Edinburgh College welcomes new board members

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EDINBURGH College’s board of management has appointed four new non-executive members, who have joined the 18-strong team.

The new members are high-profile figures in Scottish public life and have extensive experience in industry, education and both public and private sectors.

The new board members are:

• Ann Landels, who offers experience of community engagement through many years in community education roles in Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen, including as head of service for Culture and Learning at Aberdeen City Council.

She is currently director of Edinburgh Crisis Skylight, which engages vulnerable adults in education.

• Stephen Dunn, who was a group HR and communications director for construction firm Miller Group for seven years, and retired in 2015.

Prior to this he held a series of senior posts with utilities companies.

He is the vice-chair of the Royal Lyceum Theatre Company, and a former trustee of the National Library of Scotland and The Sick Kids Friends Foundation.

He is currently studying professional photography full-time at Edinburgh College.

• Azra Sharif-Qayyum, who has been a Health and Care Professions Council state-registered biomedical scientist at NHS Lothian for more than 20 years.

She chairs the education committee for Edinburgh and Lothians Regional Equality Council, and is a founding member of the Edinburgh Mela Festival.

• Bob Downie, who has a strong background in tourism and development including 12 years working for Scottish Enterprise, mainly in urban regeneration but also as chair of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations. He has been chief executive of the Royal Yacht Britannia – TripAdvisor’s number one UK visitor attraction in 2014/15 – since 1998.

Ian McKay, chair of the board, said: “On behalf of the board, I welcome Ann, Azra, Bob and Stephen, and look forward to working closely with them in our vital role of overseeing college operations.

“I am sure Edinburgh College will benefit hugely from the wide range of experience and expertise that these appointments bring, especially as the college enters into a period of major change. It is particularly pleasing to see that the board has maintained its 50-50 gender balance, as I firmly believe that the board must be representative of the community it serves.”

Edinburgh College principal Annette Bruton said: “The college is about to begin a three-year transformation process that will reshape our business so we can meet the needs of students, employers and our region, and give more people the opportunity to achieve life-changing education.”