advance HE Board, along with a further two members nominated by UUK and GuildHE. Following an open recruitment process, further Board members were appointed.

Our Board is advising on a new five-year strategic framework which, in turn, has been developed from feedback from sector consultation.

Find out more about our Board members below:

Stephen Marston

Stephen joined the University of Gloucestershire in 2011 as Vice-Chancellor.

He had previously been Director General, Universities and Skills, at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Before then, Stephen was Director General for Lifelong Learning and Skills in the former Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and prior to that he was Director of Skills Group at DfES. Stephen joined the Department for Education and Science in 1983, where he worked on a range of schools, Further Education, Higher Education, and finance issues in various posts across the Department.

Stephen worked in the Cabinet Office/Economic Secretariat in the early 1990s. Between 1998 and 2002, he worked in the Higher Education Funding Council for England as Director for Institutions.

Stephen won a scholarship to Cambridge University where he studied Classics.

Professor Frances Corner

Professor Frances Corner OBE is Warden of Goldsmiths, University of London. She is the academic and administrative leader of the university and the first woman to take on the role since Goldsmiths was founded.

The title of Warden is unique in British universities, where the equivalent role is normally known as a Vice-Chancellor. It is a reminder of the founding of the College by the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, one of the City of London’s ancient Livery Companies.

Previously Head of London College of Fashion and Pro Vice-Chancellor of University of the Arts London, Professor Corner has over 20 years’ experience in higher education leadership.

Frances sits on a number of Boards including the University of London where she is also a member of the Investment Committee. She is a London Higher Board member and Executive Chair of their Sustainability Network, and is also Trustee at Centrepoint, the youth homelessness charity.

Frances has contributed to a number of UUK task groups including their advisory group for tackling racial harassment in Higher Education and their advisory board reviewing the issue of Quality and Standards across the sector. She is also a member of the UUK Task and Finish Group looking at how climate change can be addressed by Higher Education institutions.

In 2009, Frances was awarded an OBE for services to fashion higher education and widening participation in arts education.

Heather Francis

Heather is the Chief Operating Officer at the University of the Arts London. She previously served as the Chief Financial Officer when she joined the University in 2019.

As Chief Operating Officer, Heather's remit encompasses Finance, Legal, Estates, Student Marketing, Recruitment & Admissions and the Academic Registry. Her key responsibilities are to lead and manage these areas to meet the needs of the University in line with its Strategy and core business principles.

Heather joined the university from the Victoria and Albert Museum where she was Director of Finance and Resources, prior to this she worked at Save the Children International.

Heather Francis is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and holds a BSocSc in Economics from Southampton University.

Professor Sarah Greer

Professor Sarah Greer is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winchester. Prior to joining the University of Winchester, Professor Greer was the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Worcester where she played a key role in developing the strategic vision for the University and was responsible for leading and ensuring excellence in teaching and research.

Professor Greer is a qualified chartered accountant and a barrister, completing pupillage with the Treasury Solicitor. She is a Professor of Law and a National Teaching Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Professor Greer is an accredited mediator in workplace disputes. She has held a series of public appointments including, most recently, as a General Commissioner for the Disabled Students’ Commission.

Dr Sam Grogan (Co-optee)

Following an early career in the creative industries, Sam has spent the last decade and a half in student-centric leadership positions within a range of higher UK education institutions. As Pro Vice Chancellor for Student Experience at the University of Salford, Sam holds Executive responsibility for quality and standards of the academic portfolio, Executive responsibility for the Learning and Teaching Network within the university, Executive responsibility for developing the learning philosophy underpinning the student journey and Executive oversight of the wider pastoral and supporting infrastructure which underpins the student journey and outcomes. These responsibilities focus upon enabling student success in the context of performance against student quality metrics to ensure value for money.

Sam has also led on the university’s academic response to Covid-19. He has ensured teaching and learning practices have adapted towards delivery of excellent student outcomes, and that institutional practices are reimagined to learn from the pandemic as we tilt towards positive and lasting change.

