Each member of the BUILA Executive Committee has key liaison roles and areas of responsibility. The Executive Committee meets bi-monthly.

Our Regional Interest Group (RIG) Chairs are responsible for co-ordinating RIG meetings (both online and in-country) and facilitate the sharing of information within the group.

  • Catriona McCarthy, BUILA Chair, N. Irish Liaison, ISAB, OFS Lead

    Director for Global Engagement, Ulster University

    Catriona is BUILA Chair after a period as Vice Chair, she is also Director for Global Engagement at Ulster University. She has spent more than 20 years in the internationalisation of Higher Education, having previously worked for a number of Scottish Universities. Catriona serves as a member of both the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) International Advisory Group and of the the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) Strategic Advisory Committee. She is a Non-Exec Director at Ireland’s largest overseas aid charity, sits on the Advisory Board of a successful Ed-Tech company and is a member of the Visit Belfast Ambassador Circle Steering Group. She also holds an MA Hons in History and Literature, as well as professional qualifications in marketing and project management, and is currently studying a MSc in Leadership and Innovation in Public Services

    Contact Catriona McCarthy
  • Andrew Bird, Vice Chair, HEAG, Data, International Marketing RIG Chair

    Chief Marketing Officer, Southampton Solent University

    Andrew has worked in international marketing for over 20 years, 16 of those in the HE sector. Throughout his career he has been fortunate enough to be responsible for many aspects of internationalisation, including recruitment, admissions, partnership setup and delivery (taught and research), CPD/Exec Ed income generation and staff/student mobility (EU and non-EU). In addition, having worked at both modern and research intensive universities he has experience in understanding and supporting the diverse drivers for internationalisation depending upon the priorities and needs of each HEI. Andrew was elected onto the BUILA Executive in 2020.

    Contact Andrew Bird
  • Nancy Cooke, Vice Chair, Internal Team, UUK/UUKi Lead, Conference Lead

    Director - International Development, University of Salford

    Nancy Cooke is Associate Director of International Development at the University of Salford with responsibility for international recruitment, partnerships and student mobility. Nancy has over 15 years’ experience in international education in , which includes student recruitment and partnerships, as well as teaching and student support. Her extensive international work has included setting up and supporting regional hubs in India, China and UAE, and previously in Nepal, Colombia and Kenya. Nancy has served as an elected member of the BUILA executive from 2016, leading on conferences and events and supporting regional interest groups, and more recently leading on our British Council/Study UK partnership to ensure members interests are in the forefront of the changes in higher education and supported in Government agencies and policy changes. In addition to BUILA, Nancy’s additional representative positions pois a previous Chair of British Universities Transnational Exchange Association (BUTEX), and a current Board member of Manchester India Partnership, supporting links between Greater Manchester and India, including bringing together education institutions and employers. Nancy is an advocate for supporting students throughout their student journey and her MBA thesis researched the international student decision making within liberal arts education.

    Contact Nancy Cooke
  • Stuart Easter, Scottish Liaison

    Director of Student Recruitment and International, Edinburgh Napier University

    Stuart is the Director of Student Recruitment and International at Edinburgh Napier University, where is a member of the university Senior Leadership Team and leads a team of over 50 staff in 7 countries with responsibility for all student recruitment, widening participation and international partnership development. Stuart has worked in higher education for over 15 years and has gained experience living and working in China as well as spending time at 3 Scottish universities in various internationalisation, recruitment and partnership development functions. Stuart has previously served on Chevening scholarship reading committees as well as being a member of the Scottish Universities International Group committee and the Universities Scotland International Committee. Stuart was elected to the BUILA Executive in 2021 and leads on liaison with the wider Scottish sector for BUILA in addition to training and TNE portfolios.

    Contact Stuart Easter
  • Karen Blackney

    Head of UEA Global, UEA

    Karen Blackney has 25 years of experience of international education with a career spanning three UK universities; Middlesex University, Brunel University and the University of East Anglia. She is currently Associate Director of UEA Global, responsible for student recruitment, study abroad and exchange programmes, short-stay in-bound programmes, and global partnership development. She manages a team of 40 staff based in the UK, China, Malaysia, Vietnam, India, North America and Nigeria. Karen set up one of the UK’s first summer schools, at Middlesex University, and led on the development of international foundation programmes, in the UK and Dubai. She previously acted as Chair of the Sub-Committee for India, part of the London University International Partnership (LUIP), a collaboration of London Universities and is currently an active member of the Aurora network, a recent collaboration of European universities and UEA’s University of Sanctuary. She is also the Professional Services Lead for UEA’s Ukraine Working Group and Co-lead for BUILA’s Employability Group (as a Co-opt to the Group). Karen holds an undergraduate degree in Theatre with English and a Masters in Human Resource Management from Middlesex University.

