Douglas Blackstock - Doctor of Education (DEd)

Douglas Blackstock
Leader in higher education, Douglas Blackstock, has been awarded an Honorary Degree from Robert Gordon University (RGU) at its graduation ceremony this week.

With a career spanning over twenty years, Douglas has received the Doctor of Education (DEd) from the University in recognition of the wealth of experience he has brought to enhancing academic standards, quality, and the global reputation of UK higher education.

He is also recognised for his work as President of the European Network for Quality Assurance Higher Education (ENQA), being at the forefront of an organisation seeking to advance the quality in European higher education, and at newly-formed Lifelong Education Institute where he helps to promote learning and training for a diverse range of people at different stages of their careers.

Professor Steve Olivier, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of RGU, said: “Enhancing the quality, academic standards and reputation of the higher education sector is of vital importance, particularly as we face significant challenges across the sector.

“Douglas has made an outstanding contribution to higher education and the student movement throughout his long-serving career. Under his leadership, the QAA developed a much larger international profile, reinforcing the esteem with which UK higher education is held around the world.

“He is now continuing this in his role as President of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education and awarding Douglas this Honorary Degree is testament to his leadership in higher education.”

Prior to his current roles, Douglas was the Chief Executive of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) in the UK between 2015 – 2021. During this time, he led the transformation of the QAA, contributing to significant changes to the policy, regulatory and quality landscape across the UK. He also led the agency as it supported the higher education sector adapt to the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Throughout his career Douglas has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the student movement. As an officer in the National Union of Students, and Manager of three Students Unions in the 1990’s, he developed various training and support for students, empowering their engagement in quality assurance.

He has a long association with Scottish student politics having been Depute President of NUS Scotland; Convenor of West of Scotland NUS; and President of Glasgow College Students’ Association.

Douglas also holds several non-executive director roles in education and regulation, including being a member of the Boards of the University of Law, the British University in Egypt, Qualification Wales, the Lifelong Education Institute, Cilex Legal Regulation, and South Gloucestershire and Stroud College.

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