Alongside work at Salford, Sam continues to work in leadership and thought leadership nationally and internationally, building on a range of external engagements and board experiences.

Annette Hay

Annette works as a Senior Research Delivery Support Partner at Coventry University.  She completed her first Degree in Social Studies at the University of Warwick and later completed her Masters Degree in Leadership and Management at Coventry University.  She is also an alumni of Advance HE’s Diversifying Leadership Programme.

Annette has over 30 years of activism around equity, diversity and inclusion, which she has maintained throughout her working career in Higher Education and is a passionate and strategic advocate for the role and importance of institutional leadership in tackling racial inequalities and embedding anti-racist practices.  She has a substantive role supporting, developing and implementing a number of strategic and operational initiatives and actions at her institution.

Annette is an accomplished manager and leader and has a principle role in Coventry University’s drive towards extending and building on strategic and purposeful relationships and collaborations on a local, national and global scale.  She is recognised for her strategic influence and input on policy, practice and external engagements and is keen to extend her international networks and relations.

Annette is a member of several Boards and Committees including, Coventry University’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Council, including Chair of the Equity Acceleration Group and Race Equality Council.  She is currently the first and only international Board member of the esteemed American based ‘National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education’ (NADOHE), which is the leading voice for Senior Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Officers.  She is one of the founding members of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group for the Association of Research Management and Administration (ARMA), a member of the Women in Higher Education Network (WHEN) and an alumni of the International focussed leadership Common Purpose programme.

Professor Janice Kay

Professor Janice Kay is the Provost and Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Exeter.

She is a Professor of cognitive neuropsychology, first appointed to Exeter through a Wellcome Trust University Lectureship. Her research, which has received funding from the Economic and Social Research Council, Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council, is concerned with theoretical modelling, assessment and rehabilitation of disorders of perception, speech, language and memory.

In the role of Provost, Janice is deputy to the Vice-Chancellor. She provides strategic leadership for the overall corporate plan and oversees the portfolio of University strategies, ensuring their delivery as part of a coherent institutional schedule of activity. She holds specific accountability for the University’s strategic planning and budgeting processes as well as the University’s Global Advancement function. The Provost is responsible for the management of the University’s six Colleges, through the six Pro Vice-Chancellors.

Janice is Deputy Chair of the institutional level Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) exercise and is Chair of the TEF Subject Level Pilot. Janice is an inaugural Board Member of Advance HE. 

Janice has been prominent in widening access initiatives, nationally and regionally. She played an integral role in the establishment of the highly successful Exeter Mathematics School, the new Education Campus at Cranbrook, Exeter, and the South Devon University Technical College.  She is a non-executive director of the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust.

Janice was recognised in the 2017 Queen's New Year honours with a CBE for services to Higher Education.

Professor Helen Langton

Professor Helen Langton is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Suffolk and a Professor in Children’s Cancer Nursing Education. Helen is a lifelong supporter of excellence in learning, teaching and research and passionate about the role of people to achieve this.

Helen has held a number of senior posts in universities in the UK and has a range of experience across health and social care, science, social science and education.

Helen has been a member of a number of national boards and bodies including with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, Department of Health and the Quality Assurance Agency. Helen is Chair of Governors at an independent school and a trustee of East Anglia Children’s Hospice.

Internationally Helen has held board membership for the Academy of Health Care Improvement, and the De Souza Nursing Institute in Toronto, Canada and is an Editor of the International Journal of Child Health Care.

Janet Legrand KC (Hon)

Janet is the Senior Lay Member of Court at the University of Edinburgh, Chair of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and a member of the advisory panel of IntoUniversity. A lawyer by profession, Janet is the former Senior Partner, Board Chair and Global Co-Chair of DLA Piper, a global law firm with 90 offices worldwide, where she combined senior leadership roles with an international disputes practice, latterly representing Governments.

Janet has significant governance experience in higher education, in particular from her prior roles on the Audit Committee of the University of Cambridge, as Deputy Chair of City, University of London where she was also a Trustee of the Student’s Union, as Deputy Chair of the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission and on the Board of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education. She is an Honorary Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge.

