Skip to main content

Leadership Summit 2019: Highlights

With Brexit, Auger, gender pay, gender and race equality in both student and staff populations and attainment challenges, just to list a few leadership has never needed to be more daring and brave in outlining a clear direction and vision for an institution.


A combination of marketization, competition, student expectations, funding and other regulatory changes have created intense pressures within the HE system itself which look poised to challenge institutional configurations and even possibly in some cases sustainability. The character of leadership itself and the relationship with 'followers', however they are construed, has also evolved significantly as the age of authority has given way to the age of trust and engagement. Whether quiet or loud, forceful or kind, close or remote, brave leadership will need to emerge to create a new kind of engagement in this ever more challenging 'here and now'. Brave leadership that creates fearless organisations will put the HE sector in the best position possible to face these challenges head on. We can no longer wait for change, we have to bravely create it!

The Leadership Summit has become a key event for leaders in Higher Education and this year as we prepare for further turbulent times within the sector the focus of the summit is Brave Leadership – Daring to Lead.

The draft programme is available to download below and will comprise of our keynote speaker, following by an interactive panel session and in the afternoon parallel sessions exploring different approaches to what might constitute brave leadership.

Date: 5 June 2019

Venue:  thestudio, Birmingham, UK

Who: Senior Leaders

Download Programme

Leadership Summit Programme


Keynote Speaker


Sir David Eastwood

Professor Sir David Eastwood became Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham in April 2009. Previously, he was Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), a post he had held since September 2006. Former posts also included Vice-Chancellor of the University of East Anglia, and Chief Executive of the Arts and Humanities Research Board. 

Sir David held a chair in Modern History at the University of Wales, Swansea, where he was also a Head of Department, Dean, and Pro-Vice-Chancellor. While at Swansea he co-founded the National Centre for Public Policy. He was Fellow and Senior Tutor of Pembroke College (1988–1995) and is now an Honorary Fellow of both St Peter’s College, Oxford, from where he graduated in 1980; Keble College, Oxford, where he was a Research Fellow from 1983 to 1987; and also the University of Swansea.

Panel Discussion


Nick Petford 

Professor Nick Petford is Vice Chancellor and CEO of the University of Northampton. Nick is a former Royal Society University Research Fellow and Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge. A geologist by training, with a DSc from the University of Liverpool, Nick 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.


Mary Stuart 

Professor Mary Stuart is Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln. She is a graduate of the University of Cape Town, SA and the Open University, UK where she obtained her Doctorate in Social Policy in 1998. Her research interests are focussed on social mobility and higher education, Life Histories and Civic Engagement and Leadership in 21st Century organisations. 


Nigel Carrington

Nigel Carrington has been the Vice Chancellor of University of the Arts London (UAL) since 2008.  Before joining the University in September 2008, Nigel’s career was in the commercial sector, including 21 years with Baker & McKenzie, the international law firm, where he was Managing Partner of the London Office and Chairman of the Firm’s European Region, and 7 years as Managing Director and Deputy Chairman of the McLaren Group, the world leader in high performance automotive design and production.


Eunice Simmons

Professor Eunice Simmons leads NTU’s Academic and Student Affairs directorate, encompassing the student journey from primary school through university to graduate employment.  She aims for a leadership style which is collegiate and based on strong, authentic collaborations across the University and beyond.   Eunice has worked in five diverse institutions:  University of London’s Wye and Imperial Colleges, UCLan, University of Cumbria and Nottingham Trent, in roles that include Course Leader, Head of School, Dean and Pro Vice-Chancellor.  This has given her a sound understanding of how strategy and operation interlink - and how to build capacity for horizon-scanning and implementation in all of her teams. 

Professor Eunice Simmons

Sally Mapstone

Professor Sally Mapstone FRSE is Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews, the second woman in succession to hold this role there. She is a board member of Universities UK, a trustee of UCAS and of the Europaeum, and a member of the advisory board of the Higher Education Policy Institute. She leads on widening access work for Universities Scotland. She is chair of the international advisory board for the University of Helsinki. In 2017 she received the Foreign Policy Association of America medal for services to higher education. In 2019 she was elected to the fellowship to the Royal Society of Edinburgh. As an academic Sally is a medievalist, with expertise in the area of medieval and Renaissance Scottish literature. She is President of the Saltire Society, which champions Scottish culture.


Who Should Attend

Senior leaders in HE with responsibility for leading HE institutions within the executive team, leading strategy development and organisational change in the current policy climate.

"The Leadership Summit 2018 was a great opportunity to listen to successful leaders who were intellectually stimulating, who challenged our assumptions and yet who were able to inspire pragmatic action through an honest account of their own leadership experiences."

- Leadership Summit Delegate