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Recent Movers & Shakers

Andy Durban

Moved within/to: University for the Creative Arts
On: February 2023

University for the Creative Arts, UK. Andy Durban will shortly be joining the University for the Creative Arts as Head of International Recruitment. Andy will be responsible for shaping and delivering the international recruitment strategy of one of the largest specialist creative arts institutions in Europe with a vibrant and rapidly growing international student population. Andy has worked within Higher Education for 19 years, beginning his career in widening participation and UK recruitment/marketing at the Royal Veterinary College and University of Roehampton, before moving into international roles at Roehampton, City University London and Imperial College London. Andy joins UCA after 3 successful years as Deputy Head of International Student Recruitment at Queen Mary University of London, where he oversaw significant growth across his regions of responsibility whilst navigating his teams through the turbulent period of the pandemic and beyond.

Paige Grinter

Moved within/to: Kaplan International Languages
On: January 2023

Kaplan International Languages, Global. Paige Grinter has recently been appointed as director of corporate social responsibility at Kaplan International Languages after spending nearly 10 years working in schools operations and accommodation at Kaplan International.She has worked closely with student residence partners to provide an optimal choice of accommodation for students studying in the UK and Ireland. She has also worked with other language schools to quality-assure the sector’s homestay experiences.  And, she was Kaplan Languages Group’s designated safeguarding lead and applied her expertise in the pastoral care of students to staff wellbeing. With a strong knowledge of the sector gained through working both at school and management level, and a passion for leveraging business to make the world a better place, Paige is excited to build on Kaplan International Language’s CSR strategy.  Kaplan currently supports RefuAid and Plan International, and Paige looks forward to expanding these existing partnerships as well as forging new ones, utilising Kaplan’s experience, expertise and willingness to help drive social change.

Alison Jenkins

Moved within/to: Gradstar Global Education
On: March 2022

Gradstar Global Education, India. On International Women’s Day 2022, Alison launched Gradstar Global Education – a full service international student recruitment operation in India. Drawing on her university knowledge and expertise Gradstar Is supporting students to achieve their dreams. Gradstar is a profit for purpose business and a percentage of the revenue raised is being donated to education projects that support women and girls’ education initiatives in rural India. Alison has held leadership positions in the international education sector for the last 20 years. She has held senior positions in international strategy, recruitment, external relations, marketing and admissions functions at three Go8 universities in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Alison has been responsible for delivering significant revenue and business growth, global market development, product and market diversity as well as channel strategy and management with a strong focus on the India market.

Sara Sandford

Moved within/to: Edified
On: January 2023

Edified, UK. Sara Sandford has joined Edified as a consultant, growing the team in the UK. She is an international education specialist and strategic leader and is highly experienced in the field of international student recruitment and admissions, marketing, alumni strategies, stakeholder engagement, study abroad and global partnerships. Sara has lived and worked extensively in Latin America and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. During her time working for the University of Southampton she successfully created and led the University’s first overseas office in the Americas, in Mexico City, and under her leadership Southampton grew to have the largest number of Mexican students at a university in the UK. Sara said of her new role: “I am passionate about international education and the opportunities it can bring for students and am really excited to join the Edified team to help other universities enhance their ability to build their profile and reputation, acquire and retain students, and deliver on student experience and graduate outcomes.”

Marina Malgina

Moved within/to: TAICEP
On: January 2023

TAICEP, Global. Maria Malgina has begun her term as the president of The Association for International Credential Evaluation Professionals, or TAICEP. Along with her current role as head of the global engagement unit at CIMEA-NARIC in Italy, Maria will commit to keep up the collaboration within TAICEP’s community and beyond. In a post on LinkedIn announcing the news, she lauded the resilience demonstrated in 2022, with the TAICEP group providing and adapting the evaluation services and tools to the emerging societal needs and by leveraging the materials and resources to support meaningful inclusion of the newly arrived migrants.  Maria said of her new role: “Another fresh new year is here and I am extremely proud to begin my term as TAICEP president, the president of the organisation that has such great achievements over the past years. All these as a result of the hard work and dedication of the founders of the organisation, its sponsors, board of directors, standing committees and, not least, all the positive energy and enthusiasm of our TAICEP community.”

