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Recent Movers & Shakers

Meelis Paloson

Moved within/to: EDUopinions
On: June 2021

EDUopinions, Spain. Meelis Paloson is the new Global Partnerships Manager at EDUopinions. A platform helping students to find their ideal studies and make an informed decision. Meelis has over 15 years of experience in sales and has been working in different industries and different departments. Meelis’s role is centred in developing business partnerships on the global level, opening up new markets, and getting EDUopinions known all over the globe. By having cross-industries experiences Meelis is bringing onboard freshness and diversity of ideas in creating new partnerships with higher education institutions. EDUopinions’ mission is to empower students and alumni from all over the world to share their experiences to help others decide on their future studies. Through authenticated students’ reviews and free personalised advice they connect students with the right institutions.

Jie “Veronika” Du

Moved within/to: iTEP International
On: June 2021

iTEP International, Global. Jie “Veronika” Du has joined the iTEP China team as Director of Business Development. In this position Veronika will focus on iTEP academic test sales to educational institutions in the People’s Republic of China. This includes the iTEP Academic Plus exam for colleges and universities and the iTEP SLATE Plus exam for middle and high schools. Veronika brings nearly 20 years of experience in the educational sector in China, and she has a strong working knowledge of the international student recruitment and study abroad process as well as English proficiency testing. Veronika also has worked with many of iTEP’s current partners in China including Shorelight, Kaplan, and ELS. Veronika holds a Master of Business Management degree from Kent University in the UK and a Bachelor of International Trade and Economics degree from Fudan University in China. “Jie Du’s experience and expertise will help to greatly enhance the brand of iTEP in the China market and make our in-country team stronger,” said Jim Brosam II., President of iTEP International.

Negar Zandipour

Moved within/to: Object Next Software
On: July 2021

Object Next Software, Australia. Negar Zandipour has been appointed Manager, Integrated Marketing and Communication at Object Next Software. Negar is an experienced Marketing Executive with a demonstrated history of working in the international Education industry across top global education agencies. Along with proven Leadership skills, Negar brings over 11 years of knowledge and extensive experience in the Digital Marketing, University Admissions, Student Recruitment, CRM development, Project Management, Business development, and Human resources. Negar was also key to developing admissions process for various key market sources and engaged with various partner universities to implement the best marketing strategies in those markets. She has joined the team to develop and manage engaging marketing strategies that support the strategic communications and enhance the brand awareness and engagement with partners. Negar holds a Bachelor of Textile Engineering (Honours) and a Master of Industrial Engineering from Iran, a Master of Integrated Marketing from Swinburne University of Technology followed by a Professional Master’s Degree (Digital Marketing) from Simplilearn College.

Karan Khemka

Moved within/to: Leverage Edu
On: August 2021

Leverage Edu, India. Karan Khemka has joined Leverage Edu’s Advisory Board. As a previous investor in the company’s Series A round of fundraising, Karan will provide guidance to founder and CEO, Akshay Chaturvedi, and the rest of the board. A veteran education pioneer and former Partner at education consulting firm EY Parthenon, he also serves at the Advisory board of India-based Tata ClassEdge and at the boards of US-based Prometric, China-based Elitek12 among others. “Akshay and Leverage Edu are assisting thousands of young Indians with their aspirations for a global education and life; it is imperative these students make the best choice for themselves and Leverage Edu is here to help,” Karan Khemka said, on the new appointment. Karan “brings tremendous operating insights that will help us continue delivering on our mission to help millions of middle-income students get access to high quality career advice to study at their dream colleges”, Akshay added.


Peter Wilcke

Moved within/to: Dugga
On: June 2021

Dugga, Global. Peter Wilcke has been appointed as new CEO of Dugga. He will join the company in September 2021. Wilcke has a long and outstanding career in the world of education, previously holding positions as CEO at Norstedts Publishing Group, Sales Director at Liber Publishing, and most recently as Managing Director at the AcadeMedia owned NTI School which is Sweden’s leading digital school with 45 000 students. Furthermore, Wilcke has been involved in starting AcadeMedia EdTech, for which he received the Leader of Innovation Award 2020. “Dugga with its active founders, talented team, and a product that is in high demand globally, is a company with huge potential,” said Wilcke. “I’m looking forward to driving Dugga’s mission further and to successfully build the company’s revenue and sustainable growth”.


