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Principal and Vice-Chancellor

Professor Petra Wend PhD FRSA FRSE

Professor Petra Wend, Principal of Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

Professor Petra Wend took up her post as Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh at the beginning of September 2009, after an academic and management career at other UK universities.

Fluent in five languages, Petra has worked consistently throughout her career as an academic to cross borders, geographically and socially, in order to realise the full potential of the institutions with which she has been associated.

Professor Wend originally read Italian and French Language and Literature, and Education at the University of Münster in Germany and gained a PhD in Italian Language and Literature at Leeds University.

With a research background in institutional strategies underpinning successful leadership, improvements in student experience and university performance indicators, Professor Wend has a significant profile of academic publications and invited lectures. She holds a number of formal advisory roles on UK and international committees and boards. In 2008 she took part in Harvard Business School’s Women’s Leadership Forum, is a member of the Society of Renaissance Studies and became a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA) in 2009. In March 2015, she was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in recognition of her inspirational leadership in higher education.

She is also proud to have led the team which won the top award in the Outstanding Leadership and Management Team category of the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards 2012.

Professor Wend was asked by the Scottish Government to chair the National Implementation Board for Teaching Scotland’s Future, following the publication in November 2012 of the National Partnership Group report, which was set up by the Scottish Government to provide advice on how best to implement the Donaldson Review of teacher education. 

In April 2015, Petra was appointed by the Scottish Government as a member of the Commission for Widening Access chaired by Dame Ruth Silver. The Commission has been set up in light of the Scottish Government’s commitment to  improve access to educational opportunities for disadvantaged people and recognition that more work in widening participation is required.

Petra has been re-appointed Vice-Convener of Universities Scotland (the umbrella body for all Scottish universities) for a second 2 year term of office from 1 August 2014 – 31 July 2016, having chaired Universities Scotland’s Learning and Teaching Committee from 2010-12. She is a member of the Board of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAAHE) (UK) and the QAA’s Scotland Committee; the Edinburgh Business Forum and the Edinburgh Partnership Board. She is also a member of the British Council Scotland Advisory Committee; and a member of the Goodison Group Forum. She was also a member of the joint Government and Scottish Funding Council’s Skills Committee from 2010 – 2013.

April 2015

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