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The University of Southampton

New Vice-President (Education & Student Experience)

Published: 12 January 2022
Professor Deborah Gill
Professor Deborah Gill

Professor Deborah Gill has been appointed as the next Vice-President (Education & Student Experience) at the University of Southampton.

This appointment follows the announcement in September by Professor Alex Neill, that after 10 years in the role he would be stepping down in April 2022.

Professor Gill joins Southampton on 1 April 2022 from University College London (UCL) where she has been their Interim Vice Provost, Education and Student Experience since April 2021. Over the nine months in this role, she has worked closely with senior leadership colleagues, teachers, students, education leaders and professional services leads to galvanise and lead the UCL academic community in keeping students and the quality of their education central to decision making in some of the most challenging times in Higher Education.

Immediately preceding this Deborah spent two years as UCL’s first Pro-Vice Provost for Student Experience. She also led UCL Medical School for six years.

Qualifying in Medicine in 1990 Deborah began her academic career in 1996 as a Fellow at Barts & the Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry. She joined the Royal Free Medical School as a Lecturer in the Department of Primary Care & Population Sciences in 1997 and moved to UCL to take up a Senior Lecturer post in the Academic Centre for Medical Education in 2002. Appointed Deputy Director of UCL Medical School in 2010, she was awarded a Chair of Medical Education in 2015 and became Director in the same year.

As a clinical academic Deborah has combined academic work with clinical practice as a GP for over 20 years, only recently stepping down to focus on her senior academic role. Of her new appointment, Professor Gill said: “I am delighted to be joining the University of Southampton as it launches its ambitious new strategy.

“I have been impressed by the commitment of the whole University community to ensuring education is at the heart of the University’s ambitions. Ensuring a great education and student experience is everybody’s business and I look forward to working with a broad range of staff, students and external stakeholders as we shape the next chapter of the education story at Southampton together.“

Professor Mark Smith, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton welcomed Professor Gill’s appointment: “I am delighted to announce that the next Vice-President (Education & Student Experience) will be Professor Deborah Gill. There was very strong competition for this role which gives an indication of the regard the University is held in internationally. Deborah impressed the panel with both her experience in leading strategic educational development, as well as her ambition to work with colleagues and students to build on the strong educational experience at Southampton. I very much look forward to working with Deborah as she leads the education strand, which is core to the delivery of our new University Strategy.

“I would also like to thank Prof. Alex Neill for his enduring passion and pride in our teaching, education and the student experience and for providing such excellent and committed leadership in these uncertain times.” 

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