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Speakers biographies


University of Glasgow - 21 February 2013

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Professor Mark Allison

Professor Mark Allison was appointed to the QAA Scotland Committee in April 2009, initially as a co-opted member and subsequently, following a revision of the Terms of Reference, as the member from an appropriate professional body.   Professor Allison serves as the Executive Director, Education at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), a role he has carried out for 18 years. He is responsible for the Institute’s Chartered Accountant qualification system. He has been an advisor to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development at the time of the development of the UN Accounting Curriculum and has been a member of the Task Force and Steering Committee of the European Common Content Group since its creation in 2001. From 2009 to 2012 Professor Allison became the independent chair of the International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB), having served as the Technical Advisor to the Education Board (formerly the Education Committee) from 1998 to 2005 and contributed significantly to the design and writing of the International Education Standards (IES) 1-8. In his role at ICAS, Professor Allison has responsibility for the examination system, curriculum, accreditation of universities throughout the UK, authorisation of employers and education strategy. Mark is also a visiting professor at Robert Gordon University.

Photo of Jim Mckillop

Professor Jim McKillop

Following graduation from Glasgow in 1972, Jim trained in general medicine, nuclear medicine and thyroid disease in Glasgow and at Stanford University in California. He was Muirhead Professor of Medicine at Glasgow University from 1989 till 2011.  His clinical and research interests were in acute medicine, nuclear medicine and thyroid disease. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed papers.

He has a career long interest in medical education and helped develop the Glasgow integrated medical curriculum introduced in 1996. He was Head of the Undergraduate Medical School in Glasgow from 2000-2006 and Deputy Executive Dean of the Faculty of Medicine from 2007 - 2010. He was a member of GMC Council from 2008-12, chairing the GMC Undergraduate Education Board and the review of Good Medical Practice, the GMC core guidance for all doctors. He has been reappointed to Council for a further four year term from 2013. Before joining Council he was a Team Leader for GMC inspections of medical school from 2003-2009. He chaired the NHS Education for Scotland Medical Advisory Group from 2004 to 2010 and is a member of the Board for Academic Medicine in Scotland. He was chair of the Scottish Deans’ Medical Education Group (which produces the internationally used curricular outcomes document “The Scottish Doctor”) from 2005-2009.

Previous external commitments include the Administration of Radioactive Substances Advisory Committee of the Department of Health, (chair 1996 to 2004), the Scottish Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee (chair 2001 - 2007) and Congress President for the European Association of Nuclear Medicine in 1997.

He has an interest in doctors with a disability based on his own history of polio and was Vice Chair of the GMC and Medical Schools Working Group which developed the Gateways Guidance on medical students with a disability. His other interests are music (especially opera), travel and the outdoors, sport (especially football and cricket) and reading fiction.

University of the West of Scotland - 21 June 2012

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Professor Seamus McDaid, CBE, Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of the West of Scotland and Convenor, Universities Scotland

Professor McDaid began his career in accountancy but moved to academia, joining what is now Glasgow Caledonian University in 1976.  There he developed a strong international reputation in his specialist area of public sector accounting and finance, and led major projects in a range of countries, funded by the UK Government’s Overseas Development Administration, and the World Bank.  These included projects, spanning a 15 year period, designed to improve public accounting and financial management processes and good Government in a number of African countries.

In the 1990s he also led major UK Government ‘Know How’ funded projects in Poland and Russia, to support these countries as they made the transition from `planned’, to ‘market based’ economies. Whilst at Glasgow Caledonian University he held a number of senior academic posts including Dean of the Faculty of Business.  Professor McDaid joined the University of Paisley as Vice-Principal in 1997 and was appointed Principal and Vice-Chancellor in 2005.  He has been instrumental in the creation of the University of the West of Scotland.

In 1998 he secured the support from the SFC that enabled the initial development of the University’s Ayr Campus, and in 1999 led on the process for the creation of the Crichton Campus in Dumfries, initially a joint campus of the University of Paisley and the University of Glasgow.  He also chaired the Group that managed the successful merger between the University of Paisley and Bell College, and led on the process for the change of the Institution’s name to the University of the West of Scotland.

He chaired the Strategic Partnership Board that managed the project for the development of the joint UWS/SAC Campus on the Craigie site in Ayr.  He has been a member of various external Boards and bodies including the NHS where he operated as non executive Director of Renfrewshire Health Care NHS Trust and as Vice-Chairman of Renfrewshire and Inverclyde NHS Primary Care Trust.  He currently chairs the US Efficiency Task Force.

Professor McDaid was a recipient of a CBE in the recent New Year’s Honours.

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Kenneth Muir, Strategic Director and Director of Inspection, Education Scotland

Kenneth Muir is Strategic Director and Head of inspectorate in Education Scotland. He has worked in HMIE/Education Scotland for 17 years, having previously held a range of posts in schools and education authorities.

He has held a number of senior management posts within HMIE/Education Scotland, from 2005 to until 2009 as HM Chief Inspector having responsibility for pre-school centres and nursery classes, independent schools, pre- and post-registration of schools, and school care and accommodation services. He has also been Head of Human Resources in HMIE, which involved recruitment, training and staff development, and the oversight of equality and diversity issues. As head of HR, Kenneth was responsible for devising HMIE’s self-evaluation tool for HM Inspectors which allows them to evaluate their own individual and team performance and behaviour on inspections and reviews.

Since July 2009, Kenneth’s Chief Inspector post has involved him having responsibility for the review of, and quality enhancement activities in, Scotland’s 41 colleges, prison inspections and initial teacher education. His directorate also has responsibility for the inspection of all secondary school inspections and all-through schools, and he has, most recently, led the review of the school inspection framework. In April 2012, he was appointed to his current post as part of the creation of the new educational body, Education Scotland.