Angela Schaffer

Moved within/to: The Fund for Education Abroad
On: June 2021

The Fund for Education Abroad, US. FEA has announced that international education expert and entrepreneur Angela Schaffer has been named its new Executive Director. Schaffer brings 15 years of experience developing and managing international education programs, partnerships, and fundraising efforts, in addition to launching a small business and award-winning nonprofit. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Schaffer’s first focus will be developing a plan and timeline for catalysing donor engagement, prospect research and cultivating relationships, expanding FEA’s reach and impact, and ultimately positioning FEA as a thought leader in philanthropy and international education. “With her impressive history advancing international education and serving her community, we’re thrilled to welcome Angela Schaffer onto our team,” said FEA Board Chair Anne Krieg. “Angela’s arrival adds to this very exciting period for FEA, as we work to fund additional scholarships through our ‘Bringing the World Home’ campaign, develop new programs for Alumni, and find innovative ways to answer the needs of our stakeholders in a post-pandemic world as travel and higher education revive.”


Michelle Liu

Moved within/to: Grok Global Services
On: July 2021

Grok Global Services, Global. Michelle Liu has been promoted within Grok Global, to the role of Executive Director – China / Head of Advisory & Partnerships. Michelle joined Grok Global in 2009 and has been a very successful Head of Advisory. She has become a trusted advisor on the international education sector, helping Ambassadors, Ministries of Education, and countless education institutions to set their global education strategies. Michelle has also worked with many universities in the management of their global engagements and program office teams, as well as with the formation of academic partnerships in Asia. While Michelle will continue to lead the Advisory and Partnerships function, in her new role as Executive Director for China, she will manage Grok’s presence in this key geography, ensuring the China entity continues to operate smoothly, and develop Grok’s relationships with the wider international education ecosystem in China.

Octave Auger

Moved within/to: upGrad
On: June 2021

upGrad, Global. Octave Auger has joined upGrad as VP for Growth. With a strong track record leading the growth of some of the most successful scale-ups in Europe such as Paddle, GoCardless, and Skrill, Octave is passionate about lifelong education and upskilling. At upGrad, he will oversee marketing and communications, including brand building across social media, PR and events, growth-driving initiatives across bought, earned, and owned channels and improving the end-to-end customer journey. “With a huge global demand for outcome-driven, lifelong learning upGrad’s blend of unique content and engaging technology could help a new standard for higher education,” he said. “upGrad occupies a unique space in the market by combining the excellence of academic education with the real-world knowledge from industry experts, offering a fantastic springboard to help universities reach more global students and help these students reach the career outcomes they desire. I look forward to driving this growth across the UK, Europe, and the Middle East.”


Tom Atkinson

Moved within/to: upGrad
On: June 2021

Upgrad, Global. Tom Atkinson has joined online higher education company upGrad as VP for Sales and Partnerships. Based in the UK, Tom brings with him a wealth of experience in international expansion, having led the successful sales growth of edtech businesses ITPM and Ducere Global Business School. At upGrad he will be responsible for increasing the business’s foothold in the UK, Europe and Middle East. This will include launching upGrad’s B2C arm in the region, developing industry partnerships across sectors and creating innovative new B2B offerings. “upGrad has huge growth ambitions and I am joining at an exciting time as we make further inroads in the UK,” he said. “The UK is synonymous with quality education, and we are poised to help UK universities reap the benefits by exporting services to geographies all over the world where demand is high. It couldn’t be a better time to help our new partners unlock this potential.”


Paul Boyle

Moved within/to: Jisc
On: May 2021

Jisc, UK. Vice-chancellor of Swansea University Paul Boyle took over as the new chair of the UK’s technology body for tertiary education, Jisc, earlier this year. Previously, Paul has been president and VC of the University of Leicester and chief executive of the Economic and Social Research Council, the international champion of Research Councils UK, and president of Science Europe. “I am very pleased to be joining Jisc at this critical time for the higher and further education sectors,” he said. “The digital platforms that underpin our educational and research needs have never been more important, and the opportunity for Jisc to build upon its longstanding reputation is clear.” Paul has been a Jisc trustee since January 2021, and succeeds David Maguire as Jisc chair. “Paul Boyle inherits a robust, forward-thinking organisation of which I am extraordinarily proud,” David added, following his six-year tenure.

