The leadership team at UCEN Manchester is made up of our Principal, Vice Principals and Directors. It’s their job to lead UCEN Manchester on its strategic journey and ambitious vision. Together with the rest of our staff, they ensure our students have everything they need to find their future with UCEN Manchester, from first-class facilities and leading learning environments to career-focused and industry-relevant teaching.
As Principal, Lisa oversees our programmes and the development of curriculum and quality improvement. She ensures these meet the objectives of the Strategic Plan and our mission, visions and values. Lisa keeps us responsive to the external environment and proactive in identifying and meeting our customers’ needs.
Lisa joined The Manchester College, our partner organisation offering Further Education, in July 2013 as a Vice Principal. She joined from Blackburn College where she was Deputy Principal. She has extensive experience of further and higher education, with expertise across curriculum, quality and learner support services.
Michael WalshVice Principal and Dean of Higher Education
As Vice Principal and Dean of Higher Education (HE), Michael is leading on the development of UCEN Manchester and our mission to deliver world-class technical and professional higher level skills.
Michael joined us in October 2017 from Salford City College, where he was Deputy Principal. He has more than 20 years’ experience in both Further Education (FE) colleges and sixth form colleges, and was Vice Principal at Bradford College, the biggest provider of HE alongside FE in the country. He has managed areas as diverse as student support, curriculum and quality, and staffing.
Wendy PenningtonDirector of Student Experience and Engagement
As Director of Student Experience and Engagement (Higher Education), her role at UCEN Manchester is to provide strategic educational leadership in the development, planning, delivery and monitoring of the student experience. Wendy is also responsible for the leadership of the Student Engagement team and Students’ Union. She works in partnership with the student body to ensure students can thrive in a culture that blends education, research and professional practice.
Wendy has extensive experience of working in further and higher education, having previously worked as an FE and HE Tutor, Lecturer, Programme Leader and Teacher Education Manager. Her expertise spans the HE student journey from admissions to alumni relations, leading the operational and strategic direction of student engagement.
Jane NickissonDirector of Curriculum, Teaching, Learning and Assessment
Jane ensures academic excellence in teaching, learning and assessment at UCEN Manchester. Working closely with key colleagues and stakeholders, she oversees the curriculum being designed and delivered in line with academic standards and industry requirements. Jane supports colleagues to develop their professional and academic practice, and deliver an outstanding student experience with excellent employability outcomes.
Jane joined us in 2007 as Programme Leader for Events and Tourism Management after successful tenures at the likes of First Choice and Universal Studies as Head of Marketing. She went on to manage the Arden School of Theatre and establish its robust quality assurance framework before joining the Higher Education leadership team. Jane has extensive experience in developing and validating new curriculum across all subject areas.
Susan HoldenDirector of Quality, Standards and Strategic Partnerships
As Director of Quality, Standards and Strategic Partnerships, Susan ensures the overall quality and standards of the UCEN Manchester provision; generating a quality culture that focuses on standards, compliance and innovation. She secures and maintains strong strategic partnerships and contributes to a first-class student experience in an environment where staff continue to deliver academic excellence in teaching, learning and assessment.
Susan joined us in August 2014 from Blackburn College, where she was Head of School for Business and Law at the University Centre. She has extensive experience of higher education in a further education college, working as a law lecturer, and as part of the higher education leadership team.