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Nona McDuff OBE

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Students and Teaching

Solent Learning and Teaching

Role at Solent

Nona was appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor in July 2019, having previously been Director of Student Achievement at Kingston University, London. Nona has oversight of the following areas:

  • Solent Learning and Teaching Institute: Learning and Teaching and Educational Technology
  • Student Achievement, Student Services, Solent Futures (careers and employability)
  • Specialist Facilities
  • Technical Instructors and Technical Services
  • Timetabling

Nona also works closely with the Students' Union.

Experience

Nona has over 25 years’ experience in higher education as a business management lecturer, course leader and as a deputy head of faculty in London. Prior joining Solent, Nona was the Director of Student Achievement at Kingston University, London and, before that, Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. During this time, Kingston rose to the top 50 in the league tables and gained a national reputation for closing the BME attainment gap.

Nona is the chair of the Higher Education Race Action Group (2012-present), a member of the UUK Advisory panel on racial harassment and a member of the Advance HE Peer Review Advisory Panel. Over the last decade Nona has worked closely with NUS, Advance HE and the Office for Students to raise the profile of learning and teaching, co-creation with students and race equality and inclusion for both staff and students. In 2017 Nona became a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and was awarded an OBE for her services to diversity and higher education.

Continuing to write about race equality and the inclusive curriculum, Nona has successfully bid for projects worth more than £1.2 million to enhance student success and disseminate her practice across the sector. She received the Guardian Teaching Excellence Award in 2017 for her Inclusive Curriculum Framework (2017) and the Guardian Diversity Award (2014) for innovation and excellence in promoting diversity in academia.  In 2012 she was invited to address the All Party Parliamentary Group, Higher Education where she advocated for step changes in diversity in academia.  

Nona was selected to join the Teaching Excellence Framework main panel as the widening participation expert and served on the ministerial Social Mobility Advisory Group, which was convened to improve social mobility through partnership working.

Nona was the guest editor of the Compass Special Edition on BME attainment and has been a member of the peer review panel for publications for the NUS and the Leadership Foundation.  Nona was invited as a visiting scholar at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte to share her work on inclusion. Nona has worked with universities in Sweden, India and Japan.

Nona emigrated to the United Kingdom when she was five and has lived in London until she moved to Southampton in 2019 to take up her position at Solent.  She has two adult children, a baby grandson and looks after Pepper, her son’s cockapoo, whenever possible.

Qualifications

  • MSc Information Technology    
  • BA Hons Business Management
  • PG Cert ED (HE)

Committee membership

  • Vice Chancellor’s Group
  • Academic Board
  • Student Board
  • Learning and Teaching and Student Achievement Committee
  • Equality and Well-being Committee
  • Management Information and Technology Committee
  • Management Board

External bodies

  • Chair of the Higher Education Race Action Group
  • Principal Fellow of the HEA