New chief executive of UCAS brings transformative leadership to role

UCAS has announced the appointment of its new chief executive officer, Dr Jo Saxton, who will take up the reins of the university admissions service in January 2024.

By Sarah Kent  |  Published
UCAS names Dr Jo Saxton as its newest CEO, joining the Cheltenham university admissions site in January 2024.

Following the departure of Clare Marchant to the University of Gloucestershire in September 2023, UCAS has revealed its new chief executive officer will be Dr Jo Saxton, who is currently the chief regulator of qualifications at Ofqual, the government's Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation.

Dr Saxton will join the Cheltenham-headquartered university admissions service in January 2024, after three years at Ofqual.

The University of Cambridge graduate has a wealth of experience behind her, with a long career in education working across almost every phase, from Early Years through to university. She has also led multi-academy trusts and served as a senior civil servant in the Department for Education.

Dr Saxton said: 'I am absolutely delighted to be taking up the opportunity to serve as UCAS’ chief executive. In all my education roles I’ve seen what a powerful difference can be made to students of all ages when they are given the opportunities to achieve.

'UCAS is at the heart of this, supporting 1.5 million students every year to explore higher education, employment and apprenticeships.

'There is much work still to be done and I am excited by the prospect of working with students, providers, staff and all those with an interest, so that UCAS delivers its ambitious plans and continues to put students right at the core of everything we do.'

Dr Saxton holds masters and doctoral degrees from New York University and, in 2022, was awarded an honorary PhD from the School of Education at the University of Buckingham.

Trudy Norris-Grey, UCAS board chair, said: 'Dr Saxton brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise, coupled with a proven track record of transformative leadership in education.

'We are confident Dr Saxton is well-placed to lead UCAS as it looks to advance its charitable aims, including the broad widening participation objectives across undergraduate study and apprenticeships.'

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