Paul Hughes

Moved within/to: Weduc
On: January 2023

Weduc, UK.  Seasoned education software entrepreneur and business leader, Paul Hughes has been appointed as non-executive chairman of school communications platform Weduc. Paul brings with him a wealth of education sector experience, previously as founder and CEO of ParentMail. Working closely with newly-appointed CEO Rob Pointen, he will help implement a strategy that builds on the success Weduc is seeing with its next-generation parental engagement software solution, which is proving a valued school upgrade to legacy systems. Paul said about the company upon the news of his appointment : “Weduc is probably the most comprehensive parental engagement solution currently available to schools. It has been carefully developed – utilising more channels than any other product which ultimately means, it reaches more people including that small minority of parents that most schools find hardest to reach.”



Rob Pointen

Moved within/to: Weduc
On: January 2023

Weduc, UK. Rob Pointen has been appointed as chief executive officer of school communications company Weduc, after joining the organisation as its chief financial officer last year. Rob has a proven track record in planning and facilitating strategic change in high growth companies across multiple sectors. Since joining the board, Pointen has been instrumental in forging a strong, dynamic, standalone business after the demerger from the Accrosoft group last year. He will work closely with the new non-executive chairman Paul Hughes to implement a strategy building on Weduc’s next-generation parental engagement software solution. “We’ve got a really exciting future ahead,” Rob said. “Our mission is to bring genuine service back into Edtech, which many schools today sadly find missing, especially from our larger corporate rivals. Many of our staff are ex-education professionals, who truly understand the problems facing schools and genuinely want to make a difference in children’s educational outcomes.”

Sophy Searight

Moved within/to: The PIE
On: January 2023

The PIE, Global. Sophy Searight has joined The PIE team in January as its new events director. Sophy has 15 years of experience with the conference and exhibitions sector and created exciting events for delegations, ranging from a handful of senior executives to 60,000 trade show attendees and everything in between. Her key roles include head of event content at Property Week, and head of content at Hyve Group. Leading delivery of industry leading shows across 5 continents, Sophy has enjoyed participating in the global economy and understands the crucial role that young educated international experts will have in the various industries she has created events for. “From renewable energy to retail, politics to heavy industry, to improve our environment and society we have to loom outward!”

Abhinav Upadhyay

Moved within/to: CollegeDekho
On: January 2023

CollegeDekho, India. Indian higher education ecosystem CollegeDekho has appointed Abhinav Upadhyay as its new chief marketing officer. Abhinav will drive all aspects of brand and product marketing besides building the next chapter of growth for the company through innovations and transformative efforts across its entire spectrum of products and services. Abhinav has nearly 2 decades of leadership experience while spearheading product innovation, brand management, and marketing for leading Indian and multinational corporations like the Tata Group, Western Union, Thomas Cook, Zee Group and Talentedge. Abhinav has led businesses and brands across categories for nearly 2 decades. Commenting on his new role, Abhinav said, “The opportunity to build a powerful brand and business in the education sector in India is truly amazing… To enable more and more Indian students to fulfil their dreams truly excites me and I’m extremely thrilled about driving transformative growth.”

Salim Hussein

Moved within/to: Kaplan International Pathways
On: December 2022

Kaplan International Pathways, Global.  Salim Hussein has joined Kaplan International Pathways as a head of US recruitment for the MENA region. He is an international education leader with 14 years experience working for higher education institutions and ESL providers, recruiting international students and connecting US institutions with their counterparts globally through dual and joint degree programs. He has visited 26 countries for student recruitment and international academic partnerships purposes. Before joining Kaplan, he worked for the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University as a regional director of clients relationships for the MENA region. Prior to this, he worked for Cambridge Assessment English as business development manager. Positions he has held at higher education institutions in the US include: director of international partnerships at Ocean County College in New Jersey, director of international marketing at Mentora College, and international student recruiter at the University of Massachusetts. Salim said of the new role: “I am proud to be part of the renowned international education group Kaplan, and I look forward to continuing to impact students’ educational future in the MENA region.”

