Membership of the Board of Governors


I am delighted to welcome you to governance at the University of Wolverhampton. The below links describe the way in which governance operates at the University and provides information on the Board’s powers, membership and new decisions made.

The University of Wolverhampton prides itself in its educational roots. Since its earliest days in the mid-nineteenth century, the University has had the purpose of providing further and higher education to as many people in the community, having the motivation and academic ability to do so well. The Board of Governors is proud to ensure this tradition strives today.

Angela Spence

  Chair of the Board of Governors

Membership of the Board of Governors

Under the University's Instrument of Government (section 3) the Board must consist of no less than twelve and no more than twenty four members. Of the appointed members:

  • up to thirteen shall be independent members
  • at least one academic staff member and one professional services member
  • up to two may be students of the university nominated by the students
  • at least one and not more than nine shall be co-opted members. At least one of this number shall be a person who has experience in the provision of education.

A determination of numbers was last undertaken on the 30th June 2021 at the Board of Governors. 

The Membership of the governing body is set out below. 

A list of Governor interests for the academic year can be found on the interest of the board page.

Independent Governors

As per the University's Instrument of Government, Independent Members shall be persons with experience of, and to have show capacity in, industrial, commercial or employment matters or the practice of any profession. 

Photograph of Angela Spence, Chair of the Board of Governors for the University of Wolverhampton

2nd term of office

Angela Spence is politically savvy with a reputation for being highly professional, pragmatic, forensic, analytical and focused. She is an outstanding strategist and communicator. Angela is a consummate networker, a strong leader and manager with a natural coaching style. She is authentic, honest and committed to openness.

Born in Wolverhampton, Angela is an inveterate world traveller and sojourner.  She revels in the discovery of new places, people and cultures.

Angela has a lifelong, deeply held passion for helping people work towards developing and/or discovering the best version of themselves.

Co-founder and Director of At Eve Consulting Limited, Angela works with organisations and agencies in the public, private, voluntary and community sectors to transform their operations, bring about efficiencies and improve their ways of working.

Angela is also a co-founder and Director of community interest company Square Pegs Round Holes dedicated to working with children, young people, families and local communities to build their resilience and support them to overcome barriers that limit their participation in achieving fulfilling lives.

Angela is fully subscribed to the ethos of public service and had a very successful career in the public sector working across multi-agency partnerships and multi-disciplinary teams, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

Angela is a Presiding Justice in the adult and youth courts across the Black Country and Birmingham. She is chair of the Wolverhampton Police Independent Advisory Group.

Angela is an ambassador for the transformational benefits of education and is delighted to be able to influence and affect change at the University. Angela is delighted to have recently been appointed Chair of the Board of Governors and looks forward to working collaboratively with all stakeholders to position the University of Wolverhampton as a great place to study and work

2nd Term of Office

Alan Edwards is an experienced public sector board member having previously been Chair of the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and an Independent Member of the Board of the UK National Policing Improvement Agency. He is currently Deputy Chair of Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS FT, Deputy Chair of the Ethics, Transparency and Audit Panel for the Staffordshire Commissioner for Policing, Fire and Rescue, and Crime. Alan is also Chair of the University of Wolverhampton Multi-Academy Trust. Most of his career has been spent as a management consultant. He was a consulting Partner at PwC and KPMG and an Executive at IBM.

Alan is an accountant and a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA). Alan has been an active member of CIPFA including acting as its International Director. He retains the role of Chair CIPFA Development and represents CIPFA on a number of international boards and committees. Alan studied for his CIPFA qualification at the then Wolverhampton Polytechnic.

Buki Adeyemo 300x300

2nd Term of Office

Buki Adeyemo is Medical Director of North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust. She is a consultant in old age psychiatrist and has worked in the NHS for 23 years; the majority of that time in North Staffordshire. She currently leads the vascular dementia service for North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust. This innovative service aims to recognise the early signs of dementia and provide support for people at an earlier opportunity.

During her career, Buki has specialised in medical education and psychological therapies. She has completed Interpersonal Therapy Level B training. She is especially passionate about developing medical leadership in multidisciplinary teams.

Buki lives in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire.


