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Sean Mackney

Principal and CEO

Sean Mackney 1


Sean holds the position of Principal and CEO at Petroc and is responsible for the overall leadership and management of the college. He chairs the Northern Devon Futures Strategic Board, is a member of the Team Devon Local Outbreak Engagement Board, of the Board for the Health and Care Skills Accelerator Project, and of the AOC Technology Special Interest Group. He also sits on the Governing Body of the HE provider UCFB that specialises in football and business degree programmes.

Sean joined Petroc from Bucks New University where he held the positions of Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research, Enterprise and External Relations) and Pro Vice Chancellor (Education). In his most recent role he was responsible for research, innovation, knowledge exchange, apprenticeships, partnerships, marketing and student recruitment, as well as the University’s Transformation Programme and business development across all aspects of the University’s work. As PVC Education he was responsible for education strategy, quality assurance, academic registry and student success. Prior to joining Bucks in January 2016, Sean was Director of Student Education and Engagement at the University of Exeter, Senior Deputy Chief Executive at the Higher Education Academy, Head of Learning and Teaching at HEFCE and Head of the HE Regional Development Association – South West.

Sean holds a degree in politics and modern history and a postgraduate qualification in education from the University of Manchester. He is currently completing his doctorate at the University of Bath. His research interests include learning analytics, policy making, power and discourse. He is also currently completing the Strategic Leadership Programme at University of Oxford, Said Business School and is a member of the Cabinet Office National Leadership Centre Public Leaders Programme that helps the country’s most senior public service leaders develop the skills, knowledge and networks required to address society’s most complex strategic challenges.

Sean was born in Devon, where he lives with his wife and teenage daughter.

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