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CCL announces its newly appointed Board of Directors

We are delighted to share that Anita Chandraker has been appointed Chair of Corndel College London (CCL), and Justin Cooke and Professor Karen Stanton will join her as the Board’s Non-Executive Directors.

It is a privilege for CCL to bring onboard such impressive leaders with vast experience across education, technology, business transformation and innovation. They will play a pivotal role in our strategic direction as we fulfil our ambition to align degrees with industry demand and innovation that will provide better outcomes for students and employers.

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Anita has over 30 years’ experience as a senior leader with leading consulting firm PA, advising clients at board level on strategic technology and digital initiatives and delivering complex transformation programmes. During her time with PA, Anita served as senior partner and executive director of the board and was responsible for growing PA’s digital capabilities. She was a founding sponsor of PA’s Raspberry Pi competition, which challenges school children to develop innovative technology solutions to real world issues using a Raspberry Pi Computer. Anita also has extensive experience with not-for-profit organisations, serving as Chair of the PA Foundation, an independent charity that expands access to quality education, skills and careers and is working to address underlying barriers that hold people from disadvantaged backgrounds back. She is also currently a Trustee of the Fairtrade Foundation, an international movement working to make trade deliver for farmers and workers, and has been a Non-Executive Director of The Mentoring Foundation, which drives a leading cross-company mentoring programme for women. Anita firmly believes that innovation in education is key to unlocking opportunities to grow the UK’s economy and reduce inequalities in society.

Anita said: “I am delighted to take on this role with CCL and look forwarding to supporting their ambitious and innovative plans to create a new model for higher education. I have seen first hand the challenge of skills shortages and the critical need to match the demand of employers with the needs of students, and I firmly believe that Corndel, with its proven track record as a strategic skills partner to a rich pool of impressive organisations, is uniquely positioned to deliver this through CCL’s wholly new approach to degrees.”

Justin, who has been listed in Wired Top 100 and named the UK’s second most influential person in digital by Econsultancy, has been working in marketing, technology and education for the past 25 years. He was previously the Deputy Chair of FutureLearn, a leading social learning platform with a mission to transform access to education. He is former Venture Partner at Northzone, Vice Chair of Unicef UK, Chair of The Drum, CEO and Founder of POSSIBLE, WPP’s largest global digital agency and the former Chair of the BIMA, the industry body for everyone working in digital Britain. As an advisor and investor in fast-growing technology businesses including Attest, Blippar, ClubSpark, Digital Theatre, Learning with Experts, ScreenCloud and a member of the British Museum's digital advisory board, Justin believes that education is the most powerful tool which you can use to change the world, and has spent nearly a decade and a half working to transform access to education.  

Justin said: “I am thrilled to be joining the team at CCL. With an acute skills and labour shortage I believe that CCL’s mission to bring education and the working world closer together is the right step forward to address these shortages and fuel the UK’s economy and productivity. Through aligning degrees with industry and innovation, CCL will stay ahead of the curve and deliver better outcomes for students and employers. I am truly excited to be working with the team to build the degree offering and industry partnerships that will make CCL graduates the most work-ready in the country.”

Karen has over 25 years’ experience in leading transformational change within higher education having served as Vice-Chancellor of York St John University and Solent University, Southampton. From 1 August 2023 she has been appointed as interim Vice-Chancellor of Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln. Karen is a fellow of the RSA and a champion of the Chartered Management Institute. She has worked internationally setting up university campuses in New York, Bangladesh and Oman. Karen was previously the Director of the Centre for Digital Humanities at King’s and whilst at Glasgow Caledonian established the Centre for Climate Justice. At Solent she set up Research Centres in Marine Sustainability and Autonomous Shipping. Karen now serves as a Non-Executive Director on a number of Boards, including the University of the Arts London and supports sustainable businesses through her work with the Social Enterprise Accreditation Mark. She is also a Patron of the Island Charity providing a safe space for vulnerable children and young people. Karen has dedicated her career to enhancing and advancing life and employment opportunities through education and is particularly committed to widening access to education to students from all walks of life.

Karen said: “I am truly excited about the opportunity to support CCL in their mission to deliver degrees that will power a skills revolution and fuel the UK economy. With rapid developments in technology and innovation, many organisations and their employees are struggling to keep up. Through an agile and industry-led approach CCL will provide certainty for employers and students by moving at speed and building in-demand skills and knowledge to stay ahead. I am delighted to be working with the team in transforming lives and building the skills and expertise graduates and employers need to thrive.”

Principal and CEO of CCL, Professor Niamh Downing, said of the appointment of our Chair and Non-Executive Directors: “I am thrilled to welcome Anita, Justin and Karen to our Board. Their combined wealth of experience across higher education, technology and business transformation uniquely complement each other’s, and they will all play a key role in overseeing our strategic direction as a new higher education provider. I believe that we will benefit extensively from their expertise and experience as we drive forward on our ambitious journey to bring education and the working world closer together, delivering tangible outcomes for students and the employers we partner with.”

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