Chris Handy independent governor

1st Term of Office

Chris Handy was until recently Group Chief Executive of Accord Housing, a group of housing and care organisations. Accord providing housing and care for people in need. It had a significant annual building programme and also owned its own factory, located in Walsall manufacturing super insulated timber homes. Chris was Deputy Chair of the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership and was its Acting Chair for a period. He is also heavily involved in the NHS and is Deputy Chair of the Black Country and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group.

Chris is a visiting Professor of Governance Law with Birmingham City University Business School. He has written a number of books on housing and law, the most recent the fifth edition of Housing Association Law, and is deeply interested in the built environment, human rights and social justice issues. Chris received an OBE in 2008 for his services to housing. He is married with two children, enjoys walking and lives locally.


Ninder Johal

3rd Term of Office

Ninder Johal runs Nachural: a music and event production company hosting large corporate events and award ceremonies for entrepreneurs in Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Leicester and London, Manchester and Mumbai. Nachural recently set up a publishing arm, with ventures into film and video production.

Ninder has also run a record label for over 25 years and is a member of premier bhangra band Achanak, who still tour today. Ninder’s record label remains as the only British Asian label to have charted globally with the track Munde To Bachke.

As well as being a University governor, Ninder sits on the Black Country LEP Board, is a West Midlands 5G board member, elected member of the West Midlands CBI, NED at Accord Housing and BCRS, trustee of WBAFC’s Albion Foundation and trustee of Victoria Academy (primary schools. He is also a Board member of the West Midlands Growth Company, West Midlands India Partnership, the West Midlands Combined Authority and Chair of the Wolverhampton Town Fund. Ninder chairs the charity Steps to Work.

A former president of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, Ninder’s work for the BCCC saw him awarded runner-up in the Sunday Times Non-Executive of the Year Awards 2017. Subsequently he was invited to form part of the judges’ panel for the Sunday Times/Peel Hunt Non-Executive Director of the Year.

Ninder was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands in February 2019 in recognition of his work for the region.



Elaine Siew independent governor

1st Term of Office

Elaine Siew graduated from the University of Cambridge with an MA (CANTAB) in Medical Sciences and entered the business world, qualifying as a Chartered Accountant ACA three years later. After a short stint as an auditor, she moved into corporate finance, specialising in advising management teams in Management Buy-Outs and Buy-Ins. During this period, she established herself as a deal originator and doer, structuring and obtaining funding from numerous banks and venture capitalist. In 1998, she became Corporate Finance Partner in Robson Rhodes.

In 2004, after the birth of her two sons, she left the corporate finance world and joined a client as Finance Director. This was the start of her journey at gbpartnerships. As Finance Director, she raised over £300m of project finance, funding the development of 36 medical centres.

Elaine is now CEO of gbpartnerships group. She sits on the Board of 30 SPV and group companies. She leads a team of over 70 people in a multifaceted business, focussing on asset and project management, consultancy services, property development and investment in primary care estate, the wider health and social care sector, retail, and housing developments. Gbpartnerships currently manage and deliver management services to a health estate worth over £800m.

Elaine has been a member of the LIFT Council since 2006 and interacts with DHSC, parliamentarians and other Government Officials promoting the contribution of LIFT companies in primary, community and social care.

In 2019, she won the Forward Ladies National Awards, Midlands Corporate Leader category.

David Ferriday independent governor

1st Term of Office

David Ferriday was born in Wolverhampton to a working class family, with one grandparent having fought in the Second World War losing a thumb to shrapnel, and the others being licensees of a local public house. His father was a police officer who worked within the CID and Regional Crime Squad; his mother was a full-time housewife. Going through the separation and divorce of his parents at the age of eleven gave David a varied upbringing. An only child for sixteen years of his life, David met his half-sister and brother at the age of twenty, following a reconciliation with his father.

He grew up locally in Telford and has lived all of his life there, with a large portion of his family coming from Shifnal. 

