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Ipswich: University Campus Suffolk takes step closer to gaining degree-awarding powers with new appointment

23:34 19 March 2014

University Campus Suffolk has taken another step towards gaining its own degree-awarding powers by appointing a new dean of academic affairs.

University Campus Suffolk has taken another step towards gaining its own degree-awarding powers by appointing a new dean of academic affairs.


University Campus Suffolk has taken another step towards gaining its own degree-awarding powers by appointing a new dean of academic affairs.

The Ipswich-based higher education institution, set up in 2007 as a partnership between the University of East Anglia and the University of Essex, said last year it was seeking to form “a new governance structure” in a move designed to achieve standalone university status.

If successful, UCS will become the first independent university in Suffolk awarding its own degrees, which are currently jointly validated by its two partner institutions.

And today the university, which overlooks the town’s waterfront, announced Professor Penny Cavenagh had been appointed to the new role of dean of academic affairs.

She will be responsible for a broad portfolio covering the full spectrum of academic activity, including teaching and learning, research, enterprise and international activity.

As dean of academic affairs, she will also be responsible for developing the academic culture and profile of the institution. A UCS spokesman said: “This appointment is a further part of the academic management re-structure currently taking place at UCS, as UCS moves towards a new governance structure and gaining its own degree awarding powers as part of the institution’s independence project announced last year.”

Professor Cavenagh said, “I am delighted to have the opportunity to engage with the academic community at UCS and influence its development as we move towards independence.”

Richard Lister, provost of UCS, said: “I am very pleased that Penny is joining our senior team. She has a wide academic experience and I am looking forward to working with her to bring about an innovative and exiting academic culture for UCS.”

Previously director of research and enterprise, Professor Penny Cavenagh has a PhD in medical management, a masters degree in occupational psychology and is a chartered psychologist.

She has also served as a non-executive director of Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust for a total of eleven years.

She is also a visiting professor of health enterprise at UEA and an honorary professor in the school of health and human sciences at the University of Essex. She is currently academic advisor to the West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group.

Professor Cavenagh has a background in clinical management in the NHS, academic management in higher education and is a Fellow of The Higher Education Academy.

Her research interests are in medical management and medical education. She has published and continues to publish in these fields.

She established health enterprise at UCS and was co-founder of the Suffolk Leadership Academy.


  • What superb news,we can now give qualifications for all the hairdressing courses and the thousands of media studies experts which the job centre is very proud to be home to.Shame they had to make so many staff redundant as they could not attract sufficient quality students for meaningful courses. We have one of the best technical colleges in East Suffolk, it is almost in the top ten of colleges in East Anglia.

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    Billy Knowbend

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • I think you may have gotten yourself confused with Suffolk New College...UCS is a university, and don't offee degrees in hairdressing. Having graduated from UCS recently, I feel this latest development can only be a positive one for both the staff and students - there are some very inspiring teaching staff there, and the ability to award their own degrees will highlight the university's potential to deliver the very best courses.

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    Thursday, March 20, 2014

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