Details of Directors
UNIPOL STUDENT HOMES BOARD MEMBERS
Leeds Metropolitan University
Jenny Share joined the UNIPOL Board in November 2012 on taking up the position of Secretary and Registrar at Leeds Metropolitan University, where she is responsible for leading on governance matters and has oversight of a variety of functions including management information systems, data quality, funding returns and University awards.
Since leaving school Jenny has spent all her life studying or working in higher education in Leeds and so is particularly familiar with the local context. After graduating from Leeds University and studying for a postgraduate qualification at Leeds Polytechnic (as was) Jenny has held a number of posts in student administration and governance firstly at the University of Leeds and latterly as Vice Principal (Registrar) at Leeds Trinity University College before taking up her current position at Leeds Metropolitan University.
For the past seven years I have worked for Leeds Metropolitan University as Head of Campus and Residential Services. In this role I have strategic responsibilities for a series of services which include, Residential Accommodation, Security, Portering and Cleaning, Food Services, Mail Services, Business Development and Conferencing, and Merchandise.
Prior to my current role I have held Senior General Manager positions with Jarvis Hotels, Stakis and Hilton Hotels including running my own Restaurant and Brassiere business.
Mr Andrew Disbury Head- Director of the International Office
With a career combining an academic background in international business and management, languages (fluent in Chinese), international education management (based in China), leadership of student recruitment & admissions, and experience in English and Scottish Higher Education, Andrew brings a rare perspective to UK Higher Education. Andrew has a bachelor’s degree in Chinese and French from the University of Leeds, and lived and worked in east China in the early 1980s, studying twice at Shanghai’s Fudan University. He was then Director of the China Services Centre, based at Sheffield Hallam University, providing consultancy services for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises. He gained an MBA by part-time study and later entered Sheffield Business School’s International Business subject group, where his interests centred on international business culture and environment. A combination of experience in higher education, student recruitment and China led Andrew to the British Council where he was based in Beijing 2001-7. As regional Director Education in China, Andrew was responsible for supporting bi-lateral education policy development, for bi-lateral education projects between organisations, and for marketing Education UK to prospective Chinese students. Andrew moved to Scottish HE in August 2007 when he joined the University of St Andrews as Director of Admissions. He led the student customer journey from enquiry through application to matriculation for home and overseas markets, at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. His role at Leeds Metropolitan represents a strategic re-focusing at our university towards Leeds-bound student recruitment in order to complement earlier successes in internationalisation and transnational education. As a member of the Corporate Management Team, Andrew leads on our international pre-enrolment strategy and operations, as well as international exchanges and volunteering activities for current students.
The University of Leeds
Steve Scott has served on the Unipol Board since May 2006 and is currently Chair of the Board. He previously held the role of Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Staff & Students at the University of Leeds in which role his strategic responsibilities included Residential Services (including student accommodation) and Sport.
He is now Head of the School of Physics & Astronomy at the University and is also Professor of Mathematical Chemistry.
Ian is Head of Residential Accommodation at the University of Leeds where he leads a team managing fourteen large residential sites & a number of smaller properties that accommodate circa 7,000 students. Prior to being appointed to this post, Ian worked for 7 years as Assistant to the Director of Residential and Commercial Services (Residences) at the University.
He is a member of the Institute of Hospitality and before joining the University of Leeds, he worked in the hotel industry as a Banqueting Manager and a Food & Beverage Manager with Marriott Hotels, then as a Hotel General Manager with Millennium & Copthorne Hotels.
Ian is a member of the Committee of Management for the National Code of Standards for Larger Student Developments and a board member of Mary Morris International Residence Ltd.
Leeds University Union
Ben is the community officer at Leeds University Union (LUU), an elected position that involves representing students in the local community on issues such as crime, housing, safety and wider community engagement. He has recently graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in English and Philosophy, and has a keen interest in local community volunteering that was fostered through his involvement with student volunteering groups.
Miss Katie Siddal- Welfare Officer
Katie graduated in philosophy at the University of Leeds and is now the Welfare Officer at Leeds University Union ( LUU). Katie works to build a happy and inclusive community at the University, campaigns on issues that affect students and promotes mental and sexual health and general wellbeing. Katie is the Chair of the Leeds and Bradford Services Committee.
Mr Kevin Pearson - Resources Director
Kevin joined Leeds University Union in February 2010 as their Resources Director. He is responsible for key elements of their central and corporate services including Finance, Human Resources, and IT. In addition to management of these areas, he has direct responsibilities for strategic financial planning, internal financial control systems, information and support to the Audit and Risk Committee and risk management across the organisation.
