The UVAC Board comprises experts in higher level vocational learning drawn from a range of higher education, further education and lifelong learning sectors. With observers from related organisations, the UVAC Board possesses a wealth of knowledge and experience on higher level, work-based and vocational learning. Click on the links below to find to more about our Board.
- Professor Joy Carter (Chair) – Vice Chancellor, University of Winchester
- Ms Dawn Whitemore, Deputy Principal – Delivery, New College Nottingham
- Mr Garth Rhodes – Head of Flexible Learning, Northumbria University
- Mr John Widdowson – Principal and Chief Executive, New College Durham and Chair of the Mixed Economy Group of Colleges
- Professor Margaret House – Vice Chancellor, Leeds Trinity University
- Professor Alison Halstead, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Learning and Teaching Innovation, Aston University
- Dr Ruth Helyer, Head of Workforce Development (Research & Policy), Teesside University
- Mr Andrew Hartley, Managing Director, Strategic Developments, University of Derby
- Professor Jane Longmore, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Southampton Solent University
- Mrs Debi Hayes, Director of Partnership Division and Head of Access and Widening Participation, University of Greenwich
Vice Chancellor, University of Winchester
Professor Carter is Vice Chancellor at the University of Winchester. She was formerly Pro Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs at the University of Glamorgan where she had responsibility for all academic matters, including Teaching and Learning and Quality. Joy began her career as a lecturer in Sedimentary Geochemistry at the University of Reading, where she later became a Reader in Environmental Geochemistry and Health. She published extensively in the field and served on Research Council Committees and as Chair on the Board of the European Group of the International Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health. Joy later went on to become Dean of Science and Director of Science Research and Consultancy at the University of Derby. She has a particular interest in widening access and student retention.
Deputy Principal – Delivery, New College Nottingham
Dawn Whitemore is Deputy Principal – Delivery, New College Nottingham and was previously Head of University of Derby Corporate, the business-to-business division for the University of Derby. Her experience of operating at a senior level in both industry and the public sector has enabled her to drive the business agenda forward in a positive and inclusive manner. Prior to joining the University of Derby, Dawn was Vice Principal for North Warwickshire and Hinckley College (NWHC) responsible for Employer Engagement, marketing, student services, Higher Education and a number of curriculum areas. Before joining NWHC, Dawn was a self-employed consultant, where her client base included the likes of City & Guilds, Toyota and other smaller businesses and charities, mainly supporting business change. Dawn started her career in education as a part –time lecturer (in her spare time) at Wilmorton College where she then progressed to Manager, Director. At the time of merger of three colleges in Derby and the birth of Derby College she became Vice Principal and finally, Executive Director (Deputy Principal). Dawn’s career started in the print world progressing from Printer to National Bespoke Sales Manager at Bemrose Plc. In all these she has produced strategies to resolve issues, drive growth and ultimately make a difference and a positive impact on the bottom line. Dawn is absolutely passionate about education at all levels and understands the transformational role it has on both business and individuals.
Head of Flexible Learning, Northumbria University
Garth Rhodes has worked in the post-16 sector within the field of Vocational Education and Training for over 25 years. During this period he has developed a considerable knowledge and expertise in the strategic development and implementation of work-based learning, accreditation of prior learning and competence-based training and education. Garth is the Head of the Flexible Learning Centre in the School of Health, Community and Education Studies at Northumbria University where he leads a team of academic staff responsible for developing and implementing flexible education and negotiated work-based learning provision across a range of professional areas including, Health & Social Care, the Children’s Workforce and Education.
Principal and Chief Executive, New College Durham and Chair of the Mixed Economy Group of Colleges
John Widdowson joined New College Durham in August 1998, having previously worked as Vice Principal at Cambridge Regional College for ten years. Prior to entering Further Education, John worked as a lawyer in Local Government and has retained some academic interests in legal training. As Principal, John has been keenly interested in developing the College’s role in the community, extending the range of activities and partnerships through which the College works. He chairs the County Durham Area Steering Group for Aimhigher and is a member of the Board of the Further Education National Consortium. John was elected Chair of the Mixed Economy Group of Colleges in 2005 and was re-elected in 2007.
Vice Chancellor – Leeds Trinity University
Professor Margaret House was appointed as the Vice Chancellor at Leeds Trinity University on 1st January 2013. Previous to this she was the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic at Middlesex University where she had worked since 1986. She was appointed Dean of the School of Social Sciences in 2000; Dean of Health and Social Sciences in 2002; and became Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic in September 2005.
Professor House has gained a national and international reputation for research into the management and monitoring of river water quality. She was responsible for the development of the House Index of Water Quality. Her present research ranges between modelling the impact of forestry on Loch Ness and water harvesting in Spain.
Pro-Vice-Chancellor Learning and Teaching, Aston University
Professor Alison Halstead gained a Physics degree and Materials Engineering PhD at Imperial College. Her early career was with Tube Investments before returning to Higher Education. She has held academic posts at Brunel University, Coventry University, the Open University and University of Wolverhampton before taking up her current post as the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Learning and Teaching Innovation at Aston University.
