The Academic Council is the most senior academic authority within BPP University, with responsibility for the strategic academic direction, policy and standards. In particular, the Council considers and advises the Vice-Chancellor and the Board of Directors on matters relating to awarding taught degrees – specifically, the educational character and objectives of the University, the Academic Development Plan; the Academic Regulations, policy and quality assurance and enhancement procedures; the introduction and closure of programmes; awards, titles and the conferment of awards; agreements with partners and other awarding bodies; the establishment and closure of centres; institution-wide critical review.
The Academic Council is chaired by an independent member and comprises seven independent members, who are external to the University and hold high office in public life, the Vice-Chancellor and the Deans of the University as ex officio members, the President of the Students’ Association and the Deputy Chancellor as co-opted members, two elected members of staff and two elected representatives from the student body. The Director of Quality and Academic Policy is the Secretary of the Council. The voting power of the Academic Council rests with the independent external members.
The current Membership of the Academic Council can be found below.
- Dr David Holmes
- Professor Shirley Bach
- Professor Ian Davidson
- Professor Peter Delves
- Clare Minchington
- Dr Jonathan Nicholls
- Professor Richard Taylor
Dr David Holmes
David Holmes is the chairman of BPP’s Academic Council. He is also a consultant to Oxford University and has advised Saxton Bampfylde, KPMG and a wide range of UK universities as well as the Hong Kong University Grants Committee. He was Registrar and Chief Operating Officer of the University of Birmingham from 1988 to 1998 and of the University of Oxford from 1998 to 2006, as well as a professorial fellow of St John's College, Oxford. He retired from these last two posts in April 2006 but remains an Honorary Fellow of Merton College, Oxford, where he took his first degree in Literae Humaniores, and where he chairs the College’s Remuneration Committee. He was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law by Oxford in 2006.
He was Chairman of the UK Organising Committee for International Meetings of University Administrators from 1999 to 2003, and has served on numerous HEFCE, UUK and other committees, including sub-committees of the Dearing Review of Higher Education and the Higher Education Regulatory Review Group, which reported in 2006. He served as a lay member of the Council of the University of Warwick from 2006 to 2009 and as Chairman of the Governors of the King Edward’s independent schools in Birmingham from 2006 to 2014.
Professor Shirley Bach
Professor Shirley Bach was formerly Head of School of Health Sciences at the University of Brighton. Her work in educational development has had an inter-professional theme bringing together health professionals across disciplines in research, education and practice. She has contributed to various national and international committees with activities such as promoting career development in the NHS, integrating Caring Sciences into multi-professional curricula and care of the older person.
Professor Bach’s textbooks and her editorial role in initiating and guiding the Transforming Nursing Practice textbooks series have had a country wide impact on nursing curricula.
Professor Ian Davidson
Professor Ian Davidson is an independent member of Academic Council. In 2014 he was appointed an Emeritus Professor of the University of Sussex, where from 2008-2013 he was the inaugural Head of the School of Business, Management and Economics, and Professor of Accounting and Finance. Prior to that he was Professor of Accounting and Finance and Director of the Business School at Loughborough University; Professor of Financial Management, Associate Dean and Academic Director of the MBA programmes at Warwick University Business School (WBS), and the inaugural Boots Professor of Accounting and Finance at the University of Nottingham. He has also held faculty positions at Bristol University and Denver University in the USA and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In 2008 he was the external panel member for the 5-year review of programmes at the Judge Business School Cambridge, and has been an external examiner for masters level programmes at most of the top UK business schools including Cambridge, Cranfield (as chief external), Lancaster, London Business School and Manchester Business School. He also served for a number of years as a vice-chairman of the Board of Accreditation of Educational Courses (BAEC) reviewing business programmes in British and Irish Universities. Ian qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse in London and as a Chartered Management Accountant with a division of Westinghouse Electric. He has served for 4 years as a member of Council of the ICAEW with a number of responsibilities, including chairing the ethics committee and membership of the Technical Panel, and has held board positions at a number of small companies. He has written many academic papers in top academic journals on areas including takeovers, financial markets and accounting systems and published a number of books, the most recent being the post-graduate level text ‘Principles of Equity Valuation’. Ian is also a qualified private pilot with instrument and night flying ratings.
