Heather has wide experience of working in universities, holding academic appointments both in the England and abroad, and is an expert in higher and professional education policy and practice.
Heather started her career in Nigeria. After teaching and lecturing there she took up an academic post at the Institute of Education, University of London, working for some years in the Centre for Higher Education Studies, Department of Policy Studies, and also at the Barts and London School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary, University of London. Immediately before joining HEFCE, Heather was the founding Head of the Centre for Educational Development at Imperial College London, where she was a Reader in Higher and Professional Education.
Heather's passions continue to centre on enhancing student opportunity and their teaching and learning experiences. She is one of the editors of the widely used 'Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Enhancing Academic Practice' (with Steve Ketteridge and Stephanie Marshall, third edition 2008, Routledge) and is continuing to publish.
Sir Alan Langlands, Chief Executive of HEFCE, said:
'We allocate £4.7 billion, representing two thirds of our funds, for teaching. Our aim is to ensure that everyone who has the ability is able to participate in higher education and all students benefit from a higher education experience that fully meets their needs. I am delighted that Heather has been appointed to take forward this agenda which is so important to individuals, the economy and society. She has shown in her time at HEFCE and from her previous experience that she has the vision and drive to work with colleagues and universities and colleges to tackle these challenging issues effectively.'
'I am delighted to have been appointed to succeed John Selby. It will be a tough act to follow. I look forward to working with the sector to seize opportunities for enhancing education and participation in higher education in England and to facing the challenges ahead. In the year I have been at HEFCE I have found it to be a very professional organisation and one I am enthusiastic about contributing to at a higher level.'