Principal and Vice-Chancellor
Professor Petra Wend PhD, FRSA, FRSE
PRINCIPAL AND VICE-CHANCELLOR
Professor Petra Wend took up her post as Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh at the beginning of September 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.
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 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 (FRSE).
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; the Board published its final report in 2015. 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 was 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 was required. The Commission’s Report was published in March 2016.
Petra finished her second term of office as Vice-Convener of Universities Scotland (the umbrella body for all Scottish universities) in July 2016, having chaired Universities Scotland’s Learning and Teaching Committee from 2010-12. She was a member of the Board of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAAHE) (UK) and the QAA’s Scotland Committee from 2010 - 16; Petra is Chair of Common Purpose Edinburgh Advisory Group; she is a member of the Edinburgh Business Forum; a member of the British Council Scotland Advisory Committee; the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Education Committee; and a member of the Goodison Group Board and Forum. She was also a member of the joint Government and Scottish Funding Council’s Skills Committee from 2010 – 2013.
In October 2016, Petra was elected as a Trustee and Ordinary Council Member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
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