Kevin trained to be an accountant in the coal industry and is a fellow member of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants. He has spent the past 15 years or so working for regeneration companies such as Creative Sheffield and Renaissance South Yorkshire to bring much needed economic change to Yorkshire and the Humber. More recently, he has been successful in managing European Funding to secure investment in to the region and was The Director of Corporate Services for Business Link Yorkshire providing business support services in Yorkshire and the Humber.
Leeds Metropolitan Students' Union
Mia is the elected VP Welfare at Leeds Met Students' Union. This position involves supporting the well-being of students, including their safety, housing and health. The role also entails building relationships with the local community and representing the students on community issues. Mia is an international student from Israel, and a recent graduate from Leeds Metropolitan University with a degree in Peace Studies and International Relations. She has a passion for community development and peace activism, and has been involved with community projects both at home and in Leeds.
Channing is the elected Vice President Student Activities at Leeds Metropolitan Students’ Union. The position includes supporting student volunteering and the work students do in the community. She has recently graduated from Creative Music and Sound Technology and is very keen to develop the Student Media at the Union so that all students’ can use it to find out valuable information such as house hunting tips and how to get involved in volunteering and fundraising projects locally.
Mr Andy Welsh - Vice Principal for Corporate Services at Bradford College.
The College is one of the largest further education colleges in the country and the biggest HE provider outside of the university sector. As such it has a substantial accommodation need for its home and overseas students. Andy’s role also covers HR, estates, Student Services, IT, Libraries and Research and child protection.
With a background in local government and HR Andy has been involved in the education sector for over 15 years. He is currently a member of the Leeds University Union HR and Remuneration Committee. Andy has worked in social housing and been a Board Member of a Housing Association and maintains a keen interest in social housing issues. He has strong links with Leeds having moved to the city to study Chemistry at Leeds University in the 1980s completing his MBA there some twenty years later.
Mike Wilkinson is an Independent Director and Deputy Chair of the Board ( formerly the Chair ). He chairs the Nottingham Services Committee and also sits on the Staff Review and Remuneration Committee. Until 2001 Mike was University Secretary of Leeds Metropolitan University and he is a former Independent Assessor to the Student Loans Company and former Company Secretary of the Higher Education Academy. He is now a consultant.From 2002/2010 he chaired the Standards Committee of Leeds City Council and currently chairs the Standards Committee of the West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority.He is a Justice of the Peace, supplemental list.
Mr Gavin Duncan
As Director and Head of Operations, Gavin is responsible for the overall operation of the Opal Group, delivering high quality accommodation across Opal’s 20,000 student beds in addition to 2 Hotels, a Conference Centre, and 650 professional apartments, working closely with many Higher Education Institutions in 16 cities.
Prior to joining Opal in 2000, Gavin initially worked with John Laing Construction as a Quantity Surveyor from 1983. Following that Gavin spent 12 years in Australia, most recently as Commercial Manager for Asea Brown Boveri Construction, responsible for the profitable completion of large scale engineering projects.
Gavin received his Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Building Economics & Measurement from the University of Aston in Birmingham, and is a Professional Member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.
Having joined Opal in 2000 as Development Manager to support the growth of the Group through development and construction, Gavin moved to manage Opal’s operations in 2005.
Gavin was appointed a Director of Opal Property Group on 1 January 2010.
Ms Beatrice Merrick
Beatrice has been Director of Services and Research at the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) since 1998, with responsibility for research, professional development and the promotion of good practice in supporting international students. From 2006 to 2011 she led UKCISA’s work on the Student Experience strand of the Prime Minister’s Initiative for International Education.
She is the author of a series of reports on international students issues, including international student services in FE and HE institutions.
She has served on a wide range bodies including the Study Abroad and Foreign Student Adviser Professional Section of the European Association for International Education, the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Studies in International Education and the Accreditation Scheme Advisory Committee of Accreditation UK.
Prior to UKCISA, she worked at the University of Sussex as European Programmes Officer and chaired HEURO, the Association of UK HE European Officers.
Officers of Unipol Student Homes
Mr Martin Blakey Chief Executive
Ms Fiona Barry Financial Controller
Ms Liz Hodgen Deputy Chief Executive and Company Secretary
Mrs Geneve Smith Assistant Chief Executive - Housing Services
Ms Nicola Brown Assistant Chief Executive - Bureaux Services
Ms Victoria Loverseed Development Manager
Mr Andrew Livesey Communications and IT Manager
All contactable at:
Unipol Student Homes
155/157 Woodhouse Lane
Leeds LS2 3ED
Professor Stephen Scott - Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy.