Professor Paul McDermott
Director of Partnerships
Professor Paul McDermott started his career at the University of Leicester as a Lecturer in Geography specialising at that time in transitional ‘rur-urbai’ spaces and market towns. In 1993 Paul moved to what became the University of Northampton. Whilst at Northampton, Paul was employed in various positions but latterly as their Director of their Postgraduate Modular Schemes and Director of the Institute of Urban Affairs (a cross institutional research body aimed at integrating teaching and learning with research, knowledge transfer employability, enterprise and entrepreneurship at levels 3-8). Paul has also worked in various teaching roles and on consultancy and transformation projects with the Open University between 1991 and 2017. His has also worked in senior and executive teams with Anglia Ruskin University (as their inaugural lead establishing their third campus in Peterborough) and with London Metropolitan University as their Director of Postgraduate Education (PGT and PGR).
His subject related academic and research interests lie principally within the fields of Urban Geography and the Geography of Wine and Viticulture, but Pauls main interests are within Learning, Teaching and Assessment, academic skills, vocational relevance, quality assurance/management, academic change management, curriculum development and research methodologies. Paul in the past has been involved in and published several high-profile research projects funded by various research councils, government departments, Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs), a variety of blue-chip commercial organisations as well as numerous official agencies like the HEA, QAA and HEFCE. In addition, Paul has worked closely with several government departments including BIS, the DTI and DfE as well as numerous foreign governments, helping them to develop structures for the delivery of effective undergraduate and postgraduate education.
Paul has successfully led all types of regulatory processes from Subject Review through to HER processes. Previously he has led on behalf of numerous organisations, Institutional Audit, Institutional Review, IQER, successful completion of FDAP, TDAP, RDAP and university title bids. Most recently Paul was the lead in all academic process for Study Group under the Regulator, the Office for Students, as part of Study Groups Registration as a Higher Education Provider as well as with other national regulators like HAVO, TEQSA, QQI and various HE consortia in the USA.
Paul has also been working extensively within the Private HE sector as a consultant and Director of his own company supporting numerous organisations in quality assurance, e- and blended learning, transformational change and curriculum development. Between 2014-2021 Paul worked for with Study Group (an international pathway provider) leading the turnaround of ailing Centres as a Regional Director, before taking the position of Director of Learning, Teaching and Quality Enhancement (which became Registrar and Director for Student Success) in March 2015. Paul Chaired Academic Board and was a member of the UK Executive and global SMT teams. He successfully led transformational change processes to build and successfully deliver the running and operation of a network wide Academic Office. This office led on the key areas of academic governance, quality management, registry services, learning and teaching, curriculum frameworks, digital education and academic professional development, which delivered sector leading QAA outcomes/judgements and registration with the OfS in 2018.
Paul has built a career on delivering transformational change management in HE, driving innovations in learning teaching and assessment, ensuring academic standards are consistent with national and international expectations and advocating quality management as a process ensuring students receive high quality learning experiences and high levels of achievement. Paul is passionate about supporting access into HE, promoting life long and continuing education and creating an environment in which all can succeed in a fully inclusive manner through the delivery of numerous EDI initiatives and projects.