Richard has worked for 35 years in Higher Education including as a Deputy Vice-Chancellor. As DVC, he led strategic change that transformed student experience and outcomes. In 2 years he achieved a 6% improvement in overall student satisfaction, culminating in Solent University winning the Times Higher ‘most improved student experience’ award 2015.
His employability and enterprise strategy was commended by the Quality Assurance Agency in 2013 and he attained a top 20 position on all three measures of student business start-up activity. Richard improved the proportion of graduates in good ‘graduate jobs’ after 6 months by 9% absolutely (5% relative to benchmark) and in 4 years doubled enterprise income.
At the Higher Education Funding Council for England for seven years, he led 14 projects worth £107m and contributed to policy formation on teaching funding, knowledge exchange and quality assurance. He oversaw HE in 49 FE colleges and 15 universities for 5 years.
Richard’s previous experience also includes line management of deans of faculty and service and managerial oversight of large programme and organisational budgets as well as four years as a governor of an FE college. In summer 2015 he set up Richard Blackwell & Associates Ltd providing consultancy and interim services to tertiary education. The company is based in London, UK and operates across the UK and internationally.
Richard has fulfilled a number of non-executive governor roles in Further and Higher Education and is currently chair of the Advisory Board of Opportunity Education, a start-up specialising in partnerships with Chinese educational entities.