    Contact Karen Blackney
  • George Hunt, DfE lead, Sponsorship

    Director of International Development, Teesside University

    Committed to the view that internationalisation should be at the heart of the university experience, George and his team have led Teesside’s transformation into a leading global student destination, increasing international student numbers significantly over a 5 year period. A believer in the value of partnerships, George oversees relationships between the University and public, private, EdTech and government organisations all over the world and as a member of UniQuest’s Advisory Board, George has also been able to build upon his longstanding dedication to innovation in HE. George has worked in HE for over a decade, with previous roles at Newcastle University and the University of Sunderland. He has a passion for promoting the UK on the global stage and supporting the interests of HEIs within the sector and beyond. Based in the Tees Valley, he is proud to call the North-East home.

    Contact George Hunt
  • Jasmine Bual, Training, South East Asia RIG Chair

    Regional Manager (South East Asia), Durham University

    Jasmine has worked in higher education since she graduated, beginning her career at Northumbria University and then moving to Durham University in 2019. Whilst at Northumbria, Jasmine initially worked in UK recruitment before moving into International Recruitment. Jasmine has advised and supported students from all over the world. In her previous role she focused on North American recruitment and is now responsible for relationships in South East Asia. She also manages the International Officer and who has oversight of Europe and UK International, in addition to a Malaysia based consultant. Jasmine is currently a BUILA-co opt member where she supports the training programme and is Chair for the South East Asia Regional Interest Group. Jasmine has led on many collaborative recruitment projects within the sector and spoken at various conferences; including IACAC, CIS and UCAS Advisers.

    Contact Jasmine Bual
  • Brian Greenwood, BUILA Executive, ECTIS Lead

    Associate Director, International Student Recruitment, University of Exeter

    Brian Greenwood is the Associate Director of International Student Recruitment at the University of Exeter. He was previously Deputy Head of the International Student Recruitment Team at Bristol for 5 years and has also held posts at Bath, Reading, York St John, Edinburgh Napier and The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. His roles have included posts supporting students, study abroad, admissions and international student recruitment.

    Contact Brian Greenwood
  • Jake Duffin, BUILA Executive, British Council Lead

    Head of International Student Recruitment, Global Engagement, Queen Mary University of London

    Jake has been based in the Global Engagement Office at Queen Mary University of London since 2012. Prior to joining Queen Mary, he worked at the University of Westminster and The British Council and has nearly 20 years of experience in HE. Jake is currently Head of International Student Recruitment, a role which involves a wide scope of strategic responsibility and management of a team of staff based in London, Beijing, Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, Lahore and Wisconsin. A key part of Jake’s role is to develop and review strategy, taking into account international, sector and government policy developments. Jake works closely with overseas staff in regions such East and South Asia and played a leading role in establishing the Universities presence in Malaysia and the US. He has a particular interest in how universities work with agents and how UK HEI’s can better leverage their alumni.

    Contact Jake Duffin
  • Ula Tang-Plowman, BUILA Executive, UKCISA, ISEG, RIGs Lead,

    Director of International Recruitment , UCLAN

    Ula Tang-Plowman is currently the Director of International Recruitment at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), where she focuses on delivery sustainability and diversity of international student recruitment for the university. With a rich background as an international student and as the first university graduate in her family, Ula remains a passionate advocate for the transformative potential of UK higher education. Beyond her professional role, Ula is the founder of the British Universities’ China Association (BUCA) [], an initiative she established from scratch, demonstrating her commitment to fostering international educational connections. She also actively participates as a member of the BUILA Executive and chairs the China Regional Interest Group.

    Contact Ula Tang-Plowman
  • Shonagh Maak, Lead Agent Quality Framework, Co-opt

    International Recruitment Manager (South and South East Asia), University of Glasgow

    Shonagh has worked with international students since 2008 in a variety of roles across Admissions. Student Services. Accommodation, International Recruitment and Partnerships. She is currently International Recruitment Manager (South and South East Asia) at the University of Glasgow where she leads a team of staff across Glasgow, India, Singapore and Indonesia to grow student enrolments and supports a diverse network of partners from the region. She also leads on the university’s overall agent engagement and management. Shonagh joined Glasgow in 2018 and previously worked at the University of Stirling and INTO Newcastle University. She is the Vice Chair of the Scottish Universities International Group (SUIG) and has recently joined the BUILA committee as Co-Opt Lead Agent Framework.

