Executive Dean of the Sino-British College (SBC)

Role: Executive Dean

Responsible to: SBC Management Council

Job Type: Permanent contract (initial 5-year period, subject to successful review after 3-years)
Salary: Base salary of up to £120k p/a (based on experience) plus relocation package and benefits
Location: Shanghai, China

Executive Dean of the Sino-British College (SBC) – Candidate Pack (download)

About the Sino-British College (SBC)

The Sino-British College (SBC) is a university college in Shanghai. It was established in 2006 as a Sino-Foreign higher education joint venture by agreement between the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology (USST) and nine members of The Northern Consortium UK (NCUK): the University of Bradford, the University of Huddersfield, the University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University, Liverpool John Moores University, Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Salford, The University of Sheffield, and Sheffield Hallam University.

The Sino-British College exists to be an international gateway, specialising in higher education pathways to and from Shanghai and the UK for students, faculty and organisations worldwide. The College seeks to create and sustain an environment for all students, staff, and stakeholders that is characterised by a commitment to three overarching SBC values: responsible leadership; enterprise and innovation; and cultural empathy.

SBC is an embedded college of USST, a government-owned university operating under the direction of the Shanghai Government. SBC is operated and governed by Chinese law. However, the quality assurance and validation of British qualifications remain entirely the province of NCUK and the partner universities.

SBC is seeking a new Executive Dean to drive the College forward and shape its future in line with an ambitious Five-year Plan. The successful candidate will have the privilege of leading a College that has a transformational impact on its students’ lives and has been cited by the QAA as a model example of overseas collaboration.

The Executive Dean will have a direct reporting line to the Chair of the SBC Management Council. Day-to-day management matters are the responsibility of the Vice-Dean of SBC. The Executive Dean of SBC will be responsible for all academic matters.

Full information is provided in the candidate pack. For details of how to apply and routes for informal enquiries, please see below.

Early expressions of interest are encouraged.

Role Summary

  • To provide executive and academic leadership for the College and contribute to its ongoing success;
  • To develop the framework for the strategic and operational work of the College, including the development and monitoring of the Academic and Operational Plans and related Performance Indicators;
  • To ensure that service delivery, including partnerships, deliver to expectations whilst also further strengthening key strategic priority areas;
  • To be accountable for the effective deployment of available resources within the College.
  • To ensure high academic standards within the College and therefore students’ progression.
  • To have good communication with UK partners, on the basis of which to develop more collaborative programmes.
  • To actively support the Chinese management team appointed by USST in coordinating with Chinese administrative leaders to run the College within the Laws and Regulations of People’s Republic of China as well as Guidelines of USST.

Duties and Responsibilities


  • To develop and implement a strategy to deliver the goals of the latest Five-year Plan.
  • To lead in the formulation, consideration, development and delivery of SBC strategy and planning;
  • To promote the interests of the College both within USST and externally;
  • To ensure that key stakeholder relationships are well-managed and that partner organisations are well-informed and engaged in important decisions.

Strategic Planning and Operational Management

  • To implement SBC policy and strategic objectives, and to be responsible for the monitoring and reporting of the College operational plan;
  • To manage financial, staffing and other resources to ensure achievement of the College’s strategy in compliance with financial and other controls;
  • To define the objectives and priorities for the College in terms of teaching and learning, in consultation with other academic staff, and in relation to the College’s wider policy objectives;
  • To define the objectives and priorities for the College in terms of the academic and operational administration of all SBC programmes;
  • To facilitate and oversee the development of all aspects of teaching and administration within the College;
  • To foster innovation in the College;
  • To lead the College management team, consulting and seeking consensus in the making and implementation of decisions;
  • To respond to issues and incidents likely to impinge on the College’s reputation and activities in a manner that manages and minimises risk to SBC/USST and the UK partners;
  • To contribute to the development and testing of SBC risk and crisis management plans which will be utilised in crisis situations or when serious unexpected events occur.

Public Relations

  • To promote the College as a place of international repute in which to study, research and work and encourage international collaboration and exchange;
  • To represent the College as required at local, regional, national and international level; and
  • To undertake other such duties as required by the SBC Management Council.

Full specification available via the Candidate Information Pack.

Remuneration & Rewards

The Executive Dean will receive a competitive rewards package (alongside their base salary) including:

  • Accommodation provision up to £20k p/a;
  • Relocation expenses (to be discussed and agreed upon appointment);
  • An annual flight allowance of up to 2 return flights (Economy Class) or 1 return flight (First Class) p/a;
  • Private medical care;
  • Potential for bonus arrangements.

How to apply

Please note that early expressions of interest are encouraged. Your application should include:

  • A full, up-to-date CV
  • A covering letter indicating how you meet the criteria in Part One only of the person specification. This should set out your relevant experience and what you would bring to the role. The attributes listed in Part Two of the person specification will be assessed if you are invited to interview.
  • Contact details for three referees, which must include your current or most recent employer or their authorised representative. Confidential references will be requested for candidates shortlisted for final interviews. We will seek your permission to obtain references before any contact is made.

If you are applying from one of the below UK Universities, please e-mail your application directly to the relevant University representative on the SBC Management Council:

  • University of Huddersfield – Prof Jane Owen-Lynch, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Teaching and Learning
  • Liverpool John Moores University – Prof Peter Byers, Pro Vice-Chancellor Education
  • The University of Sheffield – Dr Malcolm Butler, Vice-President and Director of Global Engagement
  • Sheffield Hallam University – Prof Chris Wiggington, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Global and Academic Partnerships

Applications from candidates outside of these Universities should be sent to our Recruitment Partners, Atkinson HR Consulting at:

Louise Speksnyder: Louise@atkinsonhrconsulting.co.uk

Key dates

Application Deadline:                      Wednesday 26 January 2022 (11am)

Longlisting Interviews with UK Management Council Representatives (Manchester) will take place during the week commencing 7 February 2022. Final interview dates are to be confirmed.

The timing and location of final interviews will be subject to confirmation and applicable COVID-19 quarantine regulations in China. At the time of writing, interviews are most likely to be held remotely or in person in Manchester, UK.

Early expressions of interest are strongly encouraged, and if you wish to discuss the opportunity or would like further details and information about the recruitment process, please contact our Recruitment Partners, Atkinson HR Consulting via email:

Graham Atkinson: graham@atkinsonhrconsulting.co.uk

Eleanor Walker: eleanor@atkinsonhrconsulting.co.uk

As part of the process, you are also welcome to further discuss the opportunity, College and context with colleagues from NCUK and/or USST. Initial enquiries should be sent to Alan White.

Alan White: alan.white@ncuk.ac.uk