This autumn the University of West London has a new Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Student Experience). Professor Nick Braisby, who joined the University in September, will be responsible for ensuring that students and academics have as positive and fruitful an experience at the University as possible.
Nick is passionate about working in, and the values of, higher education: opening peoples’ minds and guiding them to think and act responsibly as global citizens in a rapidly shrinking and challenging world. His enthusiasm for academia began at the University of Cambridge, where he studied Natural Sciences. He then went on to read for a PhD in Cognitive Science at the University of Edinburgh before moving to London to complete a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at the London School of Economics.
Nick believes that both aspects of his new role, academic and student experience, are inextricably linked, with success in one requiring success in the other. His aim is to achieve this success by working closely with students, the Students’ Union, academic partners within each of UWL’s Schools, cross-institutional groups such as INSTIL and University committees, and Course Leaders and individual academic staff. His vision is to see the University become even better at combining traditional academic values, such as high-quality teaching and excellent pastoral care, with the use of new technology. Technology increasingly plays a pivotal role in learning and teaching and he is confident that UWL will have all the ingredients to deliver a truly excellent, digitally-enhanced, student experience.
Though looking forward to working with students and academic staff on a number of projects, a current focus is student satisfaction. He will be leading a research project involving multiple focus group meetings with students to find out how they currently perceive the University. He will also be encouraging all students to take part in the National Student Survey, the results of which are compiled annually to help inform the choices of prospective students.
Nick is also keen to see the University enrich a broader range of students’ experiences. He will be working with the Students’ Union, societies, sports teams, the volunteering team and others in order to enhance the student journey, from before students apply to study at UWL, to when they graduate and take the first steps in their chosen career.
Consistent with his passion for technology-enhanced learning, Nick believes that social media can be of enormous value to the Higher Education sector, and will be using different online platforms to communicate with students and staff. As a proud new member of #TeamUWL, Nick invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn (uk.linkedin.com/pub/nick-braisby/22/ba3/3a8) or follow his new UWL Twitter account: @NickBraisby.
Outside of UWL, Nick enjoys gardening with his partner Ian, also an academic, spending time with his family, reading, and supporting Swansea City FC.