Highly academic through school, coupled with a love of sport, developed a keen competitiveness in David. Liking a variety of different disciplines meant that he did not develop an overriding excellence in any single area. Football has always been David’s passion but he has engaged in an array of sports including tennis, badminton, table tennis and captained school teams in rugby union, basketball and volleyball, in addition to having played David water polo for Newport, Shropshire. A snooker player from the age of seven, David runs local darts teams and has played pool for Shropshire. David took up karate at an early age and returned to martial arts in his mid-thirties, taking up Tae Kwan do. David attained the level of second Dan and taught Tae Kwan do before retiring from the sport. He has also coached junior football teams from the ages of seven through to sixteen, and has passed his initial coaching badges.




Melissa Sterling independent governor 2024

1st Term of Office

Mel Sterling was appointed as an Independent Governor in 2024. She was born in Wolverhampton, where she still lives, however she spent most of her time in Telford attending Thomas Telford School and street dance practice. With a passion for writing and expression, she graduated from Birmingham City University with a BA (Hons) in English and Creative Writing. 

The years following university Mel’s career flourished in the fast-paced retail environment at Sainsbury’s. With a passion for wellbeing and creating an inclusive culture, Mel’s journey has taken her from managing the shop floor, Learning Design, Leadership Development to Wellbeing, Diversity and Inclusion. With years of experience leading the Race, Ethnicity, Belief and LGBTQ+ strategies at Sainsbury’s, Mel is the now Global Wellness and Belonging Manager (Wellbeing, Diversity, and Inclusion) leading the newly formed team at Holland & Barrett since June 2022.

Mel's role at Holland & Barrett makes her responsible for a breadth of work across Wellness and Belonging: designing, communicating, and implementing complex strategies in varied business areas and countries, business partnering with Senior Leadership teams and the Executive Board to support their localised action plans, providing direction on equitable policies and processes, measuring and monitoring colleague engagement, the effectiveness of colleague initiatives, and much more. 

In 2023 Mel won the SME Champion award from Women’s Business Club which recognised her outstanding efforts to create a balanced and diverse workforce creating opportunities for underrepresented communities. In the same year, the retail publication ‘The Grocer’ also listed Mel as one of the Top 10 activists making grocery a better industry for the LGBTQ+ community. 

Craig Pemberton independent governor 2024

1st Term of Office

Craig Pemberton was appointed as an Independent Governor and Chair of the Audit & Risk Assurance Committee in 2024. He combines of private, public and not for profit sector experience, having spent more than 20 years at BT before moving into the public sector in 2005. Since then he has held senior financial appointments for the Department for Constitutional Affairs, HMRC, the Valuation Office Agency, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) where he was Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Services Director and, most recently, the Horserace Betting Levy Board as CFO.

Craig is delighted to joining the University of Wolverhampton and looks forward to working with an impressive and dedicated set of professionals, at an exciting point in the development of the organisation. He seeks to contribute effectively through the experience he brings.

Craig continues to work full-time in the sports sector. He has extensive experience in financial management, business performance management, risk management and business planning, all with the aim of effecting and delivering sustainable improvements and change.

Craig is proud to be a finance leader who is openly gay and a former board-level champion on equality, diversity and inclusion.



Dr Mashuq Ally independent governor 2024

1st Term of Office

Mashuq Ally was appointed as an Independent Governor in 2024. Although retired from formal public service, Mashuq remains the CEO and founder Director of Homeward Bound Care Ltd, providing support to those in recovery from an NHS operation.

Mashuq comes to the Board with a strong equalities background. Prior to retiring he was Corporate Assistant Director for Equalities, Cohesion and Community Safety at Birmingham City Council, and formerly Wales Director for the Commission for Racial Equality.

Mashuq has held positions in academia, of which his notable appointment was Senior Lecturer at St. David’s University College, University of Wales. He is currently Director and Trustee of the Markfield Institute of Higher Education, and a member of the Shaikh Zayed Board for Islamic Studies, University of Cambridge. He is Chair of Bordesley Green Girls School and Sixth Form, and member of Birmingham City Council’s Schools Forum.

Within the private sector, Mashuq founded Global Trading Enterprise (Turkey), of which he is currently a director, to support housing development and humanitarian efforts for refugees on the border of the country.

