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UCEA Staff


Helen Fairfoul

Helen Fairfoul

Chief Executive

Helen has been UCEA Chief Executive since October 2012. She plays a lead role in representing the UK higher education sector in all employment matters, and in the collective negotiations with the sector trade unions in relation to pay and pensions. Helen also leads for UCEA at a European level where she sits on the HE Working Group of the European Social Dialogue in Education. Helen first joined UCEA in the role of Deputy Chief Executive in 2007. Previous roles have been as HR Director and Clerk to Council at the University of Roehampton and as a Director of Personnel within local government. She is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD, an Honorary Fellow of the Institute for Employment Studies and holds an MBA and a first degree in history.


Sue Endean

Sue Endean

Deputy Chief Executive

Sue joined UCEA as Deputy Chief Executive in March 2014. She joined us from the University of Essex where she was Director of Human Resources with a wide range of responsibility covering human resources management and HR strategy, recruitment, payroll and pensions, equality and diversity, health and safety, occupational health and learning and development. Prior to the eight years that she spent at Essex, Sue had been a senior HR professional within the NHS for a number of years. She is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD, holds an MA in HR Strategies and is a trained workplace mediator.


Andy Fryer

Andy Fryer

Head of Communications & Membership

Andy is UCEA's Head of Communications & Membership and is responsible for developing and delivering an effective external relations strategy for UCEA and its member institutions. Andy provides communications advice and support to members, oversees media enquiries and plays a key role in managing the UCEA profile and membership development. He previously held communications posts at a number of further and higher education institutions and is an Executive Committee member for HEERA (the Higher Education External Relations Association).


Nicola Carter

Nicola Carter

Head of HR Advice

Nicola is responsible for delivering UCEA's HR advisory services to members. This includes guidance on employee relations and industrial action; employee engagement; developments in employment practice in HE; and changes in employment law. Nicola is also responsible for UCEA's work on clinical academics and health and safety in HE. She is a member of the UCEA team in the New JNCHES multi-employer pay bargaining rounds and is secretary to New JNCHES.


Julie Jamgotchian

Julie Jamgotchian

Interim Employment Policy Adviser

Julie is working with UCEA on a temporary basis, supporting the Head of HR Advice on a number of pieces of work and working with New JNCHES on the revision of their Equal Pay Reviews Guidance. Julie has previously worked in a number of different Universities on a range of HR and development initiatives.


Emelda Nicholroy

Emelda Nicholroy

Head of Pensions Policy

As Head of Pensions Policy, Emelda's role involves advising and supporting higher education institutions as employers in relation to pensions issues. She represents higher education employers on the schemes offered to their staff, most recently through her appointment as the education employer representative on the LGPS Scheme Advisory Board and the HE employer representative on the TPS Scheme Advisory Board. She also sits on the NEST EmployersÂ’ Panel. Emelda brings to the role wide ranging experience from both in-house pensions arrangements and consultancy, and has a background in providing technical pensions expertise to employers and Trustees of large DB, DC and hybrid pensions arrangements.


Richard Paul

Richard Paul

Senior Pensions Technical Adviser

Richard is UCEA's Pensions Technical Adviser and is responsible for providing the UCEA members with advice and guidance on the issues that affect pension provision within the HE sector, as well as engaging with schemes in relation to policy and operational issues. Richard's previous experience includes project managing pension schemes through the Pension Protection Fund Assessment period and providing secretarial and governance consulting services to Trustee Boards of FTSE250 company DB and DC pension schemes.


Sharron Powley

Sharron Powley

Head of Events

As Head of Events, Sharron carries overall responsibility for UCEA's learning and development programme for members plus other member events. She develops and oversees delivery of UCEA's annual programme comprising conferences, seminars, master classes, workshops and courses. This includes provision via 'open' courses and bespoke provision delivered on institutions' own premises. Sharron has a background in HR in the HE sector and also in membership services, having previously worked at Deputy HR Director level in a pre-92 HEI, including a remit for L&D, and formerly at the British Medical Association. Sharron is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD and holds an MA in Strategic Human Resource Management.


Marc Whittaker

Marc Whittaker

Communications and Events Manager

Marc's role is split between communications and events functions. He monitors and responds to media coverage of industrial relations and pay and pensions in the sector, supports members with their communications messaging and manages the production of UCEA publications. Additionally he develops and organises the delivery of the UCEA programme of training conferences and other members' events. He previously held marketing, communications and events focussed posts at a HEI and at the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education and is a committee member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing's HE Members Interest Group.


Laurence Hopkins

Laurence Hopkins

Head of Research

Laurence is UCEA's Head of Research and is responsible for leading our research and survey services to ensure that we provide timely and high-quality research and information for our members on reward and employment issues. Before joining UCEA he was a researcher at The Work Foundation and a senior analyst at the Change Institute. Laurence holds a MSc in Public Policy from UCL, is an Associate Member of the CIPD and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.


Hayfa Mohdzaini

Hayfa Mohdzaini

Senior Researcher

Hayfa is responsible for UCEA's pay and workforce benchmarking, including the Senior Staff Remuneration Survey and the Salary Survey of Higher Education Staff, and provides research and analysis on HE reward and employment issues. Previously Hayfa worked as a researcher in the IDS Pay & Reward team, occasionally supporting IDS Research Services on bespoke pay benchmarking projects. She has also worked as a senior HR officer at a multinational company covering employee relations and organisational development. Hayfa holds a MA in Industrial Relations and Managing Human Resources from Warwick Business School and is an associate member of the CIPD.


Isabel Summers

Isabel Summers

Research Assistant

Isabel joined UCEA as a Research Assistant in August 2016. She is engaged in a wide range of research and benchmarking projects, and contributes to our work with HE trade unions. Before joining UCEA, Isabel worked as a charity specialist at an online fundraising platform. She holds an MSc in Criminology, Criminal Justice & Social Research from the University of Surrey and an LLB in Law from Cardiff University.


Tina Akpogheneta

Tina Akpogheneta

Head of Business Support

Tina is UCEA's Head of Business Support and is responsible for ensuring the operational effectiveness of UCEA, including its financial and IT management. Prior to joining UCEA, Tina served as Head of Business Support & Development at the Association of Medical Research Charities, and interim manager at the Association of British Neurologists.


Lucy Thompson

Lucy Thompson

Business Administrator (Events)

Lucy is the administrator for UCEA's programme of conferences, seminars, workshops and other events. She manages delegate bookings and liaises with speakers and venues.


Victoria Gillespie

Victoria Gillespie

Business Administrator (Research and JNCHES)

Victoria is responsible for providing administrative support to the JNCHES secretary and Research team.


Graeme Drury

Graeme Drury

Business Support Officer

Graeme ensures the smooth running of the UCEA office and meeting rooms. He is responsible for finance administration and supports projects across the organisation.


Laura Angell

Laura Angell

PA to Chief Executive and Deputy Chief Executive / Business Support Officer

Laura provides PA support to our Chief Executive and Deputy Chief Executive, as well as general administrative support. She works on a wide range of business support duties, from diary management, events and meetings support and managing office supplies, through to supporting research and project work. Laura has a variety of support experience, in a number of different sectors, ranging from events to market research.