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Our People

Professor Cara Aitchison

Independent Member of the Board of Governors
<p dir="ltr">Cara Aitchison is Professor Emerita in Geography and Cultural Economy and was previously President and Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff Metropolitan University (2016-2024) and Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Plymouth Marjon University (2013-2016). She has also held Professorships at the Universities of Edinburgh (2010-2013), Bedfordshire (2008-2010), and UWE Bristol (2003-2008) and research and teaching posts at Gloucestershire (1997-2003) and London Metropolitan (1989-1997). </p> <p dir="ltr"> </p> <p dir="ltr">Professor Aitchison is an experienced Chair, Non-Executive Director and Board member. Her current roles include Scottish Government Public Appointments to the Board of Visit Scotland, Scotland’s national tourism body (2023-), and the Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (2023-); previous Board roles include the Council of the All Party Parliamentary (Universities) Group (2022‐2024); Higher Education Statistics Agency (2021-2022); Cardiff Capital Region Economic Growth Board (2019-2024); Academy of Social Sciences (2015‐2021); Equality Challenge Unit (2015-2018); CBI Cymru/Wales (2016-2023); Plymouth Culture (2014-2016); and Plymouth Area Business Council (2014-2016).</p> <p dir="ltr"> </p> <p dir="ltr">Professor Aitchison’s research has contributed new theoretical perspectives in tourism, leisure, gender, and disability studies and new policy impacts in rural planning, cultural strategy, and tourism development. She was Chair of the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) Sub-Panel for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism (2010-2014) and is a former Chair of both the UN-affiliated World Leisure Commission on Women and Gender (2002-2008) and the Leisure Studies Association (2001-2004). </p> <p dir="ltr"> </p> <p dir="ltr">Cara was born and educated in Scotland and has now returned to live in Stirling. She completed a Geography degree at Edinburgh University before undertaking a series of postgraduate and teaching qualifications including a PhD in Social Science at Bristol University. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, Royal Geographical Society, Learned Society of Wales, and the Higher Education Academy. </p>

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