Towards a New Generation of Engaged Universities:
The Need to Act, Adapt and Transform

16th – 18thApril, 2024 | Kempinski Central Avenue (Formerly the Address Dubai Mall), Dubai, UAE

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Doug Cole

Doug is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport & Physical Activity with over twelve years industry experience and nine years in Higher Education. Previously Doug spent seven years working in Asia, including China, Hong Kong and Thailand, returning to England in 2007.
Doug joined the Higher Education Academy as their Head of Academic Practice in June 2015. Prior to this Doug was Head of Employability and Enterprise at Northumbria University, one of the largest universities in the UK with over 32,000 students. Before joining Northumbria Doug was Employability Project Manager at Buckinghamshire New University where he taught students in a number of areas including; Personal Development, Employment Practice, Employability, Sports Coaching & Development and International Football Business Management, before going on to take an institutional lead role in employability. Doug was also previously a Course Leader for the BA (Hons) Sports Management & Football Studies programme and a personal tutor for these students.
In 2012 Doug developed the concept of a framework for employability to support institutions in developing graduates with the knowledge, skills, behaviours and attitude that are vital for success in securing employment, developing a career and more broadly in life too. This framework was developed to support institutions in creating a university wide approach to curriculum design that was more consistent and comprehensive than current approaches observed in the UK sector.
In 2013 Doug went on to develop this work further and co-authored the Higher Education Academy publication Defining & developing your approach to employability: A framework for higher education institutions with Maureen Tibby and both then led on the refresh of this framework in 2015. In 2014/15 37 Institutions across the UK were introduced to the employability framework as part of the HEA’s Strategic Enhancement Programme.
Doug has spent the last 4 years supporting institutions to embed this framework both in the curriculum design process working with Senior Management, Academic Registry, Faculties, departments and programme teams to engage with all staff and more broadly across institutions through engagement with other key stakeholders such as Student Unions’ and Careers Services. During this period Doug has worked at all levels within institutions from Vice Chancellors to academics and students. Doug has a national profile in employability and regularly speaks on this topic which interlinks with a number of related areas including enterprise, assessment and feedback, retention and attainment and staff development.
Doug has worked with institutions across the UK and internationally, including; the Ministry for Education, Higher Education Council and British Council in Bahrain, fourteen universities across Bahrain, the University of Adelaide and University of Tasmania and most recently the Association of Higher Education Careers Services in Ireland.
Doug is currently studying part-time for a PhD focused on higher education institutional employability policies and practice.

External Roles:

  • Member of the Senior Leadership Team at the Higher Education Academy
  • Board member University of Leeds Institute of Teaching Excellence and Innovation
  • Advisory Council member for SFEDI and the Institute for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship
  • Higher Education Technical Advisor to the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity Professional Development Board
  • Former External Examiner for the University of Bedfordshire
  • Former External Advisor for Leeds Metropolitan University and the University of Brighton
  • Former National Evaluator for the Skills Active / ISPAL / ISRM / Sports Coach UK Higher Education Endorsement Scheme
  • Former advisor to British Universities & Colleges Sport on employability related topics

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