The University’s first Director of Student Services intends to ensure students’ needs are at the forefront of decision-making about future development. Claire Schwartz believes it is vital students’ interests are at the top the agenda when proposed structural and reorganisational change takes place.
Claire has been promoted to the Director’s post, created earlier this year when former Dean of Student Services Dr Ken Hopkins was chosen to head the New University Project. Her main remit is to create links between Student Services and the Faculties and Departments who, in turn, are responsible for seeing students receive all the support they require while at Kingston.
Born in Scotland, Claire studied business organisation at Heriot-Watt University before heading to the Highlands to work in the oil industry. She re-entered the world of education when she emigrated to Australia in 1986 and took up a position at the University of Western Australia.
Claire lived Down Under for almost 18 years, increasing her experience in the education sector working for another university and a private education group. Two years ago, she moved back to Britain when her husband, Steven, took up the Vice-Chancellor’s post at Brunel University. Soon after, Claire joined the staff at Kingston as Head of the Student Life Office – one of the two sections within Student Services.
Claire is confident she can rise to the challenge of managing a diverse group of people offering a wide range of support in her new role. “We can’t expect to provide the best services for students unless we get the most out of our staff, so I’m committed to enabling every member of the Student Services team to meet his or her full potential,” she said.