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QAA announces Professor Simon Gaskell as its new Chair

Date: March 12 - 2019

We are pleased to announce that Professor Simon Gaskell has been appointed as Chair of our Board of Directors.

Professor Gaskell brings a wealth of experience from a career in academic research and senior university leadership. He retired as President and Principal of Queen Mary University of London in 2017.

Before his retirement, he served on several national committees and groups, including two terms as both Treasurer of Universities UK and as a member of its Executive Committee; chairing the Board of the Higher Education Statistics Agency from 2013-17; and interacting with the Westminster Government on a range of issues during the passage of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. He also chaired Universities UK's regulation task and finish group, which in 2015 published an influential set of recommendations for reform.

The decision to appoint was confirmed at a meeting of the QAA Board on 13 March 2019. His term of office will begin on 14 March.

Professor Gaskell said: 'It is a privilege to be appointed to chair the Board of Directors of QAA. In challenging times for the UK higher education sector it is widely recognised that the maintenance and enhancement of educational quality are of paramount importance. I look forward to working with the Board, and with the Chief Executive and his team as we make our contribution to achieving these critical objectives'.

QAA's Chief Executive, Douglas Blackstock, said: 'We are delighted to welcome Professor Simon Gaskell to QAA. He joins at a critical time for QAA, as we continue to deliver trusted quality reviews and assessments across the UK, and look to develop how we work with our university and college membership.

'His expertise will help guide the continuing work of QAA and ensure that, as we implement change, we stay true to our mission to improve quality and protect the standards of UK higher education, however and wherever it is delivered'.

Professor Gaskell will succeed Christopher Banks CBE, who has stood down as Chair after four years in the role in order to focus on commitments outside of QAA. Mr Blackstock said: 'Chris's contributions in his time as Chair of QAA's Board have been invaluable. He has steered the organisation through a period of significant change, and I am grateful to him for the advice and support he has offered me and the team at QAA. I wish him well for the future'.