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Professor Ella Ritchie OBE

Ella Ritchie
Job Title:
Emerita Professor of Politics and former Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Newcastle University and Advance HE Associate

Ella is an experienced Higher Education academic, senior manager, consultant and advisor in the areas of university governance, values and structures, widening access to higher education (where she established a national network, Realising Opportunities), academic structure, the student experience and university partnerships. She has worked extensively across the UK HE sector and has advised universities in the European Higher Education Area (on structures, quality issues and values) and Asia.

Her wide and varied experience and a long track record of partnership working with HEIs, sector agencies and civic organisations gives her a political sensitivity, an appreciation of cultural and organisational differences and the ability as an advisor to form productive working relationships. Her social science background and her international work with networks, partnerships and international campuses means that she is able to understand differences, get people on board and come up with meaningful and workable solutions to change. Her work has informed and shaped strategy that has resulted in meaningful improvements across a range of areas from civic engagement and widening access to culture, values and governance. 

Ella is currently an Independent Higher Education Consultant, Deputy Chair of Lancaster University Council, Chair of Realising Opportunities, Member of the European Higher Education Policy Group and Ambassador for the Magna Charta Observatory. Her previous roles have included Chief External Examiner for Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University and Chair (on behalf of UUK and DfE) of the EHEA advisory group on International Collaboration. In 2012, Ella was awarded an OBE for services to higher education in the New Year’s Honours list.