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Marjon University Cornwall appoints Professor Tanya Ovenden-Hope as its first Provost

Released: 29.04.20

Professor Tanya Ovenden-Hope has been appointed to the new role of Provost, recognising her commitment to advancing and leading professional development for educators at Marjon University Cornwall.

Professor Ovenden-Hope founded Marjon University Cornwall two years ago. She has quickly established the centre, which is based at the Old Cathedral School in Truro, as a postgraduate level centre of excellence for education professionals. There are over 30 Master’s level students studying on programmes that include the MA Education and MA Education Leadership. Professor Ovenden-Hope also works with educational organisations to develop customised postgraduate education courses, such as the Postgraduate Certificate for Governance in Schools and the Professional Diploma in Leading Coaching and Mentoring in Schools. These courses are also available for any education provider in Cornwall to use.

Professor Ovenden-Hope, who has lived and worked in Cornwall for 30 years, is an experienced teacher, teacher educator, education leader, author, as well as a leading researcher on teacher recruitment and retention, and coastal schools. Her latest book, Exploring Teacher Recruitment and Retention, edited with Dr Rowena Passy, is being published by Routledge in September.

To ensure that Marjon University Cornwall meets the needs of the county it is guided by a Professional Advisory Board, which includes expert representatives from a wide range of education  providers  in Cornwall, including the local authority, Kernow Learning Trust, Truro Diocese Board of Education, Truro School, Cornwall Teaching Schools Council, Pool Academy and Cornwall College. The University is also a preferred partner of the Cornwall Association of Primary Heads (CAPH) and offers a discount on fees to CAPH members.

Professor Ovenden-Hope said: “I have worked in schools, colleges and universities and I am delighted to have this opportunity to contribute to enhancing teaching, learning and education practice through postgraduate study in the county. I work with local education providers to establish the type of university level courses that Cornwall’s education leaders tell us they need, and to ensure that these complement the existing provision. It is very rewarding to see the progress our students, all of them education professionals, are making and to see them having a positive influence in their schools, colleges and training settings, as well as more widely when sharing their research findings.”

She continued: “Our students become expert in their areas of educational interest. As an educator myself I find the range of interests they are exploring is fascinating. Currently one student is exploring pupils’ experience of setting in maths in primary schools, a second is researching how parents influence the employment aspirations of gifted and talented children in primary schools and another is investigating the ways in which vocational qualifications are regarded by universities when pupils apply to them. All of these students will share their research findings, furthering the understanding of education”.

Professor Rob Warner, Vice-Chancellor of Plymouth Marjon University which operates Marjon University Cornwall in Truro, said: “At Plymouth Marjon University we have 180 years’ experience in teacher education and we are proud to be expanding our provision to further support educators in Cornwall. Tanya is an innovative thinker who brings a thorough and wide-ranging knowledge of education and draws on extensive experience in education to strategically lead our provision. She is a great asset, both to Marjon and to the education community in Cornwall.”

Marjon University Cornwall has responded to the coronavirus situation by moving all teaching and learning online until Public Health England advises it is safe to reopen the Truro centre. Students continue to participate in live lessons, one-to-one tutorials and action learning groups, which sees students working together and developing their professional networks.

The University is open for applications for the MA Education and MA Educational Leadership for September 2020, also recognising that this is a challenging time for schools and colleges and that making decisions on participating in professional development will be more difficult. Professor Ovenden-Hope therefore invites educators and education leaders to contact her to discuss any of the programmes and courses on offer for the next academic year on


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