Peter Hayes

Moved within/to: International House World Organisation
On: January 2023

International House World Organisation, Global. IHWO has announced Peter Hayes has been appointed a new chairperson of its board. Peter is one of the directors at International House Manchester and will be taking over from Monica Green who has been executive director since 2008. Peter started his career as a teacher with a job in Verona, Italy. Having done the Dip TEFLA, he then moved to Prague to teach at The Bell School. He held various academic management posts in Oxford, Stafford and Cheltenham before, in 2006, becoming Director of the school that became IH Manchester. IH Manchester joined the network in 2013 and Pete has been a key figure in the community, embodying the principles of International House through his support of the network and fellow IH schools. “We are delighted that Peter Hayes from IH Manchester will be stepping in as Chairperson from 1st January 2023,” commented Emma Hoyle, managing director of IH World. “He will do an excellent job of guiding our organisation through the next set of challenges.”

Jay Colios

Moved within/to: The PIE
On: January 2023

The PIE, Global. Jay Colios has joined The PIE as senior partnership and community manager. Over the last 13 years Jay has worked in sales, marketing and technology roles in education organisations. He started his international education career at ICEF where he worked in business development, he moved on and eventually started his own education marketing organisation. Jay returned to ICEF as their director of technology where he relaunched myICEF and created the ICEF Live Lists platform. Jay then went on to work at LearnCube as sales director and most recently was responsible for launching partnerships in the mainland Europe region for Jay has spent the last 12 years living across Europe and is currently based in Lisbon, Portugal. When he’s not in the office you’ll find him cooking up a feast in the kitchen or at the beach with his dog Louie.

Esther Wilkinson

Moved within/to: Royal Agricultural University
On: January 2023

Royal Agricultural University, UK. It has been announced that Esther Wilkinson is taking up the role of associate director of business development and research support at the RAU, after almost nine years leading international activities, relationships and international strategy development at Jisc. Having worked at the UK Research Councils, Universities UK International and Jisc this post will build on a breadth of sector experience, predominantly in international and research for the past 25 years. At Jisc, Esther led on developing solutions and support for HEIs to maintain quality international and TNE student experiences and access to resources through the pandemic; helping both UK and twinned universities in Ukraine with their developing and long-term needs; and more recent projects on TNE graduate outcomes and international student experience. Esther said she is “very much looking forward to new challenges at the RAU”, but also plans to “maintain relationships with networks of colleagues in the international space” – she also said she would “miss her lovely colleagues” at Jisc.

Frank Merendino

Moved within/to: The PIE
On: January 2023

The PIE, Global. Frank Merendino has joined The PIE as its new VP of business development and partnerships for the US. Frank has spent the past 15 years working in international education across public universities, a non-profit professional association, and organisations that focus on public-private partnerships. Frank got his start in the field as an international student advisor at Miami University before moving to international student recruitment and partnerships at the University of Cincinnati. There he developed 2+2 programs and established a recruitment office in Vietnam. Following that, Frank went on to work in business and partnership development for NAFSA: Association of International Educators, Shorelight Education, Quad Learning, and INTO University Partnerships. Frank got his first taste of international travel when he visited Rome with his family while an undergraduate student. Originally interested in becoming a Foreign Service Officer with the US Department of State, he came to the conclusion that a career in international education was the perfect fit during his summer internship in Canadian Parliament. While not working or traveling, you will often find Frank on a hiking trail with his lovely wife and son.


Siobhan Ali Chikh

Moved within/to: Kaplan International Languages
On: January 2023

Kaplan International Languages, Global. Siobhan Ali Chikh has joined Kaplan’s languages arm as operations manager. Siobhan brings 15 years of experience in the TEFL sector to her new role at the company. She joined Kaplan in 2012 as Student services manager at the Kaplan Oxford language school and then moved to a wider operations role.  Originally from the North West of England, Siobhan was delighted to become the first Principal of Kaplan’s Liverpool school when it opened in 2014 where she has seen it grow from welcoming just six students to the thriving school it is today, complete with a specialist centre for students over 30. During COVID-19, Siobhan stepped into a regional role, also running the Manchester centre, where she has overseen the development of both centres post-pandemic.  She is thrilled now to be taking on her new role as operations manager and bringing her 15 years of TEFL experience to the UK and Ireland region as a whole.

