Our Board of Governors is composed of distinguished professionals and experts who lend their invaluable insights and guidance to support ESL's strategic direction and educational initiatives.
A lawyer by profession, she was born in 1970 at the start of the Northern Ireland Troubles and grew up in County Fermanagh where she still lives with her husband and three children. She was appointed as Minister for the Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment, in 2008 a position she held until May 2015. Arlene was appointed as Minister for Finance and Personnel in May 2015. Arlene was initially appointed as First Minister of Northern Ireland on 11 January 2016 becoming Northern Ireland’s first female First Minister. She was reappointed as First Minister on 11th January 2020 and served until her resignation on 14th June 2021. Arlene has been to the forefront of advocating for more women in public life and has led by example in many ways, not least becoming the first female First Minister. Empowering more young women, and women from disadvantaged backgrounds to take part in public life is something she feels very strongly about, both at home in the UK and across the Globe. In July 2022 she was granted a Damehood from her late Majesty the Queen in what was to become her final Birthday honours list. Then in November 2022 Arlene took her seat in the House of Lords as Baroness Foster of Aghadrumsee. Arlene sits as a non-affiliated peer. She remains a strong advocate for the United Kingdom and the Union which binds it together. Arlene currently sits on the Board of Co-Operation Ireland, a North South peace building organisation and she is also a Governor of her local Grammar School, Enniskillen Royal Grammar. She chairs the TogetherUK Foundation, which a not-for-profit organisation to advocate on behalf of the Union of the United Kingdom. Recently she was appointed as a non-executive director for IpayPDQ a digital payment company.
Professor Helen Marshall has led the University of Salford as Vice-Chancellor since April 2015, having joined in November 2013 as Deputy Vice-Chancellor. Under Helen’s leadership the University has re-defined its role as an innovative, forward-looking, industry-focussed institution by creating a 21st Century version of the institution’s industrial heritage. Helen’s vision for a real-world approach to learning with a flexible, industry-informed and research-based curriculum has seen the university go from strength to strength. Helen is also actively engaged in the wider higher education sector through her role as a Board Member at the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), continuing to undertake institutional reviews with the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and working with organisations such as the British Council on international academic projects. Prior to joining the University of Salford, Helen was Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Business Development) at the University of South Wales. During her tenure a new curriculum in creative industries was developed, a Centre for Financial and Professional Services established and a successful review and renewal of the law curriculum. She also led on widening participation and was Director for the Guardian award winning Universities Heads of the Valleys Institute (UHOVI) - a groundbreaking initiative backed by the Welsh Government to provide opportunities for local people and businesses to improve skills and qualifications by making learning accessible across the Valleys region. Helen studied Law before continuing to postgraduate research in Corporate Merger Law at the University of Birmingham. Born in Cardiff, Helen has lived in the North West for a significant period of her career. Before moving to South Wales, Helen held senior positions at the University of Central Lancashire and at the University of Cumbria, as well as gaining extensive experience in quality assurance through a secondment to the QAA.
Jackie McCoy is Professor of Management Development, and Associate Dean, Development & Partnerships International at the Ulster University Business School. She is also a Senior Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy, Advance HE. She is a former Director of the Ulster University/QAHE Partnership and headed up the University’s Branch campuses in London and Birmingham. Professor McCoy’s other leadership roles include former Director of The Business Institute, Head of Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship & Strategy and Head of Small Business Development at the Northern Ireland Small Business Institute (NISBI).In 2004, she was awarded an Ulster University Distinguished Fellowship for outstanding contribution to business and the community. She has been responsible for the design and delivery of a significant portfolio of management and business development initiatives and has carried out extensive consultancy projects and strategic collaborations nationally and internationally. Jackie’s civic contribution includes: founder member of the School for Social Enterprises in Ireland established in 2005 as a joint Ulster University/Flax Trust initiative; former Chair of the Belfast Local Strategy Partnership with responsibility for the allocation of PEACE Funding across Belfast; voluntary board positions include Director of Ortus The Business Development Agency and former Chair of the Belfast International Arts Festival. She was awarded the MBE in the late Queen Elizaberth’s final New Years Honours List in 2022 for her services to Higher Education, Business and the Arts.
Professor Bell has recently joined the Board of Directors of Planet Education Networks (PEN) the holding company of the Elizabeth School of London Group of seven constituent companies in the education, professional training and student recruitment sectors. He is a well-known and successful international academic entrepreneur with extensive experience of a number of international jurisdictions including Malaysia, West Africa, Southern Africa, the Sub-Continent, Ireland and France. Professor Bell was for ten years Chief Executive of Holborn College in London, a leading private sector law and business College in the UK, which he built up and then sold on to the US Washington Post Kaplan Group. He was also the Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) and Regional Vice-Chancellor (Africa) of a large Malaysian University and is a ‘triple law graduate’ of the University of Birmingham. He has myriad business and professional interests in the UK and internationally including President of the Accra Business School, Chair of the Board of Directors of ATHE the Ofqual regulated awarding Board, Director of a number of companies and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Apasen International which is a respected and long-established charity who have been providing health and social care services in London since 1984. In 2022, he became Secretary of Apasen UK the ‘parent’ company.
