As Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience), Helen is responsible to the Vice-Chancellor for the strategic leadership of an outstanding offer for all students of the University, across all of sites and modes of delivery. Helen's role encompasses all aspects of student support and wellbeing; responding to student and graduate needs; encouraging innovation in teaching and learning; improving student employability and enterprise; managing student behaviour; and bringing higher education opportunities to a diverse community of students. Helen oversees professional services including Student Services, the Chaplaincy, and the Directorate of Access, Skills and Apprenticeships (DASA). Helen works closely with both academic and professional colleagues to ensure that they deliver against our institutional Citizen Student strategy and focus on all aspects of the student journey, from pre-application through to graduation and beyond.
A key part of Helen's role is to work closely with the Students’ Union (CSU) and with student representatives across the University, to ensure that student voices inform the future development of student experience. This includes chairing the Student Voice and Experience Committee which reports into Senate.
Helen has worked in higher education for her whole career and has been able to build broad and rich sector experience through a diverse range of roles and institutions. Her passion is working with and supporting students, with particular interests in health and wellbeing; student access, participation and inclusion; and partnership working with students and Students’ Unions. While at Keele Helen led a regional project with civic, education and NHS partners to develop a new, whole-community approach to supporting student mental health, through an OFS-funded ‘Start to Success’ Challenge Competition project.
At national level Helen is a member of the Executive Board of the Association of Heads of University Administration (AHUA) (for HE professional service leaders) and their blog editor-in-chief. Helen is a former Board member of the Higher Education Strategic Planners Association (HESPA) and an active member of other networks, including Advance HE and AMOSSHE (Student Services leaders). Helen is also committed to supporting the next generation of leaders within higher education, including as a mentor and regular contributor to the Advance HE Aurora women’s leadership programme and the AHUA Secretaries programme.