Professor Peter Delves
Peter is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Infection and Immunity at UCL (University College London). He was formerly Pro-Provost (Europe and Central Asia) for UCL, and Vice-Dean (Education) for the Faculty of Medical Sciences. He has published over 160 scientific articles and is a member of the scientific editorial team for the 32-volume Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. His teaching has received numerous awards for excellence and innovation. Professor Delves' textbooks, which have been translated into several languages, are used worldwide and he has delivered lectures to scientists and students in many countries across the globe.
Clare Minchington has worked at the interface of professional and higher education for over 20 years. Until March 2015 she was the Executive Director for Strategy and Development at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) responsible for ACCA's intellectual capital, from the overall strategy to talent, brand, policy and qualifications. She currently works as a strategic consultant for professional bodies and universities.
A qualified accountant, trained with PwC, prior to joining ACCA in 2000 she was Chair of the MBA Financial Strategy course at the Open University Business School. Clare has held a number of national and international appointments in the field of professional and higher education including board membership of IFAC’s International Accounting Education Standards Board, the CISI Examination Board, the Advisory Board of the Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for Business, Management, Accountancy and Finance, and Chair of the Dean’s Advisory Board for Oxford Brookes University Business School.
She is a director of Policy Connect, the leading not-for-profit network of Parliamentary groups and research commissions.
Dr Jonathan Nicholls
Dr Jonathan Nicholls is currently Director of Strategy and Policy Advice (Education) for the law firm Shakespeare Martineau LLP. From October 2007 to January 2017 he was the Registrary at the University of Cambridge. Prior to that he was the Registrar and Secretary for the University of Birmingham, a post to which he was appointed after spending much of his career at the University of Warwick where he was also Registrar. Jonathan was elected as the Deputy Chair and then Chair of the Association of Heads of University Administration between 2007 and 2016, and has also served on a range of national and regional bodies, including in the fields of pay, pensions, health (where he has been a non-executive director of a NHS Trust and governor of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for nine years), schools, and leadership development and strategy. Prior to his career in higher education, Jonathan was a graduate of Bristol University, completed a PhD in medieval English at Cambridge, and spent time at Harvard as a Herchel Smith Scholar.
Professor Richard Taylor
Professor Richard Taylor studied Law at Oxford University and the London School of Economics and qualified for the Bar before joining the Law School at the University of Central Lancashire where he was Head of the Lancashire Law School for 14 years and, more recently, its Director of Research. He is the founding contributor, since 1991, of a number of chapters on substantive criminal law to Blackstone's Criminal Practice (published annually by OUP), his ongoing work has been cited with approval on a number of occasions in the Court of Appeal in decisions that have made new law. Richard is also the co-author (with his son) of Contract Law Directions, a student text published by OUP currently in its 5th edition and he also sits part-time as a first tier Tribunal Judge.
He was a member of the UK Funding Councils’ Law Panel for the 1996 and 2001 Research Assessment Exercises and has also served on a wide range of other legal and educational bodies including spells as Chair of the Legal Education Committee, and then as Honorary Secretary of the Society of Legal Scholars, which is the Learned Society for University Lawyers in the UK and Ireland. In September 2016, Richard was elected to be Vice President of the Society for 2017-18, and thereafter President for 2018-19.
Professor Tim Stewart
Tim started his career with the Unilever group in 1993 joining BPP as a tutor in 1997. Tim has worked in a wide variety of BPP roles including Managing Director of BPP Poland and BPP Luton/Milton Keynes, Head of Accountancy and Tax programmes, Dean of Learning and Teaching and Dean of BPP University Business School. He is now CEO of BPP Holdings and Vice-Chancellor of BPP University.
Tim gained a 1st class undergraduate degree from Oxford University, an MSc in Financial Management and is a CIMA qualified management accountant.
Professor Christina Cunliffe
Christina obtained her PhD from the University of Manchester, and is a graduate of the McTimoney College of Chiropractic. She was awarded her personal Chair from the University of Wales. A Chartered Biologist, she is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and a Fellow of the Royal College of Chiropractors. Until recently she served for many years on the regulatory body for chiropractic, the General Chiropractic Council, and was also a member of its Education Committee.
