Craig Mahoney

Craig Mahoney



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Professor Craig Mahoney is an internationally recognised performance psychologist, and a former semi-professional squash player who has coached and managed squash teams in Australia, Sweden, UK and Ireland.  As a sport and exercise scientist, Craig was the first person in the UK to hold dual accreditation through the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES), as both an exercise physiologist and a sport psychologist and it is in the latter role he has worked with a wide range of elite athletes in Olympic, Commonwealth and World Championship sports. 

Professor Mahoney has published widely in the areas of children’s fitness, health, sport, exercise, performance and education.  His leadership knowledge and professional academic experience have made him a regular contributor at elite sport conferences around the world and as a Keynote speaker on higher education, especially in the areas relating to learning and teaching, pedagogy, differentiated student-centred learning, teaching excellence, internationalisation and research-informed teaching.  As a practicing academic, Craig still publishes, is involved in teaching and acts as examiner or adviser to universities, companies, organisations and the media, in areas relevant to his academic expertise. 

As the helm of UWS since August 2013, Professor Mahoney has firmly focused UWS on the student experience, academic quality and global engagement.  Craig has developed a compelling Corporate Strategy, which has enabled UWS to reap the benefits of the changes he has made to the University and continues to strive towards securing UWS’ place as a first-choice university for high quality students from the UK and overseas.

Professor Mahoney become Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) in August 2013, prior to which he was CEO of the Higher Education Academy.

Under the eight years of Craig’s leadership, UWS has increased its student population by more than 5,000 and is one of the largest modern universities in Scotland.  In 2018 the University entered the top 500 universities in the world independently determined by the Times Higher Education.  UWS has been recognised as the leading Scottish university for Knowledge Transfer Exchange and has received UK recognition and awards for its work on climate change, drone technology, thin films,

UWS continues to improve its brand and market awareness both within the UK and internationally, and Craig has been asked to speak on pedagogy, innovation, digital learning, higher education policy and performance by institutions across the world.  In 2020, during the hight of the pandemic Craig presented a paper on Post Pandemic Education to an audience of 603,000 on-line delegates.  Craig continues to be an influencer on international partnerships having established links with FAFSA in USA, SAFEA in China, universities in South Africa including Western Cape, Johannesburg and CUT, universities in America including Platteville, Denver and Kentucky, universities in China including Changchun Institute, Changchun Science & Technology, Hainan and institutions in Australia, Ghana, Malaysia, Nigeria and Sri Lanka.

Craig has won a number of awards including; Distinguished Professor, Changchun Institute of Technology, China (2019); Guardian Outstanding Leader in UK Higher Education finalist (2018); Outstanding Business Leader from Renfrewshire Chamber (2015); Outstanding Service to Higher Education Award from the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association, USA (2014); Honorary Doctor of Arts from University of Abertay Dundee, UK (2011); Distinguished Scholar from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Nigeria (2011).

External to the university, Professor Mahoney is Chair of British Universities and Colleges Sport, a Board member on the UK Quality Assurance Agency, a Board member for Glasgow City of Sciences, a Trustee on the Carnegie Trust for Universities of Scotland, Convener of Universities Scotland Efficiency and Effectiveness Committee, a Board member for SportScotland and a Board member of Converge Challenge.  He is also an industry adviser to VerfiyEd.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action


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