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Former Universities Minister to join UPP Foundation’s Trustee and Advisory boards

3rd August 2020 by Richard Brabner

Former Universities Minister Rt. Hon Chris Skidmore MP (pictured above) has been appointed a Trustee of the UPP Foundation. He has also agreed to Chair the Foundation’s Advisory Board. The UPP Foundation is the registered independent charity founded by University Partnerships Programme (UPP), the UK’s leading provider of on-campus residential and academic accommodation infrastructure.

Chris is one of several new members to join the Foundation’s Trustee and Advisory boards. The appointments will further strengthen the Foundation’s strategic vision, building on the knowledge and practical understanding which has informed the Foundation’s work to support the higher education sector.

The Foundation’s Trustee Board, responsible for directing the affairs of the UPP Foundation, works to ensure that the Foundation is well-run and delivering the key charitable outcomes for which it has been created. The Trustee Board – currently chaired by Jon Wakeford, Group Corporate Affairs Director for UPP – has announced three new appointments. These include:

  • Chris Skidmore MP (Former Universities Minister);
  • Andrew Percival (Managing Director, UPP Projects, UPP);
  • Alexandra Slater (Partnerships Director for Student Experience and Satisfaction, UPP).

The Foundation’s Advisory Board is comprised of university vice-chancellors, thought-leaders, policy experts and politicians, all of whom work to strengthen the knowledge, understanding and strategic thinking of the Trustee Board. While the Advisory Board does not possess its own decision-making powers, it serves a critical role in sharpening the Foundation’s focus on those areas and issues that are crucial to the future success of the higher education sector. The Advisory Board has announced six new appointments. These include:

  • Chris Skidmore MP (Former Universities Minister), who will be joining the Board as Chair;
  • Professor Becky Francis (Chief Executive, Education Endowment Foundation);
  • Alistair Jarvis (Chief Executive, UUK);
  • Dinah Caine (Chair of Governors, Goldsmiths);
  • Mark Leach (Founder, Wonkhe);
  • Elaine Hewitt (Chief Executive, UPP).

Jon Wakeford, Chair of the UPP Foundation, said:

“We are delighted that Chris will be joining the Foundation’s Trustee and Advisory boards, which are also being strengthened through the addition of several new board members. Together, their unique blend of policy and sector experience will help to further support the Foundation in achieving its strategic and charitable goals. This represents an exciting opportunity to develop new and innovative ways of developing universities’ civic role, which will be particularly important as the country moves through and out of the COVID-19 crisis.”

Chris Skidmore MP, former Universities Minister, said:

“I am delighted to have been asked to Chair the Advisory Board of the UPP Foundation. The Foundation is committed to helping some of the most disadvantaged in life achieve their full potential, which was also the key theme of my work as Universities Minister. The Foundation has also been central to recent work on developing civic universities and ensuring Higher Education is rooted in their local communities, which I believe will be an essential part of the levelling-up agenda. In the post-COVID recovery, universities will matter more than ever in providing support and demonstrating that they are powerhouses of social mobility. As someone who taught at university before going into politics, I know how important the sector is, locally, nationally and internationally. I am looking forward to this new role and helping to forge new thinking about how we can ensure universities deliver on their mission to transform lives and play an essential role in transforming our future.”

In recent weeks the UPP Foundation published a report calling for Government to provide greater support for young people who have been affected by COVID-19, as well as announced five new grants to support student and graduate success.

The UPP Foundation will be making further appointments to the Trustee and Advisory Boards in the 2020-21 academic year.

Richard Brabner

Richard Brabner is the Director of UPP Foundation

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