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
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.
Mark HarrisAssociate Dean
As Associate Dean, Mark is responsible for the strategic and academic leadership of the UCEN curriculum offer, its development and growth, driven to achieve positive student outcomes for all. This includes our Higher Nationals, Foundation Degrees and Degrees, as well as our Access to HE offer and higher-level professional courses in teacher training and counselling.
Mark joined us in August 2020 from the Trafford College Group, where he was Dean of HE and previously Assistant Principal Curriculum and Quality. He has more than 20 years’ experience in Colleges and held further and higher education senior leader roles across Cheshire Colleges, including Director of the Cheshire HE Consortia of Colleges. He also held roles with the Office for Students (OfS) as a TEF panel member, with QAA as a Quality Reviewer, and with Universities as an External Advisor. He has managed areas as diverse as Curriculum and Quality, Staffing, International, Apprenticeships and Commercial.
He values the role of local Higher Education in supporting student social mobility and inspired to change lives for the better through a high-quality educational experience.
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.
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.