Vice-Chancellor and CEO

Professor Brigid Heywood

Professor Brigid Heywood

The University of New England's 14th Vice-Chancellor, Professor Brigid Heywood, joins the University following an academic career spanning several countries.

From leadership positions in regional and online universities in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia, Prof. Heywood has successfully driven advances in academic excellence, research performance and engagement through innovation knowledge transfer.

Given her proven commitment to education as an instrument for social and economic opportunity, Prof. Heywood is well placed to lead UNE as the University adapts to a changing higher education environment.

Prof. Heywood joins UNE from the University of Tasmania, where she was Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research). During her time in this role, UTas's research income lifted above $100 million for the first time, and its success rate with government research funder and support from industry were all improved significantly.

Before joining UTas in 2015, Prof. Heywood was at New Zealand's Massey University, initially as Assistant Vice Chancellor – Research and Enterprise (2011–13), then Assistant Vice Chancellor – Research, Academic and Enterprise (2013–15). In these roles she was responsible for strategic development of the university's research and enterprise agenda, and for academic advancement of teaching and learning, curriculum development, quality assurance and student support.

In her native United Kingdom, Prof. Heywood was Pro Vice Chancellor — Research and Enterprise at The Open University (2005-2011) and Pro Vice Chancellor — Research and Enterprise at Keele University (1996–2005).

At The Open University, she was instrumental in broadening the institution's culture from a purely academic focus to a strategic engagement with discovery and applied research.

At Keele, Prof. Heywood was also responsible for strategic development of the university's research and innovation agenda, and was portfolio manager of the institution's key research and enterprise units.

She joined Keele as the first woman in the UK to hold an established chair (Professor of Inorganic Materials Chemistry), aged 33, and set her foot on the first rung of her executive career as Keele's Head of Department of Chemistry a year later.

Her first degree, from Manchester University (UK), was in Biological Sciences; her PhD — an investigation of the basic cellular processes that control biomineralisation — was completed at Liverpool University (UK).

At UNE, Prof. Heywood aims to bring her years of experience to bear on expanding UNE's role in servicing its communities, and exploring how the University can improve opportunities for students from all walks of life while supporting them as lifelong learners.

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