Our Board

The OIA is overseen by an independent Board. The Board's responsibilities include:

  • oversight of the performance and effectiveness of the Independent Adjudicator, the Chief Executive and the Scheme;
  • setting the budget and determining the level of subscriptions payable each year by members of the Scheme;
  • approving the Scheme Rules;
  • preserving the independence of the Scheme.

Our Board is made up of trustees with lay, student and higher education sector perspectives. To protect our independence, it is structured so that those with a sector perspective can’t constitute a majority.

It’s important to us to hear student perspectives through our governance as well as through our wider engagement with students and those who represent them. We currently have a range of student perspectives on the Board including national representation, students’ union management and lived experience.

Our vision that students are always treated fairly is at the heart of the Board’s decision making and informs the approach the Board takes to its oversight of the organisation.

Board members are not involved in the review of individual complaints.

Student and Board Director Adesewa Adebisi talks about our Diversity Steering Group and our student discussion groups.

Our Board of Directors / Trustees

Sim Scavazza - Chair of the Board

Sim Scavazza was appointed as Chair of the OIA Board of Trustees in October 2023. As the former Deputy Chair of University of the Arts London, Sim spent 11 years championing equality, diversity and inclusion, and the wellbeing of staff and students.

Sim is currently Acting Chair for the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire & Berkshire West NHS Integrated Care Board. She is also a Non-Executive Director for two of London’s largest NHS Acute Trusts, where she chairs the People Committee and the North West London EDI steering group, overseeing the wellbeing of over 24,000 staff. Sim has been an Advisor on Race for the membership organisation NHS Providers since June 2021.

Further reflecting her passion for supporting young people and philanthropic work, Sim became a Trustee of the women's' employment charity Smartworks, and the National Saturday Club charity.

Sim’s commercial background is in fashion clothing retail where she spent 30 years working for some of the UK’s best loved high street brands including River Island and Next. Sim was managing Director for the young fashion chain Miss Selfridge, then part of the Arcadia Group.

Sim is a Fellow at the RSA.

Image of the Chair of the OIA Board, Sim Scavazza

Sim Scavazza | Chair of the Board

Martin Kirke - Deputy Chair

Martin joined the OIA Board in 2019 and was appointed as Deputy Chair from July 2023. Martin is Vice-Chair of an NHS Trust where he Chairs the People Committee. He is also a Non-Executive Director and Trustee of Action for Kids, a charity which provides mobility equipment for disabled children and finds employment for young people with autism or other learning difficulties. Martin has a coaching and consultancy business providing services including organisation change, diversity and inclusion to clients. He is a mediator and arbitrator with ACAS, working to resolve disputes. He is a writer and conference speaker on diversity, change and organisation development. He is a Mentor for long term unemployed young people through the Prince’s Trust.

Martin’s corporate career included international roles working in Latin America, USA, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa. His roles included HR Global Operations Director, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific for BP and Vice President Resource Management Europe, Middle East and Africa for Ericsson. He also held HR and Change Director roles at Serco Transport, Post Office and the Natural Environment Research Council. He was a change consultant at No.10 and the Cabinet Office. Martin is a Fellow of the CIPD and has a first degree in Behavioural Science and a master’s degree in HR Management from Cardiff University.

Image of Martin Kirk - Deputy Chair

Martin Kirke | Deputy Chair

Adesewa Adebisi

Adesewa Adebisi served as the 2019/20 Education Officer and Trustee of Huddersfield Students’ Union. She was actively involved in liaising with the University and external bodies on education matters, teaching quality and student experience. Adesewa has a strong interest in the field of science and is a recent Masters of Research graduate in Oncology from The University of Manchester (2020/21).

William Callaway

William has worked in universities since 1990, starting in London and moving to Goldsmiths and then Brunel. He was Deputy Registrar at Hertfordshire for six years before returning "home" to Wales in 2005 to be Academic Registrar at what is now Cardiff Met. In 2007 William joined Glamorgan; subsequently and following merger he is now Executive Director, Governance, Legal & Assurance and University Secretary at the University of South Wales.

