Colin Hughes


Board of Governors

Colin joined the independent education charity AQA in June 2020 as Chief Executive. AQA is the largest provider of academic qualifications taught in schools and colleges in England.

Prior to that he joined HarperCollins in April 2012 as the Managing Director of the Collins Education division. In October 2012 he was promoted to MD, Collins Learning, merging the Education, Language & Geo divisions of HarperCollins UK. In 2013 he launched Collins India. He chaired the Education Publishers Council from 2014 to 2018. Colin was appointed to the Board of the Governors of Middlesex University in June 2006 and chaired the Board from June 2010 to July 2017; for the latter period he was also Deputy Chair of the Committee of University Chairs, and he is now a Pro-Chancellor at Middlesex. He was a trustee of the Worker’s Educational Association from 2016 to 2018, and a trustee of The Chartered College of Teaching (he is now a lifelong Fellow). He is a member of the Norwich-based The Rialto (poetry magazine) Advisory Board, has chaired the boards of governors of two London primary schools, served on various government education committees, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Previously, Colin had a long career in journalism and newspaper management. He worked at the Press Association and The Times, before joining the Independent in 1986 as Political Correspondent. He went on to become Policy Editor, Education Editor, and US Correspondent, and spent his final five years at the Independent as Managing Editor of the Independent and Independent on Sunday, and Deputy Editor of the Independent. He joined the Guardian in 1998, and founded Learnthings Ltd, the Guardian's digital learning business, in 2000. Colin was appointed Managing Director of Guardian Professional in 2006, and Director, Business and Professional, in 2009, serving on the executive board of The Guardian for six years.

Colin has five children, and lives on the Suffolk coast, where he enjoys running, bird-watching, sailing, playing piano, baking bread and dashing into London on occasional weekends to watch the Arsenal play at home.

You can contact Colin by emailing

in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021