THE Live speakers

Robert Allison // Loughborough University
Robert Allison
Vice-chancellor and president
Loughborough University

Professor Allison joined Loughborough in 2012. Prior to that, he was deputy vice-chancellor and pro vice-chancellor for research at the University of Sussex. Other former posts include dean of social sciences of health and head of the department of geography at Durham University. He has been involved with organisations including the Natural Environment Research Council and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and he sits on the board of Midlands Innovation, a partnership of universities in the heart of England. He has been a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society since 1990.

Jason Arday // Durham University
Jason Arday
Assistant professor in sociology
Durham University

In parallel with his role as assistant professor in sociology in the department of sociology at Durham, Dr Arday is a visiting research fellow in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at The Ohio State University, and a trustee of the Runnymede Trust, a race equality thinktank. He is also an elected steering committee member of the parliamentary group Comprehensive Future, and a school governor at Shaftesbury Park Primary School in London.

Phil Baty // THE
Phil Baty
Chief knowledge officer

Phil Baty is a leading international authority on university performance and strategy, with more than 22 years of experience in global higher education, including a decade as editor of the prestigious Times Higher Education World University Rankings and its derivative analyses. He is an award-winning journalist, a sought-after speaker and commentator, and the creator of the THE World Academic Summits. He can be found on Twitter at @phil_baty and @THEworldunirank 

Simon Beames // Moray House School of Education and Sport
Simon Beames
Senior lecturer, outdoor and environmental education unit
Moray House School of Education and Sport

Simon Beames is a senior lecturer in the outdoor and environmental education unit at the Moray House School of Education and Sport. For the past 25 years, he has taught outdoors in North America, Asia and Europe. He is former co-editor of the Journal of Experiential Education and a former fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He is also editor or co-author of five books: Understanding Educational Expeditions, Learning Outside the Classroom, Outdoor Adventure and Social Theory, Adventurous Learning and Adventure and Society.

Stephen Cave // University of Cambridge
Stephen Cave
Executive director, Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence
University of Cambridge

Dr Cave is executive director of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI), senior research associate in the Faculty of Philosophy, and fellow of Hughes Hall, all at the University of Cambridge. At CFI, he oversees a team of more than 20 researchers across five programmes on the nature and impact of artificial intelligence. His research focuses on the portrayal and ethics of intelligent machines. Previously, he earned a PhD in philosophy from Cambridge, then joined the British Foreign Office, as a policy adviser and diplomat.

Paul Chatterton // University of Leeds
Paul Chatterton
Professor of geography
University of Leeds

Paul Chatterton is a writer, researcher and campaigner. He is professor of urban futures in the School of Geography and director of the university’s Sustainable Cities Group, which launched the groundbreaking MSc in sustainable cities. He co-founded and lives in the award-winning low-impact housing co-operative Lilac, and helped to set up Leeds Community Homes to promote community-led housing. He co-founded the public charity Antipode, dedicated to research and scholarship in radical geography, and is an associate editor of the journal City.
Sarah Churchwell // School of Advanced Study, University of London
Sarah Churchwell
Chair of public understanding of the humanities
School of Advanced Study, University of London

Sarah Churchwell is professor of American literature and chair of public understanding of the humanities. Her literary journalism has appeared widely in newspapers including The New York Review of Books, New Statesman and Financial Times and she comments regularly on arts, culture and politics for television and radio, where appearances include Question Time, Newsnight and The Review Show. She has judged many literary prizes, including the 2017 Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction, and she was a co-winner of the 2015 Eccles British Library Writer’s Award.

Paul Clark // Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)
Paul Clark
Chief Executive
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)

Sara Custer // <i>THE<i>
Sara Custer
Digital editor

Sara Custer is digital editor at THE . She has covered global higher education as a journalist for more than five years. Before joining THE in 2017, she was editor of international education website and magazine, The PIE News.

Nicola Dandridge CBE // Office for Students
Nicola Dandridge CBE
Chief executive
Office for Students

Nicola Dandridge became the first chief executive of the Office for Students in September 2017. The OfS was fully established in April 2018 and is the public body that regulates the higher education sector on behalf of students. Prior to joining OfS, Nicola was chief executive of Universities UK, the representative organisation for the UK’s universities. Before that she was chief executive of the Equality Challenge Unit, the higher education agency that promotes equality and diversity for staff and students. She started her career as a lawyer working in private practice.

Emma Deraze // <i>THE<i>
Emma Deraze
Senior data scientist

Emma Deraze is a data scientist at Times Higher Education where she works on the teaching rankings, including the THE /WSJ US College Rankings and the Japan University Rankings. She is involved in the analysis and processing of the data used in those rankings as well as development of the various methodologies.

