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New University appointments will help drive improvements in student experience

University of Gloucestershire has made three major new appointments to its Council, whose expertise will help drive further improvements to the learning and teaching experience for students and build new connections within the county

Chartered accountants James Cooper and Ruth Dooley, and Thomas Chambers – director of a number of public and private companies – will bring substantial professional experience as external members of the University Council.

James Cooper is a partner in the management consultancy, Gate One, leading their work in the Higher Education sector. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant and former auditor with experience in organisational transformation and change.

James said: “I am incredibly excited to be joining the Council at University of Gloucestershire. It is a privilege to be elected to work with esteemed colleagues in delivering on the strategy for an institution with such rich history and promise.

“I hope that my experience of delivering transformative change in a range of public and private sector organisations will be of value. I look forward to collaborating with Vice-Chancellor, Clare Marchant, and her Executive team, and contributing to the continued growth and success of the University.”

Ruth Dooley is a partner at the accountants Hazlewoods, leading the growth in their forensic specialism. She is a Chartered Accountant and well connected within Gloucestershire, having been part of the GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for the past 12 years, including as Chair of its Board.

Ruth said: “I am delighted and honoured to be appointed to the Council of University of Gloucestershire.  I hope that the experience I bring from the world of accountancy and business will be useful to the university and its students. 

“The School of Business and the Growth Hub are both fantastic examples of what can be achieved through partnership between academia and business.

“I look forward to helping to forge closer links between University of Gloucestershire and local companies in the coming years for their mutual benefit.”

Thomas Chambers is a Chartered Accountant, Associate of the Association of Corporate Treasurers, Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, and Honorary Doctor of the University of Surrey. He holds directorships with companies including listed venture capitalist trust Kings Arms Yard plc, UCAS and recruitment consultancy Propel London.

Thomas said: “From personal experience, and as a current trustee of UCAS and previously on the Council of the University of Surrey totalling almost 18 years, I have seen many times how a university can truly enable students to fulfil their potential, offer leading research and be a very engaging place to work.

“I look forward to being part of University of Gloucestershire fulfilling its potential to be the best it can be for students, employers, society and its members.”

High-quality student experience

As governing body, Council is responsible for the educational character and mission of the university, ensuring that the University provides high standards of learning and opportunities to gain real-world industry experience, so students are career-ready when they graduate.

Council members set and agree the University’s strategy and long-term academic and business plans with the University executive to ensure that these meet the interests of stakeholders, especially staff, students, and alumni.

Ninety-six percent of University graduates are employed or undertaking further study, while the institution was awarded a Silver rating overall in recognition of its “very high-quality” student experience and student outcomes in the Teaching Excellence Framework.

Nicola de Iongh, Chair of Council at the University, said: “‘I am absolutely delighted that James, Ruth, and Thomas have agreed to join Council.

“They are fantastically talented and bring a wealth of experience that I know will be of immense value as we navigate the difficult operating context for the Higher Education sector and look to provide our students with a high-quality learning experience that enables them to enjoy rewarding and successful careers.”

Image: left to right, new Council members Thomas Chambers, James Cooper and Ruth Dooley