At Aston she is responsible for learning and teaching innovation, the quality of the academic learning experience, the professional development of academic staff and widening participation. In 2005 she received a National Teaching Fellowship for her innovative curriculum development and in 2008 she became one of the first Senior Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. At Aston Alison is leading the development of the ‘Aston University Engineering Academy’, one of the first University Technical Colleges in the UK and in September 2011 took up a part-time secondment to the Baker Dearing Trust as the Director of University Partnerships.
Alison is a Trustee and Board member of the Open College Network West Midlands, the Birmingham Children’s’ University, The Energy and Utility Skills Board, a Member of City and Guilds Higher Education Strategic Advisory Group as well as being a Director and Chair of the Aston University Engineering Academy Trust.
Head of Workforce Development (Research & Policy), Teesside University
Dr Ruth Helyer is Head of Workforce Development (Research & Policy) at Teesside University where she formerly led the innovative Negotiated Learning Framework (one of the first HE level work-based studies programmes in the UK) before moving to the Department of Academic Enterprise where she now leads the Business Research Team, working at the interface of business and higher education to research and develop innovative practice. Ruth began her academic career as a lecturer in English Literature and Film at the Universities of Teesside and Newcastle upon Tyne, specializing in contemporary American literature and postmodern theory she has published widely in English Studies as well as in those areas more directly related to her current activity, for example: workforce development; work-based learning; employability; the 21st century graduate; accreditation of prior learning (APL); the changing demographics of the workforce and more.
Ruth has recently created and managed a ground breaking project, funded by the Leadership Foundation, focused on mentoring between business-engaged academics, as well as continuing to teach by offering a new module on Teesside’s PgC in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education – ‘Teaching work-based Learners’.
An earlier career, of ten years commercial experience with Barclays Bank Plc, has proved invaluable in enhancing her current activities which span the worlds of business and academia. This hybrid profile has encompassed work around widening participation and community learning as well as project management of initiatives which depend on industry partners for successful outcomes.
Ruth is an active member of the Universities Association for Lifelong Learning Work-Based Learning Network and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Managing Director, Strategic Developments, University of Derby
Andrew was appointed as Managing Director, Strategic Developments in August 2011 having previously been the University’s Commercial and Business Development Director. He is principally responsible for:
- University of Derby Corporate; the University’s business to business operating division
- University of Derby Online; the University’s online distance learning business
- Derby Theatre; linking service to the community with University teaching for the entertainment industry
In addition Andrew is responsible for:
- Evolve – the University’s business incubation operation supporting new start businesses
- Buxton Commercial Services including the conferencing, food services and spa operations at our Buxton campus
- Innovation for Learning – the University’s commercial e-learning consultancy providing corporate clients with e-learning tools and platforms
- Conferences and Events
- The University Strategic Planning process
Away from the University, Andrew is a qualified hockey coach and umpire.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Southampton Solent University
Jane Longmore joined Southampton Solent University on 1 November 2007 as Pro Vice-Chancellor, Academic and was appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor in January 2010. She had previously worked at the Universities of Reading and Sussex, St Mary’s University College, London, and, most recently, the University of Greenwich. Jane studied history at the University of Oxford; gained a PGCE from the University of Durham; was awarded her Doctorate in 1983 by the University of Reading; and was made a Professor of Urban History by Southampton Solent University at the end of 2007. She has had wide-ranging teaching experience and pursues her interests in pedagogy at a national level through her involvement with the Higher Education Academy. Jane currently chairs the HEA Forum for historians working in higher education.
As an experienced QAA Institutional Reviewer and a member of the Board of the QAA’s Academic Committee on Degree-Awarding Powers, Jane combines a firm commitment to the provision of a high-quality student experience with a life-long interest in breaking down the barriers which prevent equal access to all forms of higher education. This is underpinned by a firm belief in the ability of education to open doors to professional opportunities and personal development. She led the University’s major HEFCE-funded Strategic Development Programme which aimed to develop new forms of progression, such as higher apprenticeships, to strengthen links with public- and private-sector employers and to increase flexible forms of curriculum delivery, including employer-based provision.
Jane chairs Southampton Solent University’s Access and Widening Participation Group which provides oversight and strategic guidance for the University’s work on widening participation, access and student retention, in addition to helping the University meet its commitment to social justice.
Director of Partnership Division and Head of Access and Widening Participation, University of Greenwich
Under Debi’s leadership the Centre for Work Based Learning has developed a portfolio of programmes designed to support career and workforce development. In addition, the centre undertakes longitudinal tracking studies of apprentices and vocational learners to explore their progression decisions.
Debi began her career in Higher Education as a lecturer in Marketing and Cultural Industries. She became Dean of the School of Creative Enterprise at University of the Arts and established the Creative Industries Journal of which she remains Deputy Editor. She continues to publish on arts, marketing and social inclusion in the arts and higher education.