Paul Bytheway independent governor 2024

1st Term of Office

Paul Bytheway as appointed as an Independent Governor in 2024. Paul is an experienced public and third sector board director, having served nearly all of his career in the NHS and most recently as a Chief Operating Officer. He has served at Board level  across a number of NHS Trusts over the last 10 years. Paul holds a number of other roles supporting the local community, including as a trustee and Chair of the Quality Governance Committee at a Birmingham Hospice. Paul is also Chair of Saint John Ambulance Priory Group (West Midlands) and has volunteered for St John for 40 years.

Paul began his career in the NHS in 1990 in Wolverhampton as a health care assistant before training to be a registered nurse. He remains on the Nursing Register and was one of the first registrants qualifying from the newly formed School of Nursing at the University of Wolverhampton in 1995.

Paul is passionate about developing people and communities to be the best they can be.

Daniel Persaud independent governor Springfield Campus February 2024

1st Term of Office

Dan Persaud has a wealth of experience in Higher Education, having worked in this field for over 25 years. He is a qualified Social Worker and has a special interest in the well-being of the university community. 

Dan has held leadership positions at the University of Warwick and the University of Melbourne. More recently, he served as the Deputy Head of a university college, where he reviewed and redesigned the delivery of the student experience. Dan has provided consultancy and advice to universities, government agencies, charities, and public sector organisations in the UK and globally. In addition, Dan has held various governance positions in education and the charitable sector, including serving as Deputy Chair of a school, governor of a college, and trustee of a charitable trust. 

Dan is excited to join the governors of the University of Wolverhampton.


Andy Westwood independent governor Springfield Campus February 2024

1st Term of Office

Andy Westwood is Professor of Government Practice and a Director of the Productivity Institute at the University of Manchester. He has worked as an expert adviser to the EU, the IMF, the OECD and for the Economic Affairs Committee in the House of Lords. He also worked as a special adviser to UK ministers on innovation, education and skills during the last Labour government.

Andy grew up and went to school in Wolverhampton and is a former visiting professor in further and higher education at the University.

Co-opted Governors

The University's co-opted Governors are:

Professor Ebrahim Adia, Vice-Chancellor, University of Wolverhampton_4

Professor Ebrahim Adia joined the University of Wolverhampton as Vice-Chancellor on 1 October 2023.

Formerly Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Leadership) at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), Ebrahim has a national and international profile and brings to the role a wealth of experience, serving as Chair and member of a number of high-profile boards.

Ebrahim was born and raised in Bolton. He was the first in his family, and one of the few from his school to attend university, which has helped to shape his views on the role of higher education. As a result, Ebrahim has strived in both his professional and personal life to create opportunity and to help transform the lives of individuals and local communities.

Ebrahim’s academic background is in public policy and policy analysis. He taught as a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Education for 18 years before moving into academic management. As the Provost for UCLan’s Burnley Campus, Ebrahim led on the development of a new campus and increased student numbers ninefold and as the Assistant Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience and Transformation at the University of Bolton he helped to improve both student satisfaction and student continuation.

Ebrahim was appointed as a Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Panel Member by the Office for Students which enhanced his understanding of best practice to support the development of an outstanding student experience that delivers high levels of graduate employability.

Ebrahim has worked closely with the devolved Greater Manchester Combined Authority where he held the role of deputy portfolio for Economic Strategy and Internationalisation and served as a Board Member of the Manchester Growth Company offering him excellent experience and understanding of working in partnership with public and private stakeholders to mutual benefit. He has also held a number of senior Board roles in the NHS, was appointed by the Government to the Commission on Integration and Cohesion and has served as a Rapporteur at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.



Dr Aidan Byrne academic governor 2023

1st Term of Office

Dr Aidan Byrne was appointed as Academic Governor in 2023. Aidan is the acting programme leader for English. He has worked at UoW for 23 years in the departments of Media and English and has served on a number of committees. His academic interests include Welsh literature, popular culture, interwar literature and culture, and canon formations.

Aidan is currently co-investigator on an AHRC project about literary taste and is writing a book on politicians’ fictions. He teaches modules on Midlands literature and culture (Round The Wrekin), Populist Texts, Shakespeare and the English Renaissance and Green Ink: Environmental Humanities, and is supervising PhDs on supernatural romance, Zelda Fitzgerald, and Civil War Biblical rhetoric.