David Laird

Moved within/to: ICS London
On: April 2021

ICS London, UK. ICS London welcomed David Laird as new Head of School in April. David moved to Globeducate’s ICS London from Lisbon, after his role as Founding Principal of a brand new international school in the city. With more than 20 years of experience in both the UK and international education sector, David is a passionate leader with a drive to develop outstanding schools. In the early part of his teaching career, he was seconded as an advisory teacher. After moving abroad, he eventually began working for Nord Anglia Education, first as Head of Primary for the British School of Guangzhou, and later as Principal for The British School of Beijing.  As a parent himself, David firmly believes that a good education is the greatest gift we can give our children, providing them with the right tools they need to succeed in life. He explains that the mission at ICS London is to provide an innovative approach to education, inspiring each and every student to discover their strengths within a community of future leaders.

Dean Spears

Moved within/to: CUBO
On: July 2021

College and University Business Officers, UK. CUBO has announced the appointment of Dean Spears as a new Board member to help guide the organisation’s strategic development with a specific focus on Housing Codes and Standards. As Director of Facilities: Campus & Commercial Services, Sport & Science Park at University of York, Dean has joined the CUBO Board to take responsibility for the Housing Codes and Standards Portfolio. He will represent CUBO as a member of the UUK Accommodation Code Governance Board, as well as the ANUK Code Committee of Management and the British Property Federation Student Housing Committee. “I have joined the CUBO Governing Board of Directors to support, champion and support our thousands of colleagues working in the commercial and campus services sectors in higher and further education in the UK and Ireland,” Dean said.

Cara Skikne

Moved within/to: StudyPortals
On: July 2021

Studyportals, Global. Cara Skikne has been appointed as Senior Editor at edtech platform Studyportals. This appointment seeks to enhance Studyportals’ long-established role as a thought leader in the international education space. Studyportals is the world’s leading study-choice platform for 50 million students, and Cara will play a role in sharing digital recruitment student insights and analysis with the industry. She will also work closely with Studyportals’ Advisory Boards towards the Studyportals mission of making study choice transparent globally.Cara has a background in Journalism and Communications. She was a Chevening Scholar and has an MBA from Oxford University, where she co-chaired the Media and Marketing Oxford Business Network. She says, “I believe in making access to universities more inclusive, rather than exclusive, and see access to quality information for candidates as essential in this mission.”

Ryan Henderson

Moved within/to: LH Global Group
On: July 2021

LH Global Group, Global. LH Global Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Ryan Henderson to the position of Group Chief Executive Officer. Based mostly in LH Global’s London office, Ryan opened the European division of LH Global in 2019 in his former role of UK General Manager. Ryan has now stepped up to meet the challenge of overseeing the group’s extensive global presence, overseeing the existing China, US, Australian, Malaysian and Bhutanese offices as well as the UK. He has a long and impressive pedigree in international education leadership across diverse regions. Having himself lived and worked overseas for around a decade, his passion for “facilitating learning without borders, and migration without barriers” is notoriously contagious and his understanding of British education has helped to further open up the UK and EU to increasing numbers of students and families from all over the world. A former teacher himself at a prestigious international school in Shenzhen, China, Ryan believes in British Education and understands the obstacles and adventure overseas applicants face when migrating to access it.

Rachel Hewitt

Moved within/to: MillionPlus
On: August 2021

MillionPlus, UK. MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities in the UK, has appointed Rachel Hewitt as Chief Executive. Currently Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Higher Education Policy Institute, Rachel has also held a number of roles at the Higher Education Statistics Agency, focused on policy and governance. Rachel also serves as an independent governor on the governing body of Leeds Beckett University. Her energy, drive and commitment will be a “huge asset” to MillionPlus, said the organisation’s chair and Vice-Chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University Rama Thirunamachandran. “She brings to the role a wealth of experience of the higher education policy landscape and I know she will articulate a brilliant vision and a strong voice for MillionPlus and modern universities,” he said. Rachel is excited to join MillionPlus at a crucial time amid a vital conversation around building back better and beyond by levelling up across the UK. “With deep roots in their communities and decades of experience pioneering cutting-edge skills and driving growth and innovation, modern universities must absolutely be at the heart of that conversation,” she said.


