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Clare Marchant appointed to lead University of Gloucestershire

University of Gloucestershire has made an exciting new appointment at the top, with Clare Marchant named as the new Vice-Chancellor.

Clare, who has been the UCAS Chief Executive for the past six years, will join the University later this year, charged with shaping and delivering the University’s vision and strategy into the future. She will replace current Vice-Chancellor, Stephen Marston, who announced in December last year that he will retire from the University at the end of July 2023.

During her time at UCAS, Clare has been particularly passionate about increasing higher education opportunities for people from the most disadvantaged backgrounds, with the charity doubling the number of students it supports each year under her leadership.

She has also been at the forefront of digital innovation, been a driving force behind higher education reform and recently launched a new apprenticeship service.

Between 2010 and 2017, Clare was employed at Worcestershire County Council, starting out as Head of Change, before being promoted to Assistant Chief Executive and then Chief Executive in 2014.

Prior to that, she spent seven years in senior leadership roles as a digital delivery specialist with the Department for Health, leading on the implementation and integration of the Choose and Book Service, which is now used by over 70% of GP services nationally. During this time, she took a short sabbatical to teach IT in Ghana.

Clare Marchant said: “Throughout my career, I have been driven by a passion to support young people in taking their next step in education and training, and by the benefits of vocational and technical education.

“The role at University of Gloucestershire allows me to take this further, delivering high quality academic and vocational education, including a wide-ranging apprenticeship portfolio, that offers benefits to both students and employers, as well as the local and national economy.”

Nicola de Iongh, Chair of Council at University of Gloucestershire, added: “Clare’s commitment to the role of higher education in changing lives and enhancing the student experience shone through both in the recruitment process and during her time at UCAS. We are delighted that she has agreed to join our fabulous team here at the University.

“She has been a transformative force during her time at UCAS, opening doors for so many people who thought that university was beyond their reach and leading on digital initiatives that have enhanced the student and staff experience.

“We are confident she will help us build on our many strengths to help us grow and thrive at a challenging time for our sector, working closely with our staff, students and partners to continue to identify and unlock our true potential.”

Eleanor Hill, Education and Community Officer at the Students’ Union, and BA Education student, expressed her excitement for the future of the University under Clare’s leadership.

She said: “Clare demonstrates real passion for the student experience and is clearly committed to creating connections with our University community.

“Clare is up front and honest about her vision for the university. During the selection process, she was keen to hear from students about their experiences in higher education and clearly believes that education should be accessible and meaningful for all students.

“We certainly share this sentiment in the Students’ Union and are really excited to work in partnership with Clare when she joins us at UOG.”