Aidan’s pedagogical interests focus on the transition to university-level study and decolonising the curriculum.


1st Term of Office

Kimberly Forlini-Softley was born and raised in Montréal, Québec, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Studies from Concordia University in Canada. Kimberly completed her Masters in Film Studies here at the University of Wolverhampton in 2009.

Kimberly currently works as a database manager for the Alumni and Development Team in External Engagement.

Kimberly believes strongly in equality, diversity and the power of representation and decided to put herself forward for election to the Board to ensure that the voice of all staff is heard and to promote equality.

In her spare time she enjoys being sarcastic, watching TV and gaming.

Student Governors

Adeyemi Adebayo - 1st Term of office

Adeyemi's term of office as Students' Union President began on 1 July 2024. 




Yetundi Adedipe - 1st Term of office



Oluwafunbi Babatunde - 1st Term of office

Co-opted Members

Co-opted Members are not governors of the university but are co-opted to sub-committees and the Board as they possess a specific skill or expertise, and are usually appointed for a term of office of three years.

3rd Term of Office

Sarah Middleton is the Chief Executive of Black Country Consortium Limited (BCC) since its incorporation in 2006. Sarah joined the Consortium Partnership in October 1999 and has been central in developing the Black Country Sub-Regional partnership and its 30 year-vision including the Economic Strategy and Spatial Strategy, establishing joint approaches on Planning, Investment, Economic Intelligence and the Black Country Education and Skills Strategy. She has also supported the West Midlands Combined Authority on the development of the Combined Authority Strategic Economic Plan.

Sarah qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG and previous roles include Deputy Chief Executive for East Mercia Chamber of Commerce (including responsibilities as General Manager for Business Link Walsall) and Chief Executive of Walsall City Challenge.

Fayaz Malik co-opted governor  2024

1st Term of Office

Fayaz Malik, a distinguished science graduate and a Fellow of ACCA, boasts over 17 years of post-qualification experience that spans various roles, including Finance Director. Fayaz achieved Prince2 Foundation Certification and completed the Entrepreneurial Edge Programme from London Business School(LBS). His start-up project on the CFO platform and innovative FP&A model made it to the semi-finals at LBS.

He has demonstrated an exceptional aptitude for taking full ownership of finance functions and leading cross-functional teams in procurement, and supply chain, economic development, income recovery, ICT, and Performance. Fayaz's rapid professional growth in the housing sector is notable, having been Regional Finance Manager for West of England for Home Group, one of the UK’s largest housing and health social enterprise organisations, with revenues over £450m turnover. Additionally, he served as a Director of Finance ICT& Performance and Economic Development at The Haven and CFO at Northampton Partnership Homes.

Fayaz's significant C-Level experience and unwavering commitment to excellence and advising at the board level has enabled him to develop and deliver corporate plans and strategic objectives, drive and monitor transformation, including new Target Operating Models, and enhance performance. He stands out for his remarkable leadership skills, collaboration and stakeholder engagement, dealing with high-level stakeholders internationally to deliver positive outcomes for several organisations, making a financial impact in £m's.

Fayaz's industry sector background varies, including housing, environment and regeneration, construction, engineering, leisure and hospitality, financial services, management consulting, SAAS, etc. Fayaz has worked with some notable names in these sectors, including Capital One Plc, Network Rail, Serco Group Plc, NMCN Plc and others. Fayaz led finance improvements for the West of England Capital Delivery Unit at Network Rail with c £b in capital projects portfolio. He improved the challenge, processes, operational and strategic advice, business partnering, forecast and planning accuracy, and identifying, tracking and firming up efficiencies in £m’s.

Fayaz's impressive record has earned him a non-executive directorship at Black Country Partnership Foundation Trust NHS for four years. He served as vice-chair of the Finance and Investment Committee, Deputy Chair of the Audit Committee, and Chair of Charitable Funds. Fayaz has also been a governor nominee for Ormiston Academies Trust, further underlining his expertise in the field. He was also a professional mentor at Aston Business School and was nominated for the Best Mentoring Partnership award in 2016.

Fayaz likes to spend time with his family and friends as well as supporting community projects. He plays cricket and enjoys friendship with plants.