A former government special advisor has joined the University of Wolverhampton in a new role focused on understanding the regional economy and influencing the policies that will help to shape it.
Professor Andy Westwood has been appointed as Director of the University Observatory and joined Wolverhampton on 1 November 2016.
The appointment marks a return home for Andy, who grew up in the city and attended Wolverhampton Grammar School.
Andy Westwood is a Professor of Politics and Policy and currently splits his time between the Universities of Winchester and Manchester, where he is the Associate Vice President for Public Affairs.
Previously he was special advisor to the Secretary of State at the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills and a senior adviser at the Treasury and the Department for Education. He was also a senior advisor to ministers at the Department for Communities and Local Government and a specialist adviser to the House of Lords Committee on Digital Skills.
I look forward to helping the University, city and region grow and develop further in the future – Professor Andy Westwood, University of Wolverhampton
He said: “I’m really excited about starting this new role at the University of Wolverhampton. Growing up here, I’ve seen first-hand the impact that the University has on the city and its commitment to student opportunity, innovation and to wider economic development across the region. I look forward to helping the University, city and region grow and develop further in the future.”
Professor Westwood is also President of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Forum on Social Innovation and an expert adviser for their Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED) programme and for the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Andy has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Wolverhampton in Further and Higher Education and this new role will also involve engaging with the decision-makers who shape higher education policy and practice. This will include building on existing links with national and regional partners, sector bodies and government departments to raise the profile and presence of the University of Wolverhampton.