Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Education and Student Experience

Professor Sarah Speight


Professor Sarah Speight is the Pro Vice Chancellor for Education and Student Experience, and Professor of Higher Education. Sarah leads the University’s strategy to deliver an outstanding educational experience for every student in our community. Reporting directly to the Vice-Chancellor, and working across the University’s executive team, Sarah is responsible for strategic leadership and oversight for policies and activities to enhance teaching, curriculum, and the broader student experience.   

Prior to taking up the role of PVC on 1 August 2020, Sarah was Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor for Teaching and Learning. Her former roles include Academic Director roles for the Transforming Teaching Programme, the Nottingham Advantage Award, and for Online Learning.  She served 5 years as Deputy Head of the School of Education and is also a former Undergraduate Vice-Dean.  


Sarah holds a BA (Hons) in History from the University of Manchester, and an MA and PhD in Archaeology from the University of Nottingham. Sarah completed her postgraduate studies as a part-time student, and began her academic career as an hourly-paid tutor for the adult education departments at the Universities of Nottingham, Leicester and Keele.   

Sarah is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and both a National Teaching Fellow (2013) and Principal Fellow (2014) of Advance HE. 

She is the recipient of a University of Nottingham Lord Dearing Award for excellence in learning and teaching (2006) and a Lord Dearing Fellowship (2011). 

Teaching and Research Summary

Sarah’s has taught many modules for the Schools of Continuing Education, Education and for the School of History. These included modules on the Byzantine Empire, Medieval Islam, and the history of the Papacy. More recently, Sarah has focused upon the supervision of EdD and PhD students working on higher education policy and practice.  

Sarah’s research interests lie in the areas of employability, sustainability, and student engagement. She has published on the relationship of employability to academic learning within higher education curricula, and sustainability as a dimension of pedagogy and practice in academic programmes. She has co-authored publications with students looking at the future of higher education from the student perspective. Most recently, Sarah has co-authored papers with professional service colleagues looking at information literacy skills and student evaluation.  

Since 2013, Sarah has been Nottingham’s academic lead for the FutureLearn partnership. She led the interdisciplinary team that created Nottingham’s first MOOC (Sustainability, Society and You).   





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