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New COO Mark Ellul
outlines his vision for UCA

Last month, Mark Ellul joined the University for the Creative Arts as Chief Operating Officer. We caught up with him to find out what his first impressions are, and his vision for providing services that support a creative education.

08 Aug 2022

As Chief Operating Officer, Mark is responsible for driving forward UCA’s business strategy to deliver growth and services that will enhance its standing in the UK and across the world.

A successful and experienced leader in the higher education sector, Mark brings a wealth of knowledge, expertise and insight that will enable the University to deliver on its strategic priorities.

He has joined UCA from London Metropolitan University, where he held the position of Pro Vice-Chancellor. With more than 20 years’ experience in the sector, he has previously held senior leadership roles at Roehampton University and St George’s University of London.

Hi Mark, welcome to UCA! How have you found your first few weeks?
“From the moment I stepped onto campus I have been made to feel incredibly welcome and there is a real sense of community that you don’t often find in other universities. But what is really noticeable is the passion that exists for creativity – you find it in the people and across the campuses – it’s in everything the university does.”

Is creativity something that’s important to you?
“Creativity can take many forms, I tend to express myself creatively through sport, cooking and gardening. As a physics graduate, I would not describe myself as being overly creative, but that does not mean I do not understand or appreciate the importance of creativity. There are lots of difficult issues that we face as a society but creativity can cut through this. To me, creativity is a way of coping and allows us to focus on what it means to be human.”

What are your priorities in your new role?
“Corporate functions and facilities are not the nature of our business, UCA doesn’t exist to provide registry services, manage facilities or provide IT services – these are the foundations that facilitate the true nature of our business, providing education. It is essential that we have facilities and functions in place for us to deliver the very best creative education. If I do my job well, you won’t think about these services – they will just work smoothly and seamlessly.”

Does that mean engaging with students too?
“Absolutely. As a creative university our students are already involved in helping to shape our services and this is an area I really want to grow. By involving students in designing the services we provide we can ensure they meet their high expectations and provide opportunities for them to build their skills at the same time. For me, my role is about tapping into the expertise and creativity to make UCA an even better place to study.”