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Principal and Vice-Chancellor

Professor Petra Wend PhD FRSA

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.

Prior to that, she was Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Deputy Chief Executive at Oxford Brookes University from 2005 – 2009.

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. She went on to teach German and Italian at Middlesex University, rising to senior management roles before being appointed as Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Education at the University of North London, now London Metropolitan University, where she subsequently became Pro Vice Chancellor (Learning and Teaching). She joined Oxford Brookes University as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Deputy Chief Executive in 2005.

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 . 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. 

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.

September 2014

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