WUC appoints new independent governors

October 2019

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

Writtle University College (WUC) in Essex is delighted to announce the appointment of five new independent governors. Alex Bols, Bettina Rigg, Emma-Jane Murray, Mark Pragnell and Paul Marshall bring valuable skills and experiences to an already strong team.

The new governors are joining a well-established educational institution. Founded in 1893, WUC is a specialist provider of college-level and degree-level courses. The scenic 220-hectare estate is two miles from the city of Chelmsford and offers qualifications in areas including, but not limited to, agriculture, animal management and science, art and design, equine, horticulture and sport.

Writtle University College’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Tim Middleton said: “We’re thrilled to be welcoming highly talented governors to WUC. They share our vision and will contribute to WUC’s strategic direction as a high quality provider of higher and further education.”

Alex Bols is the Deputy Chief Executive of GuildHE. He sits on numerous national groups including the UK Standing Committee for Quality Assessment and observes the Boards of the QAA and AdvanceHE. Alex also attends the UUK/GuildHE Teacher Education Advisory Group and Leadership Foundation’s Governor Development Advisory Forum.

Bettina Rigg is Partner and Head of Higher Education at law firm Veale Wasbrough Vizards. In 2016, she retired as a Member of the Council at the University of Exeter, after serving the maximum three terms of three years. Mrs Rigg was also a Co-opted Member of the Nominations, Staffing and Remunerations Committee at the University of Greenwich.

Paul Marshall is Director of Strategy, Planning and Performance at City, University of London. A professional manager with significant achievements in a range of higher education management roles, he has strong track record of using communication and interpersonal skills to build strong professional relationships and deliver organisational change.

Mark Pragnell has 25 years of experience in consultancy, local government and the third sector. His career combines business strategy, economics and policy analysis with advocacy, lobbying and communications – as well as organisation governance and team management. In his personal life, Mark is a member of the British Horse Society and successfully campaigned to open up access for horse-riders to east London’s open spaces.

Emma-Jane Murray returns to WUC after serving as President of the Students’ Union (2018/19). She is currently completing her MSc Veterinary Epidemiology at the Royal Veterinary College and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. She is a member of the Publications Committee of the British Society of Animal Science.

Writtle University College is still looking to appoint a new Chair of Governors. For more information please go to