Paula Jamieson

Moved within/to: Royal Roads University
On: January 2023

Royal Roads University, Canada. Paula Jamieson has joined the Global Learning & Language Centre at Royal Roads University, a unique public research university in Victoria, Canada.  As Manager of Global Learning Programs, Paula works with a network of agents and overseas partners to promote and deliver the Global Workforce Skills Certificate and Summer Leadership Academy, as well as custom groups like Global English through Leadership, where students explore the world through team-based projects that promote the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Paula has worked in the field of international education and training for over 30 years, spanning public and private sectors in Canada, the US and Japan.  About her new role, Jamieson says, “I am passionate about developing Global Learning programs through service excellence, digital innovation, and high-performance team-building. The GLLC at Royal Roads is a great match for this goal, and for students who are keen on entrepreneurship, sustainability, and global leadership.”

Monica Dugo

Moved within/to: StudyMe
On: January 2023

StudyMe, US. Monica Dugo has recently joined as Senior Partnerships Manager at StudyMe, an innovative digital recruitment platform that allows universities to remotely connect with and recruit the best fit international students for their academic programs. She has worked in international education for over a decade, first teaching English in the former Republic of Georgia. With experience working and living in five countries within three continents, she brings expertise in international recruitment/admissions along with targeted global marketing, which has greatly assisted her abilities to cross-collaborate and strategise amongst a worldwide portfolio of partnerships. She has a strong passion for technology and its advances on increasing diversity and global access and looks forward to growing with StudyMe.

Fanta Aw

Moved within/to: NAFSA
On: March 2023

NAFSA, US. NAFSA: Association of International Educators has announced that Fanta Aw, a current vice president at American University and a career-long champion of campus internationalisation, will serve as its next executive director and CEO. Fanta served as the president and chair of NAFSA’s board of directors from 2013 to 2016 – the longest tenure of any individual in that role in NAFSA’s history. In 2018, she also received the NAFSA International Education Award for Distinguished Service. Fanta’s varied leadership roles at American University—including vice president for undergraduate enrolment, campus life, and inclusive excellence—demonstrate her skills in forging collaboration across multiple internal and external entities. Fanta said of her new role, starting in March: ““This new opportunity at NAFSA represents a true homecoming for me, and I couldn’t be happier. NAFSA is a venerable association that has been at the leading edge of international education throughout its existence. It is my honour to guide its next chapter.”

Charlie Carter

Moved within/to: SI-UK
On: December 2022

SI-UK, UK. SI-UK announced the appointment of Charlie Carter as the new UK country director, based in London. SI-UK is one of the largest global education agencies sending international students to the UK. The London office works closely with UK university partners and engages with students from more than 100 different countries. Prior to joining SI-UK, Charlie spent 10 years as director, international office at Loughborough University where he developed global engagement strategy and internationalisation activity including student recruitment, institutional partnerships, student and staff mobility and international alumni engagement. He has twice been a member of the BUILA Executive Committee and formerly Chaired the British Universities Brunei Association. Prior to Loughborough, Charlie worked for FT-SE 100 consultancies in the UK and Europe.

Mona Chaisong

Moved within/to: Casita
On: January 2023

Casita, Global. Mona Chaisong will be joining Casita as a Partnerships Manager for the South East Asia market, based out of the regional HQ in Thailand. Mona graduated from Cardiff Metropolitan University (formerly the University of Wales, Cardiff) with an MBA in 2007 and completed her bachelors degree in Economic Environment from Khon Kaen University in 2006. Mona has almost 15 years of experience in international recruitment for higher education institutions, most recently with INTO, during which time she has gained in-depth knowledge and expertise in business development and marketing at national and regional levels. In addition, Mona has experience recruiting and managing large numbers of students and has a passion for overseas education and helping students accomplish their goals.

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