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safeguarding standards and improving the quality of UK higher education

Our Board

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Board is responsible for developing and overseeing the strategic direction, policy development, finances, and performance of QAA. It operates according to a Code of best practice (PDF, 432​​KB)​.

Board members represent a wide range of interests, within higher education as well as other areas. Some members are appointed for their experi​ence of industry, commerce, finance or the pract​ice of a profession and we have one student member. We also have members appointed by bodies representing UK higher education institutions and by the higher education funding councils.​

Chris Banks, Chairman of the Board  

Chris Bank Board Member photograph








Chris Banks is Chair of the Board of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). He has developed a commitment to public services and their reform alongside a successful commercial career with multinational companies like Mars and Coca-Cola, and more recently as an entrepreneur.  He currently chairs the Public Chairs’ Forum, a network of Chairs of Public Bodies committed to increasing the efficiency and effectiveness with which public services are delivered.

​Chris has a deep involvement with education and employment. He was Deputy Pro-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham and remains a Governor of the University of Birmingham School, the first University Training School in the country. He was a founding member and Chair of the Learning and Skills Council and previously Chair of Directgov, Deputy Chair of the National Employment Panel, advising Government on Welfare to Work reform, and a member of the Commission for Women and Work. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2003 for services to young people and the unemployed.

Chris Banks' connections

Current connections with HE institutions (other than employment): Chair of Governors, University of Birmingham School, Relative registered as a student at University of Bath

Connections with professional and subject-based bodies: Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute (FCMI), Member of the Marketing Society

Connections with other bodies: Chair of Public Chairs' Forum, Chair of The Spice Tailor Ltd, Chair of Big Thoughts in Food and Drink Ltd.

Meet Board Members

Professor Joy Carter

Professor Joy Carter Board Member photographProfessor Carter has been Vice-Chancellor of The University of Winchester, since 2006. She is an academic with research based in Geochemistry and Health and was a former President of the international society in her field.

Professor Carter is the current Chair of Guild HE, one​ of the two formal representative groups in the Higher Education sector. She is a previous Chair of the Cathedrals Group of Universities and for many years served on the Universities UK Board.

As an ambassador for skills and vocational learning, Professor Carter chaired the University Vocational Awards Council (UVAC) for six years. Professor Carter also chairs the Supporting Professionalism in Admissions Steering Group (SPA) and is a Board member of the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) and the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). She is also a member of the Prime Minister’s Social Mobility Advisory Group. ​She is also currently the Chair of the Church of England’s Steering Group for their Foundation for Educational Leadership.

In 2013, Professor Carter was invited to become a representative of the Lord Lieutenant and is now a Deputy Lieutenant for the county of Hampshire.

Current connections with HE institutions (other than employment): Relatives registered as a student at ​Imperial College London and Downing College Cambridge

Connections with professional and subject-based bodies: Fellow of the Geological Society SEGH

Connections with other bodies: Member, Sixteen Plus Ministerial Advisory Group; Board member, UCAS; Member, UCAS Finance Committee; Representative, GuildHE Universities UK Teacher Education Advisory Group (TEAG); Honorary Fellow, Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics; Member, Times Higher Education (THE) Editorial Board; Member, UUK Students, Quality and Participation Policy Network; Chair, SPA Steering Group; Member, International Women's Forum UK (IWF UK); Chair, GuildHE; Deputy-Lieutenant, Hampshire Patron of the RE Council

Mr Robert Cashman

Robert Cashman Board Member photographRobert is a graduate of the University of Cambridge, where he served as the Students' Union Education Officer for the 2015-16 academic year. In this role he represented students on academic matters across the Collegiate University and was a member of the General Board of the Faculties, the University’s principal committee for education and research matters. He is experienced in supporting student representatives in their roles and has served as a student member of internal quality review panels.

Outside of work, Robert is an active volunteer with the Scout Association, and is also serving as a Trustee of the British Youth Council.

Robert is currently employed at Imperial College London, and is a trustee of Chelmsford and District Scout Council and West London District Scout Council.​

Current connections with HE institutions (other than employment): Former employee St John's College Cambridge

Connections with professional and subject-based bodies: Member of the Scout Association, Member of the British Youth Council.

Connections with other bodies: Project Partner, TSEP-QAA Student Engagement in Quality.​

Stephen Criddle

Stephen Criddle, QAA Board memberStephen Criddle is Principal and Chief Executive at South Devon College, a role he has held since 1 ​September 2009. Stephen was previously deputy at the College which he joined as part of a leadership team transforming the College to its current Ofsted ‘outstanding’ status and high level of community and employer engagement.

Stephen’s background and career is primarily in Further Education, following qualification as a Chartered Accountant and time in the media industry. He is passionate about the role of high quality local education in raising aspiration, ambition and skills levels.

