Special Advisor on Widening Participation and Diversity: Nona McDuff

21 October, 2020

The Saturday Club Trust welcomes Nona McDuff OBE as Special Advisor on Widening Participation and Diversity and Chair of the Widening Participation Working Group

The Trustees of the Saturday Club Trust are delighted to welcome Nona McDuff as Special Advisor on Widening Participation and Diversity. Nona will also chair the Trust’s working group exploring best practice and ‘what works’ in widening participation across the National Saturday Club’s creative education programme. The Working Group will collaborate closely with the national network of host institutions and tutors to explore recruitment of young people, engagement of young people in the NSC creative curriculum and methods of supporting our alumni long-term.

Throughout her career in further and higher education, Nona has been driven by her commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion in her teaching, leadership and research. She is passionate about widening access and is dedicated to ensuring inclusion in higher education is recognised as an essential measure of quality in teaching and professional services.

Lucy Kennedy, Chief Executive of the Saturday Club Trust said:

“The Trust places diversity at the heart of the National Saturday Club programme and believes that it is through diversity of ideas, that all sectors can foster greater creativity and innovation for our collective futures. Our long-term vision is to achieve genuine reach, so that all young people have the opportunity to engage in the National Saturday Club programme, across all communities, without barriers. We very much look forward to working with Nona to achieve this.”

Speaking of this new role Nona McDuff OBE said:

I am delighted to be able to contribute to the important work of the National Saturday Club programme. Clearly, the young people who take part in the programme’s fun and engaging activities benefit enormously and so in the current circumstances, I am particularly keen to help increase the participation of under-represented communities. As a society, we must focus on successful initiatives that are evidence based for all communities, so we do not lose any progress we have made in equality, diversity and social mobility. I look forward to supporting the rightfully ambitious plans of the Trust.


Nona McDuff is Pro Vice-Chancellor, Students and Teaching at Solent University, Southampton. She was awarded an OBE for her services to higher education and is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Nona is currently a member of the Advance HE Peer Review Quality Committee and of the UK’s Racial Harassment Advisory Group. She has been a panel member of the Teaching Excellence Framework and a member of the ministerial Social Mobility Advisory Group which has prioritised the challenges and barriers students face in Higher Education. As the chair of the Higher Education Race Action Group (HERAG) with over 400 members, Nona was invited to address the All Party Parliamentary Group on Higher Education on diversity in academia where she challenged the ministers to take active steps to promote social justice through education.

Nona’s work on the BME attainment gap and the Inclusive Curriculum Framework gained sector recognition, was awarded the Guardian Teaching Excellence prize (2017) and has been disseminated across five other institutions as part of the Office for Students’ catalyst programme on student success. Nona’s research interests include inclusive curricula and differential attainment and she is regularly invited to speak on disability and widening participation nationally and internationally.

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