Principal and Vice-Chancellor

Queen Margaret University

Tel: 0131 474 0000

Professor Petra Wend took up her post as Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh at the beginning of September 2009.

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. 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 has been a member or Chair of a significant number of national and international boards, among them the Chair of the National Implementation Board for Teaching Scotland’s Future, a Commissioner on the Commission of Widening Access, Vice-Convener of Universities Scotland, and Director on the Board of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. Petra is now Chair of Common Purpose Edinburgh Advisory Group, a member of the British Council Scotland Advisory Committee, the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Education Committee, and a Director on the Goodison Group Board and member of its Forum.

In October 2016, Petra was elected as a Trustee and Ordinary Council Member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. 

In September 2017, Petra was appointed to the Council of the University of Hamburg.

September 2017