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Professor Deborah Johnston

Job Title:
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education), London South Bank University

Prof Deborah Johnston is an economist and in April 2020 began as PVC Education at London South Bank University. She was previously the Pro-Director (Learning and Teaching), SOAS University of London. From a mixed Irish-Pakistani background, she was the first person in her family to go university. She completed an undergraduate degree and an Mphil at Queens’ College Cambridge.

Her background, and the culturally-mixed environment of West London where she grew up, inspired her to work in economic development, investigating the factors that lead to inequality in life outcomes. She completed a PhD in Economics in 1997 (from SOAS University of London) and has split her career across academia, charities and government. Deborah obtained Principal Fellowship of HEA in 2019. 

She is a person who stammers and has worked closely with both the British Stammering Association and the Stammering Through University Consultancy to ensure greater awareness of the needs of students who stammer. Her work at SOAS also involved a close partnership with the Students Union to eliminate the Racial Awarding Gap and she was the institutional champion for SOAS’s work supporting access and success for all students.

She looks forward to supporting the DSC’s agenda, helping to create an environment where all students are supported to flourish.  The DSC provides the opportunity to look at the breadth of advice and challenge, ensuring that we think across the range of students that identify as disabled and consider how to support success for both undergraduate and postgraduate study.