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Peer Review Quality Committee

The Peer Review Quality Committee’s purpose is to provide quality assurance mechanism to all Advance HE’s peer-review services.

The committee provides strategic oversight of the quality assurance and enhancement of all Advance HE’s peer-review services ensuring they are proportionate, reliable and meet the needs of the member community.

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Professor Helen Higson (Chair of Committee and Board member)

Helen Higson completed her first degree in English Literature from Newnham College, followed by an MA with the Open University and a PhD at Birkbeck College.  Helen is Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Aston University where she is Chief Academic Officer and leads on learning and teaching and employability.  

She is Professor of Higher Education Learning and Management and National Teaching Fellow (NTF). Her current research includes intercultural training for staff and students and research into employability competencies and diversity.  Helen was awarded the OBE in 2011 for services to Higher Education and in 2017 was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant for the West Midlands.

Elaine Buckley (Co-optee)

Elaine has worked in higher education for over 25 years, she has undertaken several roles including Assistant Dean Academic & Portfolio Development and Director of Academic Development & Diversity. Throughout her academic career she has been passionate about professional standards in academic practice and served on the Academic Board, Academic Assurance Committee and Board of Governors at Sheffield Hallam University. She also achieved Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2014.

She continued to build her experience and expertise in professional standards when, in 2014, she was appointment by the Privy Council as a member of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), one of the largest UK health and social care regulators in the UK, in 2015 she took over as Chair of the HCPC.

In parallel, Elaine has had a non- executive career spanning 25 years, beginning as a non-executive director at Chesterfield and North Derbyshire NHS Trust and then moving to Sheffield South West Primary Care Trust, followed by a governor role at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Foundation Trust.

In 2019 she became a director to the board on the British Dietetic Association, where she currently chairs the Board of the Sports and Exercise Nutrition Register. 

Elaine retired from her substantive academic role in January 2020 and now has a portfolio career working in the areas of academic development, professional standards and corporate governance.

Nona McDuff (Co-optee)

Nona McDuff is the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Students and Teaching at Solent University, Southampton. She was awarded an OBE for her services to higher education and is a National Teaching Fellow and a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Throughout her career in both further and higher education, Nona has been driven by her commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion in her teaching, leadership and research. She is passionate about widening access and is dedicated to ensuring inclusion in higher education is recognised as an essential measure of quality in teaching and professional services. Nona is currently a member of the British Council’s Education Advisory Group and the Widening Participation Adviser to the National Saturday Club. She has been a panel member of the Teaching Excellence Framework, a member of the UUK’s Racial Harassment Advisory Group and a member of the ministerial Social Mobility Advisory Group which has prioritised the challenges and barriers students face in Higher Education. As the chair of the Higher Education Race Action Group (HERAG) with over 400 members. Nona was invited to address the All Party Parliamentary Group on Higher Education on diversity in academia where she challenged the ministers to take active steps to promote social justice through education. Nona’s work on the BAME awarding gap and the Inclusive Curriculum Framework gained sector recognition, was awarded the Guardian Teaching Excellence prize (2017) and has been disseminated across five other institutions as part of the Office for Students’ catalyst programme on student success. Nona’s research interests include inclusive curricula and differential attainment and she is regularly invited to speak on disability and widening participation nationally and internationally.

Professor Helen O'Sullivan

Helen O’Sullivan is Provost and Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Chester. Before joining the University of Chester, Helen was Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education) at Keele University and Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor for Online Learning at University of Liverpool.

Helen graduated in molecular biology at the University of Liverpool before taking a PhD in bacterial genetics. After a post-doctoral fellowship at Liverpool, she moved to a lectureship in Biological Sciences at Liverpool Hope University. 

Helen moved back to University of Liverpool in 2006 to lead the Hefce funded Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. The work of the Centre helped to shape how medical professionalism is taught across medical schools in the UK and internationally. Her research focuses on the role of emotional intelligence in developing professionalism and leadership in doctors. Her current external activities include membership of UUK International’s TNE Advisory Group and of the Jisc Horizon Group.

Jon Scott (Co-optee)

Jon is a higher education consultant with extensive experience in academic governance, quality assurance and developing practice in learning and teaching. He has ongoing expertise in undertaking institutional reviews having served as a reviewer for the QAA for over 20 years as well as being an Accreditor for AdvanceHE and for the Royal Society of Biology. He was also a member of the main TEF Panel. As a previous Pro Vice-Chancellor and, prior to that, an Academic Registrar, he has an in-depth appreciation of educational management and governance which has been broadened through his experience of serving on boards of governors and as an academic adviser in both higher and secondary educational institutions.

Jon is an emeritus Professor of Bioscience Education and has led on a range of educational projects, including assessment and feedback, academic integrity, belonging and retention and the student experience. In 2011 he was recognised as UK Bioscience Teacher of the Year, as a National Teaching Fellow in 2012 and as a Principal Fellow of AdvanceHE in 2013.