Former Principal and Vice-Chancellor

Career History

Professor Petra Wend was Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Queen Margaret University between 2009 and July 2019. She was awarded a CBE in the 2021 Queen's New Year Honours list.

Petra worked consistently throughout her career as an academic to cross borders, geographically and socially, in order to realise the full potential of the institutions with which she was associated.

Professor Wend originally read Italian and French Language and Literature, and Education at the University of Münster in Germany and gained a PhD in Italian Language and Literature at Leeds University.

With a research background in institutional strategies underpinning successful leadership, improvements in student experience and university performance indicators, Professor Wend has a significant profile of academic publications and invited lectures. In 2008 she took part in Harvard Business School’s Women’s Leadership Forum and became a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA) in 2009.   In March 2015, she was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in recognition of her inspirational leadership in higher education (FRSE).

She is also proud to have led the team which won the top award in the Outstanding Leadership and Management Team category of the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards 2012.

Professor Wend has been a member or Chair of a significant number of national and international boards, among them the Chair of the National Implementation Board for Teaching Scotland’s Future, a Commissioner on the Commission of Widening Access, Vice-Convener of Universities Scotland, and Director on the Board of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. Petra is now Chair of Common Purpose Edinburgh Advisory Group, a member of the British Council Scotland Advisory Committee, Trustee and Council member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a member of its Education Committee, and a Director on the Goodison Group Board and member of its Forum. She is Chair of the Board of the University of Hamburg.