Since 2014 Stephen has been a board member of the Heart of the South West LEP, chairing the People Leadership Group, and is an active member of a number of educational bodies and partnerships.

Current connections with HE institutions (other than employment): South Devon College is a partner college of Plymouth University.

Connections with professional and subject-based bodies: None

Connections with other bodies: Trustee and governor, Devon Studio School; Trustee, South Devon UTC Trust; Member, Riviera Primary Academy Trust; Member of HEFCE ELMAG Strategic Advisory Group; Member, Association of Colleges​​

Amatey Doku

Amatey Doku is the current Vice President for Higher Education at the National Union of Students. In that role he is also on the Board of Trustees for NUS and was appointed as Deputy President by the NUS President, Shakira Martin.

Before taking up his position within NUS, Amatey had served for a year as the President of Cambridge University Students’ Union where he was a Trustee of the University of Cambridge, by virtue of his position, as well as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Students’ Union.

Amatey graduated in 2016 with a BA in Human, Social and Political Sciences, specialising in Sociology. His dissertation, titled “Is Oxbridge Institutionally Racist?” focused on institutional racism across the HE sector using Cambridge as a major case study

He studied at Jesus College Cambridge and was heavily involved in student representation, elected first as the independent College Council student representative, before being elected as President of the Jesus College Students’ Union, representing 800 students at the College.

As Vice President for Higher Education, Amatey will be leading work on tackling institutional racism across the HE Sector, taking a lead on the NUS’s Brexit strategy and working closely to embed student representation alongside the implementation of the HE reforms.

Current connections with HE institutions (other than employment): None

Connections with professional and subject-based bodies: None

Connections with other bodies: None​​

Linda Duncan

Linda Duncan Board Member photographLinda Duncan is an established Board Member and Advisor and an accomplished Finance and Audit professional working in the UK, Europe and the US. Throughout her successful career at PwC, KPMG and more recently as an international entrepreneur, she is a recognised expert in Corporate Governance and Risk Management working with large complex organisations across public and private sectors.

Linda went to school in the north of Scotland and graduated in Accountancy from Napier University, Edinburgh. She wen​t on to qualify with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy, and led audit and value for money exercises in central and local government for over 25 years.

She is recent past Chair of the Joint Audit Panel for the Metropolitan Police Service and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime in London and previously served as a co-opted Member on the Corporate Governance Committee of the Metropolitan Police Authority.

Current connections with HE institutions (other than employment): None

Connections with professional and subject-based bodies: Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and​ Accountancy

Connections with other bodies: None​

Professor John Grattan

Photograph of Professor John GrattanProfessor John Grattan is Acting Vice Chancellor at Aberystwyth University and has extensive experience of quality assurance and enhancement, both as an institutional reviewer and in management and leadership in higher education in a wide variety of roles. His commitment to quality assurance and enhancement lies in his own experience; he did not register for his first degree until he was 26 years old, and he is clear that going to university was a life-changing experience.

Professor Grattan does not have an entirely conventional academic background. On leaving school he worked for the John Lewis Partnership for seven years, followed by an overland journey on his bicycle to the Karakorum Himalayas and a year as a motorcycle courier.

Current connections with HE institutions (other than employment): None

Connections with professional and subject-based bodies: Fellow, Higher Education Academy; Fellow, Royal Geographical Society

Connections with other bodies: Member, Universities Wales, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) Advisory Group; Chair, Universities Wales Pro Vice-Chancellors Learning and Teaching Group; Chair, CADARN (HEFCW E-Learning Initiative); Member, Global Wales

Professor Maria Hinfelaar

Photograph of Maria Hinfelaar

Professor Maria Hinfelaar is Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive at Wrexham Glyndŵr University, a role she has held since 1 April 2016. Prior to this position, Maria served as President and Chief Accounting Officer of the Limerick Institute of Technology, where she oversaw significant development of the Institute, increasing enrolments to nearly 7,000 students and adding campus locations in Limerick and Tipperary.

During her career she has published various articles in journals on the subject of international retailing, in addition to a book entitled Key Success Factors in International Retailing, compiling the findings of her PhD at Maastricht University, the Netherlands.
Her recent international research publications and conference presentations cover Irish higher education policy and collaborations, alliances and mergers in the sector.

Maria is a graduate of the UK Leadership Foundation Top Management Programme and holds UK Higher Education Academy Fellowship status. She is a Dutch national who has spent a significant number of years living and working in English-speaking countries.

