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Residential Facilitator: Mark Swales FINSTLM, HE and Leadership Consultant

Mark has worked in the Higher Education Sector at a senior leadership level since 1988 with a strong focus on the development of estates and facilities management services. He has chaired four UK national sector bodies bringing together higher education professionals from a wide range of disciplines to share best practice and improve performance.

Mark has a Master Management degree and is a Graduate of the sectors Entrepreneurial Leaders Programme delivered in partnership with Oxford University’s Siad Business School.  Mark participated in the Common Purpose Programme and is a Graduate of the Work Foundation’s Oxford Balliol College Runge Effective Leadership Development Programme.  

Mark was Chief Estates and Facilities Officer for Sheffield Hallam University between 2010 and 2020, one of the largest providers of Higher Education in the United Kingdom where he was primarily responsible  for its estates, facilities, commercial and academic timetabling functions. He has throughout his career held a strong interest in education and training and the difference this makes to students fulfilling their ambitions through all stages of their lives, whatever their starting point. Placing students are the heart of the education system is an approach he has followed, whether this is in the design of learning spaces or helping to shape the services which support learning and the wider student experience.

Mark was recently appointed Vice Chair of DN Colleges Group which is a dynamic education provider in South Yorkshire, Greater Lincolnshire and the Humber Region, focused on transforming its communities through learning.  The Group is the largest provider of Higher Education in Further Education and one of the largest providers of apprenticeships in the United Kingdom.  It has been awarded significant capital investment from the DfE as part of the £1.5Billion capital fund for FE which will be used to redevelop its North Lindsey Campus.

As Chair for the last three years of the International Summit on Innovative Learning Spaces, Mark has gained an international reputation for his knowledge of how changes in pedagogy are influencing both physical and digital learning space design.  Attracting speakers and delegates from all five continents Mark has gained a global perspective of the challenges many directors of estate’s and IT are facing.  The pandemic has only added to the pace of these changes in a very dramatic way.

Being aware of the importance of work life balance in the sector, Mark delivered mindfulness training and practice into Sheffield Hallam University and continues to delivery sessions in Sheffield and for AUDE and other organisations.  He is a keen walker, mountain biker and dancer as well as spending time with his family and grandchildren.

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