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Dr Helen Galbraith

With a 20-year commitment to higher education in a variety of senior roles and a passion for enabling students from all backgrounds to reach their goals, Dr Helen Galbraith will join the University early next year as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience).

Nationally, she is a member of the Executive Board for the Association of Heads of University Administration (AHUA) and its blog Editor-in-Chief.

She is an active member of other professional organisations in higher education, including the student services organisation AMOSSHE, the Academic Registrars’ Council (ARC) and the Higher Education Strategic Planners Association (HESPA).

Her new role at the University will encompass all aspects of student support and wellbeing; responding to student and graduate needs; developing innovation in teaching and learning; improving student employability and enterprise; managing student behaviour and bringing higher education opportunities to a diverse range of students.

Professor Eunice Simmons, the University’s Vice-Chancellor, said: “We have a new strategy, which sets out our expectation for a ‘premium, personalised, purposeful student experience.’ Dr Galbraith is just the person to champion this and with her support, we will progress at pace to ensure Chester students get the very best preparation for their lives and careers.

Canon Dr Jeff Turnbull, President of the University Council, said: “On behalf of the governors on the University Council, I welcome Dr Galbraith to the Strategic Executive Team, in what for us is a key area. We are very privileged to have someone of her experience and expertise and I know she will further enhance the strong team of leaders at the University.”

Eleanor Lewis, President of Chester Students’ Union, added: “Dr Galbraith’s appointment is fantastic news for students – from persuading talented people to come to university in the first place to ensuring they gain the qualifications and future they deserve, thanks to the enriching time they have spent with us. We can’t wait to start working with her as a Students’ Union.”

A University of Bristol Music graduate, Dr Galbraith gained a PhD in Russian Music and Poetry through part-time study. Also at Bristol, she worked in a number of professional areas, including research, education and governance, progressing to the post of Director of Strategic Planning and Projects.

Since 2016, she has been Academic Registrar and Secretary at Keele University, overseeing student welfare and support services; planning and registry services; and corporate and academic governance.

Dr Galbraith said: “Chester is clearly a university with exciting ambitions for its future, and a longstanding commitment to supporting students and helping them fulfil their potential. 

“I love working with and for students. I am really delighted to be joining the University of Chester community, and I'm grateful to the colleagues who have already been so welcoming.

“I am looking forward to working with Professor Simmons, the Student Futures team, Chester Students’ Union and with staff and students across the University to help deliver the new 'Citizen Student' strategy.”

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