Lynn Dobbs // London Metropolitan University
Lynn Dobbs
Vice-chancellor and chief executive
London Metropolitan University

In October 2018, Professor Dobbs joined London Metropolitan University from the University of Roehampton where she served for six years as deputy vice-chancellor and provost. At Roehampton, she led on learning and teaching, student experience, research, partnership development, and home and overseas student recruitment. Prior to that, she was dean of arts and social sciences at Northumbria University. Her practice and research focuses on deprived communities across the UK and in Europe, often in partnership with external agencies, tackling social exclusion across all aspects of deprivation.

Kevin Fong // University College Hospital
Kevin Fong
Anaesthetist, helicopter emergency medical service doctor and Professor of Public Engagement for Science Technology & Medicine
University College Hospital

Kevin Fong is a free-range academic. He regularly escapes from higher education but always returns in the end. He is a doctor of medicine, specialising in anaesthesia and critical care and flies with Kent, Surrey, Sussex Helicopter Emergency Medical Service.

John Gill // <i>THE<i>
John Gill

John Gill has been editor of THE since March, 2012. He has previously held roles as news editor, deputy news editor and reporter with the magazine. John has been closely involved in the development of THE’s World University Rankings portfolio over the last eight years, and was called to give evidence to the recent parliamentary inquiry into teaching metrics.

Martin Hamilton // Jisc
Martin Hamilton

Martin Hamilton leads the future and emerging technologies team for Jisc, operator of the Janet network. His role is to generate and channel new ideas and build partnerships to bring them to fruition. He is particularly interested in the societal implications of ubiquitous robotics and artificial intelligence, and humanity’s emergence as a true interplanetary species. Before joining Jisc in 2014, he was centre manager at HPC Midlands, a joint initiative to deliver cloud-based supercomputing on demand for research and industry.

Nick Hillman // Higher Education Policy Institute
Nick Hillman
Higher Education Policy Institute

Prior to joining HEPI in 2014, Nick Hillman worked for David Willetts MP (now Lord Willetts), then minister for universities and science, from 2007 to 2013, as chief of staff and then special adviser in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. In the 2010 general election, he was runner-up in the Cambridge constituency.

Christina Hughes // Coventry University
Christina Hughes
Visiting professor
Coventry University

Glenn Hurst // University of York
Glenn Hurst
Assistant professor
University of York

In the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence at York, Dr Hurst’s research focuses on green chemistry education together with using social media and game-based learning strategies to transform the student learning experience. He is chair of the Royal Society of Chemistry Higher Education Group. He was shortlisted by THE in the Most Innovative Teacher of the Year category in 2018, was highly commended in the Educate North Awards 2019 Teaching Excellence category, and has been recognised by Jisc as one of the top 10 social media superstars in higher education.

Diana Laurillard // UCL Institute of Education
Diana Laurillard
Professor of learning with digital technologies, London Knowledge Lab
UCL Institute of Education

Professor Laurillard founded the London Knowledge Lab at the UCL Institute of Education in 2005. Her research includes large-scale online communities of teacher-designers, and the use of specialised digital course design tools to enable teachers to create and share new pedagogies for using learning technology. She is currently running two Moocs on teacher development in digital course design. Previous roles include head of the government’s E-learning Strategy Unit and pro vice-chancellor for learning technologies and teaching at The Open University.

Rose Luckin // UCL Institute of Education
Rose Luckin
Professor of learner-centred design
UCL Institute of Education

Rosemary Luckin is professor of learner-centred design at the UCL Institute of Education. Her research involves blending theories from the learning sciences with techniques from artificial intelligence. She is the author of Machine Learning and Human Intelligence: the future of education in the 21st century. She is also a special adviser to the House of Commons Education Select Committee, co-founder of the Institute for Ethical AI in Education and one of the Seldon List 2017’s 20 most influential people in education.

Andrew McRae
Professor of renaissance studies
University of Exeter

Andrew McRae is professor of Renaissance studies in the department of English and dean of postgraduate research and Exeter Doctoral College. He is a principal fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a strategic reviewer for the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Originally from Australia, he taught and held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Sydney before moving to the University of Leeds. He joined Exeter in 2000 and was promoted to a personal chair in 2004. Management roles have included associate dean of education in Exeter’s College of Humanities.

Sir Anton Muscatelli // University of Glasgow
Sir Anton Muscatelli
Principal and vice-chancellor
University of Glasgow

Professor Muscatelli, an expert in economics, has been in his current appointment since 2009 and fulfilled the same role at Heriot-Watt University from 2007-09. He chairs the Scottish Government’s Standing Council on Europe, is a member of the Scottish Government’s Council of Economic Advisers and a board member of the Scottish Funding Council. He chairs the Russell Group of British research universities and is a director of the Universities Superannuation Scheme.

