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WGU ten years
Professor Maria Hinfelaar

Professor Maria Hinfelaar

Vice-Chancellor
and Chief Executive



Professional career

On 1st April 2016, Maria took up her post as Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive at Wrexham Glyndŵr University. She is a Dutch national who has spent a significant number of years living and working in English-speaking countries.

At Wrexham Glyndŵr University, Maria aims to drive up student numbers and deepen links with industry and the community, in line with the Strategic Framework adopted by the Board which positions WGU as the anchor institution of and for North Wales. She also has ambitions to expand enterprise, innovation and incubation facilities offered by the University. She sits on the North Wales Economic Ambition Board, the Mersey-Dee Alliance Board and the North Wales Business Council. In addition, she is the Universities Wales nominee on the board of the UK-wide Quality Assurance Agency (QAA).

Maria joined the University after a successful tenure as President and Chief Accounting Officer of Limerick Institute of Technology in Ireland. She oversaw significant development of the Institute, increasing enrolments to nearly 7000 students and adding campus locations in Limerick and Tipperary. Similar to WGU, LIT offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the domains of Art and Design, Business, Social Care, Sport, Tourism and Hospitality, Science, Engineering and Information Technology.

In her previous roles both in Ireland and The Netherlands, Maria secured substantial funding from various funding agencies and industry for access projects, teaching and learning innovations and for applied research and she is confident that the potential exists within WGU to achieve successes in these areas too.

Education and publications

B.A. (Hons) Degree in English Language and Literature, Leiden University, The Netherlands.

M.A. Degree in Modern English and American Literature, Leicester University, UK.

Post-Graduate Certificate in Education, Leicester University, UK.

Ph.D conferred in 2004, published as a book entitled Key Success Factors in International Retailing, Maastricht University, The Netherlands.

Maria is a graduate of the UK Leadership Foundation Top Management Programme and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

She has published various articles in journals on the subject of international retailing; in her early-stage career she wrote Business English textbooks widely used throughout Dutch further and higher education. Her recent international research publications cover Irish higher education policy and collaborations, alliances and mergers in the sector.

Another point of note: Maria is a keen cyclist who took part in road races in Belgium and Holland over many years. She enjoys exploring the beautiful scenery of North Wales on her racebike, joined by her husband Graham.

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