Sue Shepherd

Higher Education Researcher, Manager and Consultant




I have over tweny years professional experience gained within higher education as both a senior manager and, more recently, as a management consultant and researcher. I am currently a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research at the University of Kent working on organisational case studies for a major ESRC-funded project entitled Extending Working Lives. This is investigating the increasingly complex and risky transition from work to retirement.


I am a marketing and communications specialist who has worked in blue chip companies in the UK and Japan, including Canon Inc. I spent two years in the Corporate Image Division of Canon's Tokyo HQ editing their international corporate magazine, the Chronicle. On my return to the UK, I made full use of my Japanese language and cultural skills, joining first The Fuji Bank Ltd. and then the London International Financial Futures Exchange (LIFFE), where I assumed responsibility for the marketing and business development of financial products in Europe and Japan. In 1992 I made the move from the private sector into higher education, taking on the newly created role of Head of Marketing and Business Development at the University of Brighton. I subsequently expanded the scope and level of my responsibilities when I become Director of Communications and Development at the University of Kent in 2000. More recently I have become an HE management consultant.


After many years working in universities, I developed a professional interest in higher education management. This led to me embarking on a specialist MBA at the Institute of Education and subsequently to doctoral research, for which I was awarded a PhD studentship by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). I successfully defended my thesis in January 2015 and was awarded a PhD with no corrections..


Professional Experience


  • Research Associate, University of Kent (2014 - present)
  • Higher Education Management Consultant, SUMS Consulting (2005 - present)


  • Member, Board of Trustees, Kent Union (2010 - 2013)
  • Director of Communications and Development, University of Kent (2000 - 2005)
  • Head of Marketing and Business Development, University of Brighton (1992 - 1998)
  • Manager, Business Development, London International Financial Futures Exchange (1990 - 1992)
  • Japanese Corporate Loan Officer, The Fuji Bank Ltd., (1989 - 1990)
  • Editor, Canon Chronicle Magazine, Canon Inc., Tokyo (1986 - 1988)

Educational Qualifications


  • PhD, University of Kent (2015)
  • MA in Social Research Methods, University of Kent (2011)
  • MBA in Higher Education Management, Institute of Education, University of London (2004)
  • MA in Change Management, University of Brighton (1998)
  • PG Certificate, Shizuoka National University, Japan (1986)
  • PGCE, University of Leicester School of Education (1984)
  • BA in English Language and Literature, University of Reading (1980)




University of Kent


"Sue made a major contribution in raising the external profile of the University of Kent, overseeing successful marketing, fund-raising and PR activities. She assisted greatly in reinforcing the University's position, both regionally and overseas, Sue has a consultative management style and is able to make a valuable strategic input at institution-wide level."


Nick McHard, former Registrar & Secretary



Kent Union


"Sue was an outstanding trustee of Kent Union for over 3 years, bringing her considerable experience to bear to assist in the Board's deliberations. Sue took on the role of Chair of one of the Board's committees with typical willingness and enthusiasm. Sue has a keen grasp of the difference between management and governance and is very comfortable grappling with strategic issues; good humoured, intelligent and personable, Sue was a huge asset to our organisation"


Jim Gardner, Chief Executive

Copyright Sue Shepherd 2014