UCAS appoints first independent Chair to Board of Trustees

An experienced digital leader, with a passion for education and the opportunities it opens up, has been appointed as the first independent Chair of the UCAS Board of Trustees.
Posted Tue 3 November 2020 - 15:00

Trudy Norris-Grey has held positions of President, CEO, and Managing Director at global digital businesses including AXA, Microsoft, BT, Sun Microsystems, and Oracle, helping to establish them in new markets around the world.

Trudy is currently Chair of WISE, a campaign to encourage women into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, which anticipates more than one million women will work in core STEM areas across the UK by the end of 2020.

She was recently named as one of the top ten most influential women in UK technology by Computer Weekly.

Her passion for digital businesses transforming the customer experience will be pivotal for UCAS as it continues its ambitious journey to deliver engaging, relevant, and world class products and services to its students, universities, colleges, teachers, and advisers around the world.

Professor Edward Peck, Vice-Chancellor of Nottingham Trent University (NTU), will become Deputy Chair of the Board. Edward has held senior leadership positions within higher education since 2002, and before NTU was Head of the College of Social Sciences at the University of Birmingham. Edward has been a UCAS Trustee since 2018.

Trudy Norris-Grey, incoming Chair of the UCAS Board of Trustees, said: ‘I am thrilled to be taking up the Chair’s position for UCAS and help the charity realise the enormous potential that digital offers in supporting each student make the right choices for them. Inspiring women and girls into STEM areas has been such a huge part of my life, which translates well into UCAS’ strategic objectives.

‘Students rightly expect more of UCAS than ever, in how they interact online and in the breadth, depth, and relevancy of information and advice available. I have no doubt UCAS is ready to keep on adapting and remain a pioneering destination for providing students with relevant information. Advice on all the routes available, such as apprenticeships and technical education, as well as improved guidance for mature applicants, alongside full-time undergraduate options, will help students make timely, informed decisions. UCAS is also adapting to the changing environment and growing demand from international audiences, especially in light of the global recovery from coronavirus.

‘Hundreds of thousands of people have their life prospects improved each year by UCAS’ work, and to be championing and challenging the progress of this important, independent charity is very exciting.’

Professor Edward Peck, incoming Deputy Chair of the UCAS Board of Trustees, said: ‘I am delighted to be appointed to the role of Deputy Chair of UCAS and look forward to starting work with Trudy. It is essential that UCAS continues to develop its digital offering for all its customers to provide fair, trusted, and flexible admissions services, as well as ensuring greater visibility of the increasing alternatives to full-time undergraduate study.

‘There remains strong interest from government and the education sector in admissions. This has intensified during the pandemic and will only increase as we mitigate the impact of COVID on students. It is right to challenge how the admissions process works, to expand choice and deliver better outcomes for all students. I look forward to working with Trudy, Clare, and the Board, to put UCAS at the forefront of transforming how students explore their futures and progress to higher education.’

Clare Marchant, UCAS Chief Executive, said: ‘We are delighted to welcome Trudy to UCAS at a time of real change for the organisation as we deliver our new corporate strategy, Discover Your Future, and become truly student-centric in all we do.

‘Trudy was successful amongst an outstanding calibre of applicants, and it’s clear her experience will be invaluable for us as we transform into a cutting-edge digital service, successfully supporting students research and apply for their next steps; whether that be an apprenticeship, technical education, or undergraduate study.

‘Having an independent voice at the heart of our governance reinforces our independence as a charity, and our commitment to inspire and empower everyone to make aspirational choices about higher education and learning.’

Following approval from UCAS’ membership of universities and colleges earlier this year to recruit an independent Chair, Trudy becomes the first person other than a Vice-Chancellor, and the first woman, to lead UCAS’ Board.

Trudy Norris-Grey succeeds Professor Koen Lamberts (Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield), and her appointment will take effect from December 2020. 

Ends

Trudy Norris-Grey – the new Chair of the UCAS Board of Trustees

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