Glasgow Caledonian University - 11 October 2011

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Sjur Bergan, Head of the Department of Higher Education and History Teaching of the Council of Europe

He represents the Council of Europe on the Bologna Follow Up Group and Board and chairs the Bologna group on Qualifications Frameworks.  He was a member of the editorial group for the Council’s White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue.  Sjur Bergan is series editor of the Council of Europe Higher Education Series, the author of a book on Qualifications: Introduction to a Concept as well as of numerous articles on various aspects of higher education policies.  His latest publication is Speaking across borders: the role of higher education, co-edited with Hilligje van’t Land of the International Association of Universities.

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Professor Christine King, Emeritus Professor, Staffordshire University

As an academic Christine is an historian of religion with two major areas of interest. She has an international reputation for her research and work on the history of minority religious groups such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses during the Third Reich. She also researches and writes on medieval and modern pilgrimage and has made a particular study of the secular objects of devotion with particular reference to Elvis Presley and pilgrimage to his home in Memphis, USA.

As an educationalist, she is an active and recognised champion of access and inclusion and in 2008 was called upon by the then Government to undertake a review of part-time study as part of the larger debate on the future of Higher Education. She is a champion and campaigner for diversity with a particular interest of the role of women in public life. Christine has been awarded a CBE for her services to Higher Education.

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Christina Yan Zhang, International Students Officer, National Union of Students

Christina came to Britain in 2006 after BA: English in China. At Loughborough University, she finished MA: Media & Cultural Analysis with Distinction. She is about to finish PhD: Civil Building Engineering. Christina was Global Development Officer, Loughborough Students Union (LSU) 2007-2009. 18 months after she initiated ‘Lufbra’s Going Global’ campaign, LSU was awarded NUS 'Best International Students Union' and 'Best International Students Event' of the year 2009. Higher Education Academy published her case study 'Internationalise all students' experience in 18 months'. In 2008, Christina was awarded British Council ‘East Midland International Students of the Year'. She sits on many internationalization committees, eg. UKCISA Board, UNESCO UK Education Committee, British Council Erasmus Consultative Group; UKBA JET Group, European Students Union Immigration Working Group etc.

In 2009, as an independent candidate, Christina was elected as the first international student to sit on NUS National Executive Council Block 15 position, since its creation in 1976 and now NUS International Students Officer, represents all international students in the UK. Her aim is to globalise the experience of all 7 million UK students to beat youth unemployment.

University of Edinburgh - 16 June 2011

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Mr Graeme Waddell, Director of Energen Biogas (a renewable energy company) and former business director of Rolls Royce Aero Repair and Overhaul

Graeme Waddell is Director of Energen Biogas an energy renewable company which he has recently established. He is a former Business Director of Rolls Royce Aero Repair and Overhaul responsible for providing leadership and business focus for the 1,000 people employed by Rolls Royce in East Kilbride. Graeme is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and holds a BA and an MBA from the University of Strathclyde. He is married and has three children and enjoys sport of all kinds.

Graeme was a past member of the Skills Committee of the Scottish Funding Council and was also a member of a Literacy Commission sponsored by the Scottish Labour Party which published its report in December 2009. He is currently a member of the governments Skill Utilisation Leadership Group a Board Member of Scottish Enterprise, he also chairs the West Regional Advisory Board and the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Board and works with the University of Glasgow and Glasgow Caledonian University as a business advisor. Graeme has written several articles for magazine publication on the topics of Skills and Leadership.

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Professor Anne Glover, Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland

Anne currently holds a Personal Chair of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Aberdeen, and has honorary positions at the Rowett and Macaulay Institutes. She is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, an elected member of the Natural Environment Research Council, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.

Anne was born in Arbroath, went to school in Dundee and her first degree was a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Edinburgh. She was awarded a PhD in Microbial Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge. Most of her academic career has been spent at the University of Aberdeen where she has an active research group pursuing a variety of areas from microbial diversity to the development and application of whole cell biosensors (biological sensors) for environmental monitoring and investigating how organisms respond to stress at a cellular level.

She was recently recognised in March 2008 as a Woman of Outstanding Achievement by the UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology’s UKRC).

University of Strathclyde - 21 October 2010

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Professor Michael Sterling FREng, Recently Vice Chancellor of the University of Birmingham and current Chairman of the Science and Technology Facilities Council

Professor Sterling is an engineer by background. He recently retired as Vice-Chancellor at Birmingham University and was previously Vice Chancellor at Brunel University (1990-2001). His earlier career was at the University of Durham and the University of Sheffield.

Professor Sterling has been a member of the Council for Science and Technology since 2004 and is Chair of its energy and water subgroups. He is a Board member of Advantage West Midlands Regional Development Agency. He was Chair of the Russell Group of the 20 leading UK Universities from 2003 to 2006. He was a member of the Council of the Royal Academy of Engineering from 2005-08 and was President of the Institution of Electrical Engineers from 2002-03.

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Professor Christopher Smith FSAS FRHistS FSA, Director, British School at Rome

After a doctorate at Oxford on Early Rome and Latium from 1000 to 500 BC Christopher moved to the University of St Andrews in 1992. In 2006 he was appointed as Vice-Principal with responsibility for graduate studies and student services. His research interests are focused on the development of Rome as a political and social community and how this was represented in ancient historical writing and subsequent political thought. He is one of the editors of a major new edition of the Fragmentary Roman Historians.

Christopher first came to the BSR in 1990 and was the 2006-7 Hugh Last Fellow before returning as Director in 2009.