Christina is the Dean of the School of Health within BPP University, and is a member of the University Board. She is also Principal of McTimoney College of Chiropractic, a role she has maintained since 1998. She is also Visiting Lecturer at a number of other universities and medical schools.
Christina maintains her multidisciplinary health clinic in the Oxfordshire countryside.
Professor Chris Maguire
Chris Maguire is Dean of Academic Affairs and Proctor at BPP University. Chris joined BPP in 2005 as its first Director of Quality and Academic Policy. He is responsible for developing and managing the academic infrastructure and cultural ethos that underpin BPP University’s academic governance, quality and standards.
Chris is a member of HEFCE’s QARSAC Board, a QAA reviewer, and has held a number of external appointments, including: Chair of the Association of Law Teachers, Chair of the Lithuanian SPCK Review of Degrees in Creative Industries, British Council consultant to the Cypriot Government, consultant to the Nigerian Council of Legal Education, Chair of the UKCLE funded Phineas Gage Group on Neuroscience, member of the European Union Stage Experts Committee and member of the advisory committees for the UK Centre for Legal Education. Chris is a member of the Association of Heads of University Administration, the Association of Law Teachers and of the Society for Research into Higher Education.
Professor Martyn Jones
Professor Martyn Jones is the Deputy Chancellor of the University and was previously Chairman of the Academic Council 2008-2013. He is currently the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Kingston University having previously held the appointment of Pro Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Support.
He is a member of the International Accreditation Advisory Board for the Association of MBAs. Academic appointments have been as Dean of the Business School at the University of Kent and at the Royal Military College of Science and at Cranfield School of Management, where he was Director of the MBA. Prior to this he was a Colonel in the Army.
In September 2016 James was appointed President of the Students' Association. Working with the University and the rest of the Students’ Association, the President’s role is to represent the student body and assist in improving the overall student experience. James is a recent graduate of BPP University’s LLB (Hons) programme, and was previously Centre President for BPP University in Leeds. On completion of his tenure as President, James hopes to go on to complete the LPC at BPP University and practice as a Solicitor in the future.
Alison qualified as a solicitor in 2005 at the Liverpool firm Paul Crowley & Co where she practiced in all aspects of Family Law. In 2008, Alison moved to London where she continued to practice as a Family solicitor specialising in public child law and conducting her own advocacy in respect of the same.
Alison joined BPP University Law School in London 2009 as a GDL Tort lecturer and LLB Family Law lecturer and she then became the national module leader for the LLB Family Law module. In 2016, Alison returned to her home town of Liverpool to take up her new role as GDL Programme Leader in the Manchester branch of BPP.
Professor Lynne Gell
Lynne took up her position on Academic Council on the 30th November 2016. She has professional qualifications as a Registered Nurse and Nurse Tutor, she received a BSc (Hons) in Social Studies (1992), a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (1994) and an MA in Education (1997) and is currently the Director of Nursing and Healthcare Education within the School of Health at BPP University. Lynne joined BPP in August 2011 and has been afforded the opportunity to sit on a number of committees including the Education and Training Committee, Published Information Governance Group, Learning Teaching Assessment and Enhancement Committee and the National Student Survey. A strong advocate of partnership and inter-professional working and learning, Lynne has been instrumental in developing the faculty’s national and international portfolio across a range of health and social care disciplines from levels 3 - 7. Lynne successfully completed her portfolio and was awarded a Professorship in October 2014, Principal Fellow with the Higher Education Academy in September 2015 and was appointed as a Reviewer for the National Teaching Fellowship Awards in 2016.
Dr Boryana Peevska-Cutting
Dr Boryana Peevska-Cutting joined BPP University in April 2010 as Director of Quality and Academic Policy, with University-wide responsibility for academic regulations, programme approval, institutional review and the committee secretariat.
Formerly an Assistant Professor in Cultural Studies at Sofia University 'St Kliment Ohridski' (Bulgaria), Boryana proceeded to fulfil a range of teaching and senior management roles in professional and higher education in the United Kingdom. In 2010, Boryana was listed as one of the 100 most influential people in Suffolk.
Boryana is a Quality Assurance Agency Reviewer, and a member of the Association of Heads of University Administration. Dr Peevska-Cutting holds a doctorate from King’s College, London, specialising in higher education policy.