Current connections with HE institutions (other than employment): None

Connections with professional and subject-based bodies: Higher Education Academy

Connections with other bodies: Directorship at Glyndŵr Innovations, and member of the North Wales Science Board

Janet Hull OBE

Photograph of Janet Hull OBEMs Janet Hull is Director of Marketing Strategy at the Trade Association and Professional Institute for Advertising and Marketing agencies, the IPA. She is responsible for strategy, external marketing and strategic partnerships, and directs programmes relating to the Future of Talent, Marketing Effectiveness and Export and Inward Investment.

During her 30-year career, Janet has held senior management positions in top-10 advertising, corporate communications and brand identity consultancies, including Deputy Managing Director and Head of Client Service, Young and Rubicam; Managing Director, Young and Rubicam Capital Image; Director of Corporate Marketing and Creative Director, Burson-Marsteller; Managing Partner, Lewis Moberly.

Janet has an MA in Modern Languages (Spanish and French) from St Anne's College, University of Oxford, a postgraduate diploma in European Marketing with Languages from Napier University and a distinction in the Institute of Direct Marketing Diploma.

Current connections with HE institutions (other than employment): IPA AdMission Internship programme for STEM and BAME; IPA/Metro Creative Pioneers Apprenticeship programme

Connections with professional and subject-based bodies: Fellow, Royal Society of Arts; Member, Women in Advertising and Communications London

Connections with other bodies: Chair, UK Creative Industries Council Skills (CIC) Marketing and Communications Sub-Group; Member, The Marketing Society; Member, National Apprenticeships Ambassador Network

Oliver Johnson

Oliver Johnson Board Member photographOliver Johnson has wide experience in different sectors and types of organisation, including more than ten years as a CEO and as a Non-Executive Director. He is on the board of Reliance Insurance, a school governor and until recently CEO of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. He mentors and occasionally lectures at the UEA’s business school, and elsewhere.

Oliver grew up in Norwich and graduated in Economics from Cambridge University. He then worked in marketing and commercial positions for Reckitts, BAT, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz in the UK and abroad. With others he bought Denby, a tableware company, before becoming CEO of The Wine Society. His non-executive roles have included the NHS, a DEFRA company and the University of Bedfordshire.

Current connections with HE institutions (other than employment): Relative taking PhD at ​Edinburgh University. Relative a Faculty Finance Manager at the UEA.​

Connections with professional and subject-based bodies: None

Connections with other bodies: None

Professor Craig Mahoney

Craig Mahoney Board Member photographProfessor Craig Mahoney is Principal and Vice-Chancellor at the University of the West of Scotland. His previous roles have included CEO at the Higher Education Academy and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Northumbria University. A dynamic public advocate of higher education, Craig has a keen interest in differentiated student-centred learning, teaching excellence, internationalisation and research informed teaching. He is an ardent supporter of the use of e-learning; technology to support teaching and open educational resources.

A chartered psychologist and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, Craig has been an internationally recognised sport psychologist for more than 25 years. Craig is a Board member for Sportscotland, the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, the Quality Assurance Agency, Glasgow City of Science and is a Trustee on the Carnegie Trust for Universities of Scotland. He holds a Convenorship with Universities Scotland for Learning and Teaching.

Current connections with HE institutions (other than employment):Vice Chancellor at University of the West of Scotland

Connections with professional and subject-based bodies: Trustee on Carnegie Trust for Universities of Scotland

Connections with other bodies: None

Professor Denise McAlister

Photograph of Professor Denise McAlisterProfessor Denise McAlister assumed responsibilities as Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Learning, Teaching and Student Experience) at the Ulster University in September 2002.

Previous to this she held positions as Head of School, School of Public Policy, Economics and Law, and Dean of the Faculties of Business and Management and Social Sciences and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Quality Assurance and Enhancement).

Previously educated at the Queen’s University of Belfast, the University of Salford and the University of Tromso, Norway, Professor McAlister was appointed to a personal Chair in Health Policy in 1998. Her research interests and expertise include economic appraisal and evaluation, the economics of contracting and the role of the user in health policy evaluation and she is currently on the editorial board of the Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education.

She has held a number of public appointments including membership of the Ministerial Advisory Board, Water Service (NI), and the National Board for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting, interim chair Economic Research Institute (NI), membership of the Governing Body of BIFHE and a Board Member of the Northern Ireland Public Sector Enterprises Ltd (NI-CO), Department of Trade and Investment.

She is a member of the Expert Group appointed by the Education Minister to provide policy advice on the reform of GCSEs and A Levels. She has undertaken consultancy projects in performance measurement and economic appraisal for a wide range of government departments and public sector organisations, and provided policy relevant advice to Ministers, CEOs and civil servants.

Professor McAlister was awarded a CBE in the 2010 New Year’s Honours for service’s to higher education in Northern Ireland.

