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Professor Nic Beech and Professor Clare Peddie Appointed New Chair and Deputy Chair of UKSCQA

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The UK Standing Committee for Quality Assessment (UKSCQA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Nic Beech and Professor Clare Peddie as its new chair and deputy chair.

Professor Nic Beech, Vice Chancellor at Middlesex University since 2020, succeeds Professor Andrew Wathey (outgoing Vice Chancellor at Northumbria) as chair of the committee.

Professor Clare Peddie, Vice Principal for Education (Proctor) at the University of St Andrews, will be the first deputy chair of the committee in a newly created role.

Both Professors Beech and Peddie will serve in these roles for three years. They will oversee their first meeting of the committee in these roles when it next meets in June 2022.

Prior to his role at Middlesex, Professor Beech has held the roles of Vice-Principal, Provost at the University of Dundee and Vice Principal at the University of St Andrews. He is President of the British Academy of Management, Chair of AccessHE and Treasurer of the Academy of Social Sciences. He is a member of the board of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA).

Professor Peddie has been in her current role since 2019, prior to which she was Head of School and Pro Dean for undergraduates in the Faculty of Sciences at the University of St Andrews. She is currently chair of the Quality Arrangements for Scottish HE (QASHE) committee, leads the QAA Scotland enhancement theme ‘Resilient Learning Communities’, and previously the sector representative for Scotland on the UKSCQA.

We would like to express our thanks to Professor Andrew Wathey for being the first chair of the committee and establishing its role in the sector. This has involved overseeing work including the committee’s strategic oversight of the UK Quality Code for Higher Education, the launch of the statement of intent on transparency, reliability and fairness in degree classification, and the development of classification descriptors for undergraduate degrees.  

We can also announce that the independent secretariat of the UKSCQA is now being hosted within Universities UK (UUK) on behalf of the sector, having previously been hosted within the Office for Students (OfS).

The UKSCQA provides sector-led oversight of higher education quality assessment arrangements that continue to be shared across the UK. The committee has members drawn from regulated providers in England and Wales and publicly funded universities and colleges in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Student interests are represented by both the National Union of Students and individual student members. Membership is also drawn from the four UK higher education funding/regulatory bodies, sector bodies and regulatory partners.

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