On her appointment as Queen’s Counsel Honoris Causa in 2018, the Lord Chancellor described Janet as “… a pioneer in enhancing the role of women in the law, promoting social mobility, diversity and inclusion within her firm and the wider profession…”

Professor Quintin McKellar CBE

Professor McKellar has been the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Hertfordshire since 2011. He is chair of the Hatfield Renewal Project Board.  In 2015 he was elected as a Board member of Universities UK (UUK) and in April 2020 was appointed as UUK Vice-President (England and Northern Ireland). He was chair of the University Vocational Awards Council until 2019 and has been a member of the government’s Apprenticeship Stakeholder Board since 2016. He was Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Pirbright institute between 2015 and 2019 and since 2018 he has been a Non-Executive Director of the Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock.

Professor McKellar was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2011 for services to science.  He was a distinguished researcher with interests in the pharmacology of anti-infective and anti-inflammatory drugs in domestic animals.

He graduated from Glasgow University Veterinary School in 1981 and went on to gain a PhD in Veterinary Parasitology in 1984.  In August 1997 Professor McKellar took up the post of Scientific Director of the Moredun Research Institute and Chief Executive of the Moredun Foundation.  In 2004, he was appointed Principal of The Royal Veterinary College of the University of London.

Professor Andrea Nolan

Professor Andrea Nolan is Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University, a role she has held since 2013.  Andrea graduated as a veterinary surgeon from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and, after a short time in veterinary practice, embarked on an academic career which led to her appointment as a Lecturer and then Professor in Veterinary Pharmacology at the University of Glasgow where she established herself as a research leader in the field of animal pain, its recognition and management.  Her senior leadership in Glasgow developed through roles as Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Vice-Principal for Learning, Teaching and Internationalisation, and Senior Vice-Principal.  She served as Convenor of Universities Scotland, the professional body representing Scotland’s 19 Higher Education institutions from 2016 to 2020, and currently chairs its International Committee.  She serves on a range of Boards and groups contributing to the development of Higher Education.  She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Societies and was awarded an Honorary OBE in 2013 for services to Higher Education and Veterinary Science.

Saad Qureshi

Saad Qureshi is currently developing a new digital media start up while also being CEO of a new care provider launching to market in 2023. He has previously spent nearly 15 years in higher education most latterly as an Executive General Manager and European Dean for Navitas, a global education provider. He has vast experience in strategic leadership, change management and turnaround, and leading multi-campus and multi- disciplinary teams. He is also a “dual professional”, being a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and is passionate about pedagogical development and the student experience. He has designed educational strategies and infrastructure that have improved student outcomes and teacher experiences. His focus is on developing socially responsible graduates.

He is a Reviewer for several reputable research journals, and previously sat on the Board of Studies and the Professional Development Group of the Association of University Administrators (AUA) driving the growth and standards for the AUA’s CPD offer and the flagship PgCert programme. He was also part of the Universities UK TNE group that later released the new framework for TNE provision. 

Professor David Richardson

David Richardson is the Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Bacterial Biochemistry at the University of East Anglia (UEA) on the Norwich Research Park.  He joined UEA in 1991, and held positions of Executive Dean Faculty of Science, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Deputy Vice-Chancellor before being appointed as Vice-Chancellor in 2014. 

He has served on a number of Boards, including as a Non-Executive Director of the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Board and as President of the AURORA European University Network. David is currently chair of the Universities UK Advisory Group to tackle racial harassment in higher education and he was a member of the UUK Taskforce that authored the ‘Changing the Culture’ report that provided recommendations for a whole institution approach to tackling violence against women, harassment and hate crime affecting university students. He is also co-chair of the Advance HE Race Equality Charter Governance Committee.

David’s research has been recognised through a number of awards, including the Microbiology Society Fleming Medal and a Royal Society Wolfson Research Fellowship. He also holds an Honorary Chair at the University of Queensland.

