Roxanne Stockwell

Roxanne has been a member of the ICMP Board since 2015 and has greatly enjoyed seeing it grow and develop over this time.

She is currently studying for a Doctorate in Higher Education Management at the University of Bath’s School of Management, specialising in industry engagement in higher education, and is actively researching the experience of recent business graduates in their transition in to work, and considering what that should mean for university practice. Prior to this, she has obtained a Master of Laws from University College London (intellectual and cultural property); a Master of Arts, Theatre Studies from the University of Western Sydney; a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sydney; in 1991 she was admitted to practice as a solicitor in the Supreme Court of New South Wales; and she achieved her first BA degree from the University of Sydney in Economic History, Government and Indonesian.

In terms of employment, Roxanne is currently Principal of Pearson College London. At Pearson she has had the unique opportunity to establish the first higher education provider set within a FTSE 100 company and she is responsible for its academic and strategic leadership. It commenced in 2012 with a pilot group of 20, and has grown to 1,000 students across two schools, Pearson Business School and Escape Studios (visual FX, gaming and animation). This has been an invigorating journey, demanding navigation of a wide range of regulatory and commercial challenges in an ever-changing HE landscape. The mission of PCL is to transform the way higher education and employers work together for the academic and professional benefit of students.

Previously she worked at BPP University (the first listed company to gain university status in the UK and the biggest professional education company in Europe) in a variety of roles, ultimately as a board director in the role of Chief Innovation Officer with responsibility for innovation, teaching and learning; as General Manager and Artistic Director, Nomad Theatre, a company that specialised in touring full length plays around outback NSW. Many students saw their very first play with Nomad; as an in-house lawyer at Copyright Agency Ltd specialising in intellectual property and contracts; and at Moore and Bevins as a Solicitor in the litigation department, working primarily on trust and contract law.

UK HE is of course going through a period of significant transformation, with regulation, politics and the external landscape changing every year, sometimes every month, and Roxanne considers that her primary role has been to help guide ICMP through these changes. In fact, living with change is probably the key theme in Roxanne’s career to date. Not just coping with change, relishing it and even deliberately stimulating it. Starting half a world away in Australia, then settling in the UK, she can see this in her personal life; but also professionally, with a first career in law, then the theatre and now higher education. In her opinion, the key to thriving in an era of inevitable change is education and learning. ICMP is a modern innovative education organisation, and the concept of challenging the status quo and fostering change is core to its approach. This commitment to educational change is one of the many reasons Roxanne enjoys being a part of its journey.

Roxanne considers herself lucky in having had an interesting and varied career, and therefore one that has given her the chance to develop several different areas of expertise. A key strength is in innovation and strategy in a higher education context. At both BPP and Pearson she has been responsible for key innovation projects, and even Nomad was the first theatre company of its kind in NSW. She has enjoyed many years’ experience in leading and managing non-traditional educational institutions, both from a strategic and an operational perspective, and has also developed expertise in applying for Degree Awarding Powers, and in the evolving regulatory landscape of UK HE and degree apprenticeships. As a qualified lawyer Roxanne has legal know-how, especially in intellectual property, and through her doctorate and research she is developing expertise in the transition in to work of graduates, an area of great interest and one that has changed beyond recognition from when she first left university.

Personally, Roxanne has always been a lover of the theatre, and has been fortunate enough to both work in it and to study theatre directing. Nowadays she has the much more relaxing role of simply enjoying it, and attends plays and the ballet regularly in London. She loves the English countryside and enjoys rambles (with pub stops) most weekends with her two cockapoos. Roxanne belongs to an amazing book group that focuses on early English women’s writing from 1640-1820, rediscovering popular novels from yesteryear in Jane Austen’s brother’s house! And over the last few years she has been learning to play the classical guitar – especially old English folk tunes by Michael Raven. This was in fact why Roxanne initially agreed to become part of ICMP!

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