Website Heriot Watt University

Post of Head of Academic English

This key role is responsible for contributing to the strategic development of the University’s portfolio of Academic English programmes and leading on operational delivery.

A primary element of the role will be in leading the business development of the University’s Academic English portfolio across all University campuses. Online delivery will be a key element of developing this portfolio.

You will lead and coordinate the delivery of a wide variety of English Language programmes across the institution, which will vary in location of delivery, academic level and duration of study. From managing the University’s range of on-campus pre-degree English Language programmes to overseeing and developing our successful and recently revised online provision in this area, the role will allow you to develop your career in a dynamic and truly global higher education environment.

You will be expected to engage at a senior level both internally and externally and act as an ambassador for Heriot-Watt University in working with key international partners.

The role will also have specific responsibilities for providing expert specialist support and advice to Academic Schools in the area of curriculum development to support in-sessional English language provision.

The post-holder will work closely with teams in the following areas to optimise delivery and results:

Academic schools: Portfolio and Curriculum Development
Market Research & Analysis: Portfolio development, international market research
Prospect Journey Team: Enquiries Management, Admissions, CRM
Marketing: Brand, Web Presence, Marketing Collateral, Events
International Development: Global partners, institutional agreements
Profile of Role Holder

You will have exceptional knowledge of leading the successful delivery of pre-degree English Language programmes in the Higher Education environment. You will have detailed understanding of University sector challenges and opportunities in this area, which you will keep constantly updated.

You will be strategic in your approach and able to influence senior decision makers through concise and clear articulation of the environment and the University’s place in it. Resilient yet structured in your work, you can work under pressure and to tight deadlines whilst ensuring priorities are aligned to strategic imperatives.


Key duties and responsibilitiesYou will be a leading contributor to the development of the University’s strategy in pre-sessional and in-sessional English language and lead on its successful operational delivery.

This will include both online and on-campus delivery in our global hubs of our Scottish, Dubai and Malaysian campuses. You will also work with key University partners in delivering programmes in other global locations as well as with our network of strategic student recruitment agents.

Specific duties will include:

Coordinating, managing and developing the University’s pre-degree English portfolio. This will specifically include further developing the online elements of the portfolio
Coordinating delivery with credit-bearing English teaching at degree level
Leading and coordinating the delivery team for pre-sessional English, including employment of temporary teaching staff employed to meet seasonal demand
Effective management of in-market language testing and assessment
Achieving KPIs for the team, notably maximising student intakes and associated fee income
Regularly reviewing the price-positioning of the Academic English portfolio in the market and associated cost of acquisition and return on investment
Carefully managing resource supporting both staff and non-pay budgets
Managing the team of pre-degree teaching staff and ensure high quality teaching outputs and outstanding student engagement
Providing bespoke support to Academic Schools in the delivery of pre-degree Academic English programmes
Analysing, benchmarking and monitoring key competitor activities to ensure the University is competitively positioned in the sector
Ensure appropriate academic quality and standards are maintained to agreed levels, particularly relating to professional accreditation(notably BALEAP)
In liaison with the Academic Quality team, manage quality assurance of franchised and locally run overseas pre-sessional English language programmes
Pursuing and expanding external networks to support success and development of the team– including identifying business opportunities with other partner Universities both in the UK and Internationally
Leading the delivery of sector-leading international student support for English Language students in liaison with professional services – e.g. social and cultural programme, transition to Heriot-Watt programmes and on-campus experience
Ensure that the roles and responsibilities of the Academic English team are clearly defined and linked to clearly measurable outcomes

Education, qualifications and experienceEssential

Educated to degree level
Professional qualification in ELT Management and/or TEFL
Extensive experience of Academic English delivery gained over a minimum of five years
Experience of English language testing
Experience of developing academic portfolio, notably for online delivery
Ability to develop and nurture key business relationships with external partners, notably other Universities
Understanding of other cultures and cultural differences, preferably obtained through work or study abroad
Demonstrable experience of managing a team and delivering to clearly defined and ambitious targets
Proven experience of managing resources, workloads and changing priorities for self and others
Demonstrable change management experience and skills
Ability to operate in a complex global environment
Excellent communication, influencing and interpersonal skills
Good track record of developing and maintaining positive working relationships with internal and external customers, peers, stakeholders and others

Postgraduate qualification
Relevant professional body membership
Experience of leading change
Project Management skills
How To ApplyApplications can be submitted up to midnight (UK time) on 4th December 2020.

This role does not meet the minimum requirements set by UKVI to enable sponsorship of migrant workers. Therefore we cannot progress applications from candidates who require sponsorship to work in the UK. For further information on this please visit the UK Visas and Immigration website:
At Heriot-Watt University we understand that being diverse makes us better which is why we support a culture of respect and equal opportunity, and value diversity at the heart of what we do. We want to increase the diversity of our workplace to underpin a dynamic and creative environment.

We welcome and will consider flexible working patterns e.g. part-time working and job share options.

Use our total rewards calculator: to see the value of benefits provided by Heriot-Watt University.

Salary: £51,034 - £59,135

To apply for this job please visit