Current connections with HE institutions (other than employment): Joint venture agreement with QAHE

Connections with professional and subject-based bodies: None

Connections with other bodies:  Member, Expert Group, Review of GSCE and 'A' Level Qualifications, Curriculum Examinations and Assessment (CEA), Department of Education (NI)

Professor Tim McIntyre-Bhatty

Photograph of Professor Tim McIntyre-BhattyDuring his career, Professor McIntyre-Bhatty has contributed to the leadership and development of a range of knowledge transfer, consultancy and income generation projects. He has also been closely engaged in research concerning the match of graduate skills and employer needs in regional labour markets and is committed to a multi-disciplinary approach to higher education. His track record extends to successful collaborations at both national and international levels, with partners across Europe and in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

At Newport, Professor McIntyre-Bhatty played a leading role in the creation of the new £41m flagship City Campus and led professional engagement and student experience projects both within the school and across the university.

Current connections with HE institutions (other than employment): Anglo-European College of Chiropractic.​

Connections with professional and subject-based bodies: Fellow, Strategic Planning Society, Member, British Computer Society

Connections with other bodies: None

Jon Prichard

Photograph of Jon PrichardMr Jon Prichard was commissioned into the Royal Engineers in December 1983 and served in various appointments in Germany and the UK during the subsequent 18 years. This included a spell as a postgraduate lecturer at the Construction Engineer School in Chatham, where he lectured on highways and airfield construction and project management. He qualified as a Chartered Civil Engineer in 1997.

Jon joined the staff of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 2001, serving initially as Membership Director and then as Technical Director. In August 2007, he joined High-Point Rendel as Resources Director, with responsibility for human resources, IT, quality assurance and office administration for its entire worldwide staff. He provided consultancy advice to global civil engineering contractors on learning and development, and also employment advice to offices in the UK and Middle East.

In August 2010, Jon took over as Chief Executive Officer of the Engineering Council.

Current connections with HE institutions (other than employment): Relatives studying at Exeter University and the University of South Wales.

Connections with professional and subject-based bodies: Registrant (Chartered Engineer), the Engineering Council; Registrant (Chartered Environmentalist), the Society for the Environment; Fellow, the Institution of Civil Engineers; Fellow, the Institution of Royal Engineers, Honorary Fellow, the Society for the Environment

Connections with other bodies: Board member, the European Federation of National Engineering Associations (FEANI), Colonel (TA), the Engineer and Logistic Staff Corps Royal Engineers (Volunteers); Trustee, Engineering Council Pension Scheme​

Professor Andrew Wathey

Professor Andrew Wathey Board Member photographProfessor Andrew Wathey has been Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Northumbria University since September 2008. He is the University's fourth Vice-Chancellor.

Born in Plymouth, he graduated in Music from the University of Oxford in 1979, where he took his doctorate in Music in 1987.

Professor Wathey's published research has focused on the social and cultural history of music in late-medieval England and France, in particular court patronage, music in medieval towns, and the 14th-century motet. He has also been heavily involved in the digital study of medieval music manuscripts, and was a co-founder of the Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music (DIAMM). He is a member of the British Academy's Early English Church Music Committee, which he chaired 2002-2007, and of the RISM (UK) Trust. He was also Chair of the Music subject panel in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. 

Current connections with HE institutions (other than employment): None

Connections with professional and subject-based bodies: Fellow, Industry and Parliamentary Trust; Fellow, Royal Historical Society; Fellow, Royal Society for the Arts; Fellow, Society of Antiquaries; Member, Royal Music Association

Connections with other bodies: Director, Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music; Chair, Student Loans Company Stakeholder Forum; Member, CBI Regional Council; Governor, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Board Member, Newcastle Gateshead Initiative; Deputy Chair, Leadership Foundation for Higher Education; Board Member, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art​​

Professor Philip Winn

Photograph of Professor Philip WinnProfessor Philip Winn (BA, PhD - Hull) is Research Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Strathclyde. He has been Head of the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences and a Deputy Principal at Strathclyde, and was previously Dean of Science then Vice Principal (Learning and Teaching) at St Andrews. He has worked with QAA Scotland for several years, chairing Enhancement Theme committees. In parallel with his work in learning and teaching, he and his research team explore brain–behaviour relationships with particular interest in deep brain structures. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and of the Association for Psychological Science (USA).

Current connections with HE institutions (other than employment): Honorary Professor of Psychology, University of St Andrews

Connections with professional and subject-based bodies: Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science (USA), Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, Member of the British Neuroscience Association, Member of the Experimental Psychology Society, Pharmaceutical Scientist Member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Member of the Society for Neuroscience (USA)​

Connections with other bodies: ​International A​dvisor, National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Ireland, Chair of Medical Research Scotland​