AG has been involved in education for nearly 40 years and has master’s degrees from two international universities. He has been involved in TNE and online courses since 1988 with Sony Language Laboratory, Tokyo for eight years before heading the English Departments of two Japanese universities. He has taught in America, France, Germany, Italy, and Asian countries before returning to the UK. AG joined Elizabeth School of London over six years ago and has been part of the development team in the role of Principal and then Director of Partnership Development. AG is constantly working on turning Elizabeth School of London as a global player in TNE and bring education to areas where people find it difficult to go onto FE or HE courses. Education is a life changer and should be open to the majority, not the minority.
Mohammed Ali is a dedicated managing academic and multi skilled professional with 17 years’ experience in the UK higher education sector. A decisive and results orientated supportive leader who contributes significantly to team/department success through his extensive knowledge in his subject field, detailed knowledge of the educational system and its institutions, and through personal commitment, diligence, and excellent organisational skills. He is adept at developing and executing partnership strategy while managing relationships with stakeholders and leading negotiations with partners. Ali possesses a proven track record of acquiring value-adding partnerships and managing projects both nationally and internationally. He acts as a leader of integrity – with considerable experience of working with multidisciplinary teams – who places a high value on honesty, capable of building cohesive teams and leading them to realise objectives. He is an effective communicator who works closely with colleagues and departments to instil cultures of collaboration and cross functional working. Ali has a collaborative approach to problem solving and a consultative approach to understanding risks and implementing strategic decisions. Finally, he has considerable experience of building partnerships with organisations from various sectors - higher education, hospitals, charity and technology.
MD Arifur Rahman is a motivating and talented individual with over 15 years of experience in managing, mentoring, designing marketing and operational strategies for UK education industry. Mr. Arif consistently strives to create a challenging and engaging work environment in which students become life-long learners and scholars. MD Arifur Rahman possesses excellent administrative, communication and leadership skill with constructive and effective pedagogical methods that promote a stimulating learning environment. Arif possesses excellent skills in developing strategic plans and is capable to direct the team to achieve the target. Excellent track record of achieving the highest standards of success as a senior executive to achieve the organisational goal. Arif is an energetic and highly motivated professional with a desire to succeed. Arif is a confident communicator at all levels who embraces work with diligence to achieve high standards and understands the importance of discretion when dealing with sensitive information.
James Slocombe has substantial experience of outward-facing profile-building roles in education, having served as Chief Academic Officer, Headmaster, Deputy Head (Academic), Head of Sixth Form and Head of Department (Business and Economics) at prestigious independent schools in the UK and internationally. His experience transcends proprietorial, charitable and private equity owned businesses, schools, school groups, and universities. James is a team inspector for the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate, with specific expertise in compliance and NMSB. Further to being a qualified teacher (with QTS), James is also a qualified business accountant (with CIMA). He co-founded the British School of Valladolid, and as co-proprietor, scaled to exit with considerable B2B, B2C and C2C experience. James has served as a Governor/Non-Executive Director to 9 schools and businesses since the start of his career. As a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Educators, a Fellow of the RSA, and elected life-member of the Independent Schools’ Association, James actively contributes to the advancement of educational theory, practice and pedagogy, taking a particular interest in international methodologies. In 2006, James led the UK’s delegation to the CHOGM youth forum in Malta as a Trustee of the British Youth Council and has remained politically active since. James brings an entrepreneurial spirit to oversight and governance; is commercially orientated and student focused, and works with flexibility, agility, and a high degree of pragmatism. He is a proud member of The Scout Association, to which he credits his ‘can-do people-builder’ attitude and bias to action
Lotus Asaduzzaman, Director of Operations, is a seasoned professional with an impressive 12-year track record in the UK Further and Higher Education sector. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated versatility by successfully navigating various roles within FE & HE, including management, quality assurance, data management, and project management. Lotus's commitment to maintaining high-quality standards in education is evident through his contributions to quality assurance processes. His keen eye for detail and dedication to excellence have been instrumental in upholding and enhancing the overall quality of education within the institutions he has served. In addition to his operational roles, Lotus brings a solid academic foundation to the table. Holding BSc in e-commerce, a master's degree in IT and project management, he has seamlessly integrated theoretical knowledge with practical application. This educational background has equipped him with a unique perspective, allowing him to approach challenges with a strategic and solution-oriented mindset. Over the course of his career, LA has consistently proven himself as a dedicated and capable individual, contributing significantly to the advancement of Higher Education in the UK. His wealth of experience, coupled with a strong educational foundation, positions him as a valuable asset in any academic or managerial capacity within the HEI sector.