Andrew Chandler

Andrew is a solicitor and works as a consultant to advise leading businesses, trade associations and public sector clients on commercial contracts, competition law, distribution and risk. He was formerly a partner at Eversheds LLP. Andrew has also served as an Independent Trustee of the Royal College of Physicians of London and a school governor and has  held lay representative and patient representative roles. He chairs a small wellbeing charity. 

Chloe Field

Chloe has been Vice President of Higher Education at the National Union of Students since July 2022. Her main role is to represent students in Higher Education and to advocate and campaign for their best interests. Prior to NUS, she spent two years as a Student Officer at the Liverpool Guild of Students.

Dr Wendy Finlay

Wendy is Vice-Principal – Student Experience at University College of Estate Management.  She has worked in higher education management since 2004, having moved across from a career as a post-doctoral research associate.  Wendy has worked at a range of institutions delivering higher education during her career, including universities, alternative providers and an FE college.

Professor Alistair Fitt

Professor Alistair Fitt is the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University. An applied mathematician, he previously worked for 22 years at the University of Southampton. Alistair's external involvements include close connections with EPSRC and other funding agencies. He is the President-elect of the IMA (the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications) and is also a member of the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership Board and a non-executive director of a number of companies.

Nicola Flint

Appointed in July 2023, Nicola is a former Senior Civil Servant and a qualified member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. Nicola has a voluntary portfolio based upon both financial skills and experience and her interest in taking a people centric approach, particularly for young people.

Dr Kevin Mundy

Kevin was Chief Operating Officer and Registrar at Bangor University when he left in 2023. As a member of the Executive Board, he had strategic responsibility for the leadership of all Professional Services, as well as for health, safety and emergency management and oversight of key University licences. Prior to arriving in Bangor in 2002, he worked at the Universities of Leeds and Sheffield.

Jonathan Rees

Jonathan has a public policy background in both central government and the not for profit sector. He is currently independent Chair of the National Association of Funeral Directors, CILEX Regulation (the body regulating legal executives) and of the Standards Committee of RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) as well as an Independent Director of the Personal Finance Society (the professional body for investment advisers), and Trustee of the Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion. He was previously among other roles a Trustee of Citizens Advice and of Ombudsman Services (the ombuds for energy and telecommunications). Before that he had a varied career as a senior civil servant over 35 years including working as adviser to two Prime Ministers, spells in the Cabinet Office, Foreign Office, Home Office and European Commission in Brussels and five years as Director General of the Government Equalities Office.

Jon Renyard

Jon Renyard is University Secretary at the Arts University Bournemouth. A graduate of the University of Reading who also holds a professional doctorate from the University of Bath, Jon has particular experience and expertise in quality management. He chairs the GuildHE Quality Management Network, and is a member of the UK Standing Committee for Quality Assessment. He has worked at Arts University Bournemouth since 2004, and has been University Secretary since July 2014.

Sophie Williams

After graduating from Birmingham University in 1995, Sophie spent 4 years as a police officer for West Midlands Police, before changing careers to manage support services at Birmingham University’s Guild of Students. Following a role as a mental health lead for a community interest company, she became a Neighbourhood Manager for Birmingham City Council in 2009. In 2011, Sophie moved to Wolverhampton Students’ Union as Deputy Chief Executive and, in August 2015, onto her current post as Chief Executive for Worcester Students’ Union. She has also held a number of volunteering roles, including as a local authority governor, PTA treasurer, and a member of the BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) Inclusion Board. She is currently a member of the Executive of FACE (the Forum for Access and Continuing Education).

Company Secretary

Sarah Liddell

Sarah joined the OIA as Head of Leadership Office in 2013 and took on the role of Company Secretary in December 2017. She provides support and advice to the Senior Leadership Team and the Board and oversees the office’s administrative function.

Before joining the OIA, she spent 17 years at the University of Reading, and she has also worked with the NHS.