    Contact Shonagh Maak
  • Dee De Rocha, Training, Co-Opt

    International Director, University of Cumbria, University of Cumbria

    Dee is a Fellow (and Member) of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and has extensive experience of international higher education marketing as well as Arts marketing, merchandising and some (music and performance) event organisation and promotion. Dee's first role in international higher education was at Sheffield Hallam University, where she worked for 6 years before moving to IDP to be the Country Director for the UK, effectively working as an agent to recruit UK, Irish and International Students to study in Australia. Dee has enjoyed a varied and interesting 25-year career, which has included almost 10 years working for two private pathway providers (Navitas and Oxford International) negotiating deals and setting up Embedded Pathway Colleges and has worked as an agent (twice) as well as a marketing researcher. She also spent a couple of years working with iGraduate setting up and launching the International Student Barometer and the ICEF Agent Barometer, and has been involved in consultancy projects for a range of different UK, Australian, Canadian, Malaysian and USA institutions. In her current role at the University of Cumbria, Dee has responsibility for 'all things International' including recruitment, partnerships and TNE.

    Contact Dee De Rocha
  • Philippa Collins Robson, Executive Director, OfS, DfE, DIT, Home Office, BC, AGCAS, Employability Group, Conference

    Philippa started her career as a dancer but after a brief spell making classic public information films at the Central Office of Information, she switched one type of performance for another; promoting education and training as Director of Marketing and Strategic Planning for the Central London Training and Enterprise Council. As a freelance consultant she continued to work with key international promotion organisations in London on high-profile projects promoting key sectors and bringing major stakeholders together, including the London Universities International Partnership. As BUILA Executive Director, Philippa leads on all aspects of BUILA’s work including lobbying, international promotion and partnership activities.

    Contact Philippa Collins Robson
  • Paulina Day, Head of Marketing and Communications

    Paulina worked as Regional Manager of North American student recruitment and Summer Programmes before setting up a US focused digital marketing consultancy, Friesland Collective. In her role as Managing Director, Paulina consults universities on entry to market, UG and PG lead generation, staff training and development. As BUILA's Head of Marketing and Communications, Paulina leads on CRM Communications, Web Development, Brand Design, Live and Virtual Events, Member Engagement, External Stakeholder Engagement, Regional Strategic Marketing & Communications Groups, Annual Conference Planning, Study UK Digital Steering Group, and our International Marketing Regional Interest Group.

    Contact Paulina Day
  • Edward Chan, Projects and Events Lead

    Contact Edward Chan
  • Ismat Abu Shihab, Chair Middle East RIG, Co-opt

    Director of Regional Hub, Dubai, University of Bradford , University of Bradford

    Ismat is an IT and Management professional with a strong background in education strategy and higher education performance, first joined University of Bradford in September 2005. In 2015, Ismat moved to become the Director of Regional Hub, Dubai leading strategic students’ recruitment from the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia, South Asia and South East Asia regions and to support the university wider internationalisation strategy and to further develop the TNE provision in Dubai. Over the past three years, the number of international students joining the University of Bradford has tripled from his regions. With over 15 years of international experience in business and higher education, Ismat established international links with professional industries and education Ministries and the University of Bradford has now a close working relationship with a wide range of key stakeholders, sponsors and cultural offices in London, directly increasing the university profile as well as the number of joint international collaborations. Ismat is a contributor to educational journals and speaks at conferences on the subject of education in the Middle East and North Africa and leads on international initiatives including being the Chair of the Ministry of Manpower, Oman Consortium of 14 UK Universities.

    Contact Ismat Abu Shihab
  • Aly Stewart, North America RIG Chair

    International Recruitment Manager (North America, Middle East, and Africa), University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh University

    Aly is the International Recruitment Manager for North America, Middle East and Africa at the University of Edinburgh. She has been in the field of international higher education for more than 10 years and has gained extensive experience across different regional markets and in leadership roles across the Scottish higher education sector. Aly earned her bachelor’s degree at San Diego State University in the United States and her MSc Degree at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland. Throughout her career living and working across Scotland, Australia and the USA, her passion and expertise continues to centre around supporting students in achieving their international education goals and lobbying for enhanced support of international students coming to the UK.

    Contact Aly Stewart
  • Alison Hartshorn, Co-Chair Marketing RIG

    , Anglia Ruskin University

    Contact Alison Hartshorn
  • Caroline Rushingwa, Co-Chair Africa RIG

    , University of Warwick

    Caroline Kindja Rushingwais an accomplished business development professional with extensive global expertise in the area of international education management, marketing, public relation, diplomacy and international trade and investment. Caroline has over a decade track record of driving growth in challenging international markets servicing students and stakeholders. Her expertise in international higher education has encompassed international student mobility and government level engagement. She has worked with Coventry University (UK), the Alliance of Democracies (Denmark), the United Nations (Switzerland), Tony Elumelu Foundation (Nigeria) and Malaika Foundation (Democratic Republic of Congo). She joined the University of Warwick in 2016 and currently oversee business expansion activities on the African Continent. Caroline public engagement philosophy is underpinned by the idea of NLB - Nobody Left Behind. She is strongly committed to economic empowerment, leadership and has a deep interest in re-defining Africa’s growth. She is passionate about how youth engagement with education can (re)define the future of African nations.

