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Recent Movers & Shakers

Matt Hird

Moved within/to: David Game College Group
On: August 2021

David Game College Group, UK. Matt Hird has joined David Game College Group as Director of Student Recruitment. Matt will be responsible for developing a multi-channel student recruitment strategy for A-level, GCSE, University Foundation Programme and EFL courses at both the David Game College London Campus and Bath Academy. Matt has over 20 years of experience in the international education sector through his previous work with Oxford International Education Group. During his time there, Matt worked in the academic and operations teams prior to becoming Global Sales Director and helping to build the international sales team across the EFL, High School and Pathway divisions, which delivered exponential growth in student numbers and revenue over the past 10 years. Matt will focus on building the David Game Group brand internationally, developing the global partner network and building a team to provide first class support to students, parents, agents and institutions.

Nick Golding

Moved within/to: The PIE
On: August 2021

The PIE, UK. Nick Golding has joined The PIE team as Business Development Director. Nick is a veteran of the international education sector, having established CATS Colleges (now CATS Global Schools) in 1985 and then Cambridge Education Group in 1998 when CATS acquired the Stafford House group of companies. Following the sale of CEG to Bridgepoint, Nick worked for a number of independent schools’ groups before becoming one of the Cambridge Angels group of investors in start-up technologies. Nick’s role at Cambridge Angels is to identify promising EdTech opportunities, and he led the first two rounds of funding in The Ambassador Platform, where Nick has also been the Strategic Development Director for the last three years. Commenting on his appointment to The PIE, Nick said “I am a big admirer of what Amy, Clare and Jane have achieved with The PIE, and I am so excited to have this opportunity to contribute to its continuing development going forward”.

Fazal Malik

Moved within/to: Amity Dubai
On: July 2021

Amity University Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Fazal Malik has been promoted as Pro Vice Chancellor at Amity University where he previously served as Dean of Humanities and Vice President Academic Dubai. A seasoned academic leader and media practitioner, Fazal has  over 12 years of academic leadership experience in the Middle East, he served as Associate Dean at Higher Colleges of Technology in the UAE. He has master degree in International Journalism from City University London and completed PhD from Nottingham Trent University. Before making transition to academia, he worked as broadcast journalist for the BBC and also established a number of community radio broadcasting platforms in the UK. “The Arab world is going through a major change with focus on technology enabled learning and knowledge economy,” he said. “Amity University in Dubai has been in the region for ever a decade now and my priority is to contextualise learning and engage with the UAE strategic direction while bringing best international practices into our teaching and learning.”

Saif Al Seiari

Moved within/to: Amity Dubai
On: July 2021

Amity Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Accomplished scientist, policy maker, and Emirati leader Saif Al Seiari has joined Amity University Dubai as President/Vice Chancellor. With expertise in strategic roles, he holds a PhD in petroleum engineering from Imperial College London, and has held leadership positions in Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the Petroleum Institute (Khalifa University), Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, PJSC (TAQA) and Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA), where he served as Director General. He also serves as the Senior Advisor to the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi and maintains his seat on the boards of various public and private companies and committees. “Since its establishment in 2011, Amity University Dubai’s growth, infrastructure and vision for the future, has been outstanding and ambitious,” he said. “I look forward to playing a role in shaping new strategies and driving innovative education models that will further enhance student experience, partnerships and industry collaborations in research and teaching.”

Judith Lamie

Moved within/to: Swansea University
On: August 2021

Swansea University, UK. Judith Lamie has joined Swansea’s senior leadership team as a new Pro-Vice Chancellor with responsibility for the university’s international portfolio. Taking up her new role on August 1Judith brings with her a wealth of experience within Higher Education, having previously held various strategic and internationally-focused senior roles. She will work collaboratively across Swansea University’s Faculties and Professional Services, support its ambitious international aims by working to broaden global partnerships, develop a successful transnational education portfolio, increase international student recruitment and continue to enhance the university’s reputation as a world-leading institution. “I am delighted to join Swansea University’s vibrant community and very much look forward to engaging with students and colleagues across many areas of activity,” she said.

Andrea Nollent

Moved within/to: Global University Systems
On: August 2021

Global University Systems, Global. Andrea Nollent will be stepping down as Vice-Chancellor and CEO of The University of Law at the end of August to take up the new post of Chief Academic Officer of a portfolio of GUS Group universities. In her new role she will be leading academic strategy across the Group’s university portfolio. During her five year tenure, ULaw has seen student numbers double, the growth and diversification of the course portfolio, the launch of new campuses and partnerships in the UK and Hong Kong and sector recognition in the National Student Survey, where twice in the last five years ULaw was ranked number 1 in England for Student Satisfaction. “The University is very well positioned for the exciting next phase of expansion and diversification,” Nollent said. “It is now time for a new challenge and I look forward to leading academic strategy to achieve a consistently improved student experience and excellent student outcomes across GUS university institutions.”

Helen Wright

Moved within/to: Klik2learn
On: June 2021

Klik2learn, Global. Online course developer Klik2learn has appointed Helen Wright as a non-executive director. Helen is an experienced education specialist and highly skilled in education leadership. A well-known school principal, having led schools in the UK and Australia for over 13 years, she is now a board chair and International Education Advisor. She has a special interest in social mobility for learners of all backgrounds. She has an active portfolio career, including executive coaching of senior educational leaders, and is a non-executive director on a number of boards in the UK and overseas. “Understanding technology is powerful for educationalists and it’s not just for those in ‘tech’ fields,” Helen said. “How we support our tutors, teachers and learners on leveraging technology to improve learning outcomes is key. Klik2learn is innovating and creating new approaches using cutting edge technology and I’m incredibly excited to help it do much more both here in the UK and overseas.”

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.”

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