OIA announces appointment of new Chair

The OIA is very pleased to announce that our Board has appointed Sim Scavazza as the next non-executive Chair of our Board of Trustees/Directors.

Image of the new OIA Chair, Sim Scavazza

Sim will take up the role on 1 October 2023, succeeding Dame Suzi Leather whose term of office comes to an end in September.

Sim has extensive experience as a non-executive director in the healthcare, charity and higher education sectors. She previously had an impressive executive career in fashion retail.

Andy Mack, recently retired Deputy Chair of the OIA Board who led the recruitment, said:

“Following a robust recruitment process, we are delighted to have appointed Sim as the new Chair of the OIA Board from October. The OIA will benefit greatly from the breadth and depth of her non-executive experience, and from her deep commitment to championing diversity and inclusion and improving the student experience.”

Sim Scavazza said:

“I am thrilled to be appointed as Chair of the OIA Board. I look forward to helping the OIA become even more accessible to students in England and Wales. This will ensure that we continue to play our role in ensuring students are treated fairly during challenging times in the higher education sector.”

Ben Elger, Chief Executive and Helen Megarry, Independent Adjudicator, said:

“We look forward to welcoming Sim to the OIA and working with her as Chair of our Board. The insight and experience she will bring to the Board will be invaluable as we continue to undertake and develop our essential role at this challenging and important time for students and the higher education sector.”


Notes to Editors

For further information please contact Sarah Liddell, Head of Leadership Office, mediarelations@oiahe.org.uk, 0118 959 9813.

  1. The Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) is the independent student complaints ombuds for higher education in England and Wales. It is the designated operator of the student complaints’ scheme under the Higher Education Act 2004.
  2. We have a wide remit to review student complaints about higher education providers in England and Wales, as set out in the Rules of our Scheme. Our Scheme is free to students.
  3. The Board oversees the work of the OIA. Board members are not involved in the review of individual complaints.
  4. You can find further information about the Scheme and our work at https://www.oiahe.org.uk.
  5. Sim is Acting Chair of the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire & West Berkshire NHS Integrated Care Board, a non-executive director of Imperial College Healthcare Trust and of London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust, and a trustee of the charities National Saturday Club and Smart Works. She is a race equality advisor for NHS Providers. She was previously Deputy Chair of Governors at the University of the Arts, London.