Principal elected Vice-Convener of Universities Scotland

Tuesday 30 June 2020

Profess Sally Mapstone

Principal Professor Sally Mapstone has been elected as the new Vice-Convener of Universities Scotland, the organisation which represents all 19 of Scotland’s higher education institutions, for a period of two years from 1 August 2020 to 31 July 2022.

Professor Gerry McCormac, Principal & Vice-Chancellor at the University of Stirling, was elected Convener. He takes over the Convenership role from Professor Andrea Nolan, Principal at Edinburgh Napier University, who served two consecutive terms in the role from 2016.

Professor McCormac and Professor Mapstone take on their new roles at a critical point for the higher education sector in Scotland. The Covid-19 crisis has left universities in Scotland exposed to potential losses in excess of £500 million in the coming 2020/21 academic year.

Last week’s Higgins Report noted that for the recovery to be successful it will have to be education-led, with an emphasis on the enormous contribution that universities make to Scotland’s economy.

Professor Mapstone has recently led one of Universities Scotland’s work streams to widen access through changes to the admissions process and currently chairs Universities Scotland’s Admissions Policy Group. She is a board member of Universities UK and UCAS, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and President of the Saltire Society.

Professor Mapstone said: “This is a sector that Scotland can be proud of. Its quality and reputation have been hard-won by the efforts of staff, students and university leaders working in tandem with politicians and civic society.

“The diversity of the sector in Scotland is one of its great strengths and the collegiate nature that exists in Scotland will be crucial in the coming years. We remain committed to our social and community mission at the same time as maintaining our excellence. We can do this by building back stronger and embedding ourselves further into the lives of the Scottish people.”

Professor Gerry McCormac is currently the Vice-Convener of Universities Scotland, a role he has held since 2016. He is an active member of the employers’ association for universities and colleges, UCEA, acting as chair of its Scottish Committee and sitting on its UK board. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE), the Royal Society of Antiquaries (FSA) and the Royal Society of Arts, Commerce and Manufacturers (FRSA). He chaired a review of teacher employment in Scotland for the Scottish Government in 2011.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

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