May Arthur

Moved within/to: M Square Media
On: June 2021

M Square Media, Global. May Arthur has been appointed Vice President of MSM’s Global Marketing Office. In the role, she will help strengthen the company’s business development outreach, in addition to helping promote and preserve the premium, value-adding services provided to each GMO partner institution, particularly in the USA where she is currently based. May is a seasoned international education business executive with over 27 years of experience. She has held several leadership roles dedicated to growing and retaining the international student population at partner universities. Her broad areas of expertise include business development, organisational leadership, strategic planning, and global operations. She excels at developing and supporting partnerships with universities and managing global recruitment initiatives.


Andrew Disbury

Moved within/to: M Square Media
On: June 2021

M Square Media, Global. International education platform MSM has appointed Andrew Disbury as President of MSM in the United Kingdom, setting a key role for him to expand its business in the major international education market. Before being appointed in January 2020 as Vice President of MSM UK, Andrew served as a member of the MSM International Advisory Board. In the new role Andrew will engage partner institutions in the MSM Global Marketing Office model, which builds global or in-country offices providing dedicated teams on the ground, agent management, lead generation and enquiry management, application pre-screening, and student and parent support. In the UK and Europe region, he will also be the face of MSM’s foray in edtech-based recruitment via MSM Unify. He has  spent 35 years in education leadership and management roles in international education in China, India, Scotland, and England.

Suneetha Qureshi

Moved within/to: M Square Media
On: June 2021

M Square Media, Global. Suneetha Qureshi has been promoted to the role of President of MSM’s Global Marketing Office, the company has announced. Previously, she had served as the Vice President-Global for the MSM segment, which currently serves about 45 higher education institutions in Canada, United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, and other countries worldwide. As president of the MSM GMO segment, Suneetha will fortify its business development outreach globally, particularly in the face of MSM’s foray in edtech-based recruitment via MSM Unify. She will preserve the premium, value-adding services provided to each GMO partner institution, including dedicated teams on the ground, agent management, lead generation and inquiry management, application pre-screening, and student and parent support through pioneering pre-departure briefing sessions. She has more than 10 years of experience in the international education sector and a strong  track record of successfully launching the representative offices in Asia and Africa of many North American and European HEIs, with key strengths in hiring, training, and developing dedicated in-country college and university client teams.


Mark Rendell

Moved within/to: English UK
On: June 2021

English UK, UK. Mark Rendell has been elected the new chair of the English UK Board of Trustees. Mark, the CEO of International House London since 2019, has been in ELT for 28 years, teaching in Poland, Saudi Arabia, and China before working at English UK and then moving to become principal of St Giles International London Central. Mark was deputy chief executive of English UK for six years to 2011, becoming a trustee and director in 2016 and serving as vice-chair for the last three years. He was also chair of English UK London, and is currently a trustee and director of the IH World Organisation, a member of the Accreditation UK board and a member of the Cambridge Assessment Standards Committee. “I believe our Association has the ability to help our industry, our organisations, and our students to continue to improve, to foster resilience and to prosper,” he said. “I want the UK to welcome international students again, to actively target growth, and for the country to be regarded as the world’s premier ELT destination.”

Shoko Doherty

Moved within/to: English UK
On: June 2021

English UK, UK. Shoko Doherty will be the new vice-chair of the English UK Board of Trustees. Shoko, CEO of Celtic English Academy in Cardiff, first came to the UK as an international student from Japan and honed her English language skills during her university studies. She has worked in ELT for 17 years – in most roles except teaching. Shoko joined the English UK board in 2017, the English UK Enterprises board in 2020, and was vice chair of English UK Wales, the association she helped to set up six years ago. She has been heavily involved with various tourism and international relations projects with stakeholders in Wales and overseas. She was a Leading Wales Awards Finalist for Women in Leadership in 2018. “I truly believe that the UK is one of the best ELT destinations,” she said. “I experienced it myself as an international student, and I want many more students from around the world to have their life-changing experiences here with us, studying at an English UK member centre.”

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