Nick Petford // University of Northampton
Nick Petford
Vice-chancellor and chief executive officer
University of Northampton

Professor Petford is a former Royal Society university research fellow and fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge. Previously, he was pro vice-chancellor at Bournemouth University and, before that, professor of earth and planetary sciences at Kingston University. A geologist by training, with a DSc from the University of Liverpool, he has worked in industry and on academic and commercial research projects throughout the world. He has held visiting research appointments at the universities of Michigan and Vermont and Nasa, and is currently visiting professor at Macquarie University, Australia. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School.

David Price // UCL
David Price

Bill Rammell // University of Bedfordshire, and chair, MillionPlus
Bill Rammell
University of Bedfordshire, and chair, MillionPlus

Before taking on his current role in 2012, Bill Rammell was deputy vice-chancellor at the University of Plymouth with responsibility for the student experience and internationalisation. He was elected chair of MillionPlus in July 2019. He was the MP for Harlow from 1997 to 2010, during which time he served as minister of state for further and higher education in the Labour government, minister of state for the Foreign Office and minister of state for the Armed Forces. He champions the university’s role in transforming lives, promoting employability and world-leading research.

Nicola Rollock // Goldsmiths, University of London
Nicola Rollock
Reader in equity & education
Goldsmiths, University of London

Dr Rollock is an award-winning academic, consultant and public speaker specialising in racial justice in education and the workplace. She is a member of the Wellcome Trust’s Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group and a board member for the journal Sociology. Previously deputy director of the Centre for Research in Race and Education at the University of Birmingham, she is currently a reader (associate professor) in equity and education at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Duncan Ross // <i>THE<i>
Duncan Ross
Director of data and analytics

Duncan Ross has been a data miner since the mid-1990s. As director of data and analytics at THE, he oversees a team that generates university rankings and related data products. Prior to this, he led Teradata’s data science team in Europe and Asia, where he was responsible for developing analytical solutions across a number of industries, including warranty and root-cause analysis in manufacturing and social network analysis in telecommunications. In his spare time, Ross has been a city councillor, chair of a national charity, founder of an award-winning farmers’ market and one of the founding directors of the Institute of Data Miners. He is also a co-founder of DataKind UK, and regularly speaks on data science and social good.

Anna Vignoles // University of Cambridge
Anna Vignoles
Professor of education
University of Cambridge

Alongside her role in the Faculty of Education, Anna Vignoles is a fellow of the British Academy and a trustee of the Nuffield Foundation. She has extensive experience of using large-scale administrative data to study factors relating to pupil achievement and students’ outcomes from education. She has published widely on widening participation into higher education and on the socio-economic gap in pupil achievement. She has advised numerous government departments, and provided advice to Dame Shirley Pearce’s review of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework.

Jess Wade // Imperial College London
Jess Wade
Research associate
Imperial College London

Jessica Wade is a postdoctoral physicist at Imperial College London. She works on new materials for light emitting diodes and is involved in projects to improve diversity in science. She won the Institute of Physics (IOP) Early Career Physics Communicator Award (2015), the IOP Jocelyn Bell Burnell Medal and Prize (2016), the Imperial College Julia Higgins Medal and Award (2017) and the IOP Daphne Jackson Medal and Prize (2018), as well as being named by Nature as one of the 10 people who mattered in 2018.

Lord David Willetts // Resolution Foundation
Lord David Willetts
Executive Chair
Resolution Foundation

The Rt Hon Lord David Willetts served as Conservative MP for Havant from 1992 to 2015, and as Minister of State for Universities and Science from May 2010 to July 2014. He was appointed a life peer in 2015. Lord Willetts is a visiting Professor at King’s College London, Governor of the Ditchley Foundation, Chair of the British Science Association and a member of the Council of the Institute for Fiscal Studies. He was appointed executive chair of the thinktank in June 2015, and his most recent book, A University Education, was published in November 2017.

Alison Wolf CBE // King’s College London
Alison Wolf CBE
Sir Roy Griffiths professor of public sector management
King’s College London

Professor the Baroness Wolf of Dulwich CBE sits in the UK House of Lords as a cross-bench peer. At King’s, she directs the MSc in executive management within the Business School and was founding chair of governors of King’s College London Mathematics School, where she remains a governor. In 2011, she completed the Wolf Review of Vocational Education for the government, which implemented her recommendations in full. She was a member of the expert panel for the government’s Review of Post-18 Education and Funding (the Augar Review) which reported in May 2019.