Professor Raheel Nawaz

Pro V C - Digital Transformation

Executive Office

As Pro Vice Chancellor (Digital Transformation), Professor Raheel Nawaz leads transformative action across the university to deliver enhanced academic experience, focusing particularly on the university’s four strategic priorities of Next Generation Education, Next Generation Experience, Next Generation Environment, and Next Generation Engagement. The impact of this work has been widely recognised as sector leading.

In past roles, Professor Nawaz has led large teaching provisions, research centres, and work-based learning teams. He has extensive experience of establishing international research and teaching collaborations. Prior to his appointment, he spent nearly a decade performing senior roles in the public HE sector (Russell Group and modern universities). Before that, he spent many years in leadership roles in the private further and higher education sector, including top positions in some of the largest private further and higher education organisations in the UK.

Professor Nawaz ranks among the top-10 most cited scholars in the world in the fields of Applied AI, Digital Education, Educational Data Science, and Digital Transformations, and his career grant capture stands at over £14 million (including highly impactful DARPA, CERN, World Bank, UKRI and Innovate UK projects). He has authored 4 books and over 200 research articles (h-index = 41) and has graduated 26 PhD students. He is a celebrated international expert in industry-academia co-creation who has advised on the establishment and launch of work-based learning degree programmes across three continents and received Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA) for this work.

His sector-leading work on pedagogical design and delivery led to outstanding student outcomes, with first generation university students with minimal prior attainment outperforming graduates of top UK universities (including Oxbridge) in both average salaries and job security; awarded National Teaching Fellowship (NTF) for this work. His research on work-based learning has been cited by ministers and APPGs and has been covered by THE and FE News.

He holds 7 adjunct professorships across North America, Middle East, and South Asia, and has advised national policy organisations including the Prime Minister’s Task Force on Science and Technology and the Planning Commission of Pakistan. He has addressed the Westminster Policy Forum twice and has given evidence on AI, Digital Education and Work-based Learning to several All-Party Parliamentary Groups and Parliamentary/Standing Committees in the UK and Pakistan.

The impact of his academic leadership has been endorsed by heads of state, government ministers, and senior sector leaders.

He passionately believes that kindness in the most impactful leadership trait and being an intrinsic giver in life is the most sustainable route to happiness, as outlined in his TEDx talk.

Professor Nawaz started his professional career at the age of 14 when he joined IBM Pakistan as a trainee software engineer. He subsequently served (with distinction) as an officer in Pakistan Army. A life-changing field injury prompted his move to the UK in pursuit of a new career in education, as published by AdvanceHE: From a disabled soldier to Pro Vice Chancellor and National Teaching Fellow

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