    Contact Caroline Rushingwa
  • Dalinda Perez, Chair South America RIG

    Deputy Head, International Recruitment, Edinburgh University

    Since 2000, Dalinda has worked in the national and international education arena driving initiatives within the field of international academic relations. Dalinda has a BA Communication Sciences and MA Scriptwriting from Universidad Intercontinental (Mexico)and an MLitt International Business from The University of St Andrews. She has worked at British Council Mexico, the Embassy of Australia in Mexico, UNAM and at the University of Edinburgh since 2012. She was education advisor for the Australia, New Zealand and Mexico Business Council, is member of LATNET for Universities UK, Chairs LARG within Scottish Universities International Group and Chairs BUILA’s Latin America RIG.

    Contact Dalinda Perez
  • Ivar Moller, Co-Chair Europe RIG

    Deputy Director Admissions (UK & Europe), University of St Andrews

    Ivar is the Deputy Director of Admissions (UK and Europe) at the University of St Andrews having worked there for 13 years. Prior to this, Ivar worked at the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) in London followed by 3 years’ teaching English in Japan as part of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme. Ivar graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2003 with an MA Honours Ancient History. In Ivar’s current role he provides expert strategic and tactical advice to the University’s most senior committees and officers in relation to student recruitment and admissions, liaising with academic and professional service staff at all levels of the University. In addition, Ivar works closely with both internal and external stakeholders to align all elements of the student journey, ensuring the applicant is at the heart of everything, while helping lead a team of professionals to deliver on a range of objectives and outcomes. Ivar has joined BUILA as a co-opted joint chair of the Europe RIG.

    Contact Ivar Moller
  • Katy Fair, Co-Chair SE Asia RIG

    , Nottingham Trent University

    Katy Fair, Senior International Officer at Nottingham Trent University, brings an impressive 17 year career dedicated to the field of Higher Education, with a primary emphasis on international affairs. Her journey began as an international admissions officer and steadily evolved into the role of admissions manager, with a particular focus on facilitating admissions for international students. Throughout her career, Katy has played a significant role in engaging with diverse regions, including Europe, Russia, the Middle East, South America, and most recently, South East Asia, while also working closely with international students within the United Kingdom

    Contact Katy Fair
  • Louise Tracey, Co-Chair SE Asia RIG

    , Edinburgh University

    Louise Tracey is the International Recruitment Manager for South East Asia at the University of Edinburgh. She has been working in the higher education sector for almost 15 years in a variety of international admissions, recruitment, and marketing roles. Working across different regional markets, focusing on the South East Asia region since 2019, and in leadership roles across the Scottish higher education sector, her passion and expertise are in working with students to achieve their international education goals and lobbying for enhanced support of international students in Scotland and the UK

    Contact Louise Tracey
  • Roshan Walkerley, Co-Chair Europe RIG – Co-opt

    Deputy Head of Student Recruitment (International), Cambridge University

    Roshan leads the international recruitment team at the University of Cambridge, working to recruit to the university’s range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Prior to joining the Cambridge Admissions Office, Roshan worked at Cambridge Assessment International Education enhancing the recognition of their international qualifications. He has also worked in student recruitment at the University of East Anglia (UK) where he completed studies in Environmental Sciences including a period of study at Macquarie University, Australia. He has joined BUILA as a co-opted chair of the Europe RIG.

    Contact Roshan Walkerley
  • Yusuff Kaffo, Co-Chair Africa RIG

    , University of Wolverhampton

    Currently serving as the Associate Director at the University of Wolverhampton, Yusuff Kaffo is an esteemed expert in international student recruitment, boasting over decade of experience. He holds a law degree and a master's degree in project management. With a wealth of knowledge and expertise he is highly skilled in managing diverse recruitment activities. Yusuff has successfully overseen various markets, with a particular focus on Africa. He has played a pivotal role in student recruitment across regions including MENA and India. His understanding of market needs and strategic approach to working with agents has been instrumental in maximising international student recruitment numbers. Yusuff Kaffo’ s dedication and passion for international student recruitment with a focus on ‘student first attitude’ has made him a valuable asset in foste ring global educational opportunities. Through his exceptional leadership and collaborative efforts, he continues to make significant contributions to the University of Wolverhampton and the advancement of higher education

    Contact Yusuff Kaffo

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