Professor David Sadler

David Sadler was appointed to UWA as the Deputy Vice Chancellor Education in October 2017. He was previously the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students and Education) at the University of Tasmania from early 2011 and led many initiatives around infrastructure for education, student experience, curriculum renewal and especially the educational attainment agenda, leading the Children’s University, Tasmania, which is now also operating in Western Australia.

David is a Principal Fellow (PFHEA). He is currently Chair of Universities Australia DVC A Executive and leads UA’s work on academic integrity; teaching recognition and stakeholder relationships with TEQSA.  David is also Chair of the Australian Awards (Program Awards) for University Teaching. David previously served on the Office of Learning and Teaching Strategic Advisory Board.

In the UK, David was Director (Networks) for the Higher Education Academy and before then Director of the Centre for Sociology, Anthropology and Politics (CSAP) at the University of Birmingham.  David is a UK National Teaching Fellow (2005). David’s academic specialism is in crisis decision-making in international security and he worked for the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office as a Senior Research Officer in Arms Control and Disarmament from 1988-1992, embracing many aspects of the end of the Cold War.

David is a life fellow of the RSA and a former Council member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).

Chris Sayers

Chris Sayers was the Chair of the Committee of University Chairs between 2017-2020, and was Chair of Northumbria University until 2020.  He is now a board member of SRUC. Chris became Chair of CUC in April 2017, overseeing the introduction the new CUC remuneration code and working closely with HEFCE, DFE and the OFS in helping to shape the governance requirements of the new regulatory framework.

Since retiring from BT in 2012 where he ran a major IT services division for BT Global Services, he has increasingly spent his time working in areas where education can be used drive social mobility and increase opportunities for young, disadvantaged people. As such, apart from the leadership role that he occupies in HE, he is also on the board of a Social Enterprise, called Building Futures East, which works with young people in disadvantaged parts of Newcastle to help social change through skills training and, with his wife Tessa, he runs a charity that operates two children's homes and a school for very poor children in Southern India, with the aim of using education to break the poverty cycle.

Chris is also currently a non exec director of an IT services company, is the Chair of the Alnwick Playhouse Theatre, and a trustee of The Youth Charter. 

Rose Wangen-Jones

Rose Wangen-Jones is the Managing Director, Marketing at London & Partners, the official promotional agency for London. Working with the Mayor of London and a network of partners, she promotes London as a leading world city in which to study, invest, work, and visit. Previously, she was the CEO of The Writer, a global brand language consultancy. Before joining The Writer, she was Global Business Director at WPP, responsible for the communications and marketing of one of the group’s largest global accounts. She has spent most of her career in the private sector, leading the development of marketing communications for top national and multi-national brands.  During her time at WPP she was part of Common Ground, a sector-led initiative working with the UN to accelerate the achievement of its stated Sustainable Development Goals, with specific focus on gender equality.  Prior to WPP, she worked at BT where she was involved in Front Foot, an Advertising Association’s initiative to create advocacy for the advertising sector, proving its contribution to business and culture.

From 2016 to 2018 she served on the board of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education as a non-executive member.  During that time she helped the organisation through its recent merger, assisting in the development of its new vision and brand.

Rose Wangen-Jones is a member of the Marketing Society. She holds a BA in Economics from DePauw University and an MBA (Marketing) from the Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina.

Paul Woodgates

Paul is an expert in strategy, operations, change and leadership in universities.

He was previously responsible for building and running the education consulting practice of PA Consulting internationally. He has worked with more than 30 universities in the UK as well as many others overseas. His experience was in delivering major programmes to define strategy, improve academic outcomes, deliver better services, and reduce cost. He has also worked extensively with government departments, regulators and funding bodies in the higher education sector in the UK and elsewhere.

Paul graduated from Durham University with a BA (Hons) in Economics and then qualified as a chartered accountant. He worked as a consultant, programme leader and change manager in a range of organisations particularly in the public sector.

He is a Governor of De Montfort University and works as an independent advisor and writer on change in universities.