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About the Dean

Debra Leighton

Executive Dean of the University of Bedfordshire Business School

Debra Leighton

Having joined the University of Bedfordshire in September 2015, she is responsible for the strategic direction and performance of the School and for a distributed portfolio of activity both in the UK and internationally.

With a track record of effective leadership in a range of HE roles, she has recently led on innovative postgraduate blended learning initiatives based on the School’s established strength in employability practice and engagement with small businesses through the Small Business Charter.

Before moving to the University of Bedfordshire she was Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning) at Salford Business School, University of Salford, where she delivered an ambitious strategic quality accreditation programme - including EPAS, AMBA and PRME - that contributed to the School achieving Times Higher Business School of the Year in 2014.

A member of the Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS) Learning Teaching and Student Experience Committee, she has also worked with the EFMD on the development and implementation of their Online Course Certification System (EOCCS).

She is actively engaged in policy influence through CABS, most recently in relation to the TEF agenda, with a specific focus on its impact on University partnership with students.

As a Senior Fellow of the HEA, her management education publications include innovations in pedagogy, curriculum design and technology enhanced learning. She has chaired UK and international teaching and learning conferences and is committed to the active promotion of research informed teaching.

Within the field of business and management education, her research expertise lies in the application of experiential learning and blended learning to the student experience.

As a marketing academic and practitioner, her research interests are in experiential and relationship marketing, which have led to international research and teaching collaborations.

She is profoundly committed to developing graduates with a global skill set and the capacity to effect substantive and sustainable societal change.

Bedfordshire University

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