Prof. David Fearn PhD, FRSE


David has 40 years of experience in Higher Education, with Internationalisation being his focus over the last 10. Most recently, he was Dean for Global Engagement (Americas) at the University of Glasgow and previously held senior management roles: Head of College (Science & Engineering), Learning & Teaching Dean (Science & Engineering), Dean (Faculty of Information & Mathematical Sciences) and Head of Mathematics. His academic discipline is Applied Mathematics with research interests in Geophysics.

A key activity has been partnership development; enhancing research collaborations, student mobility and recruitment, and academic reputation, all of which are inter-connected. Programme innovation has seen major growth in student mobility, both fee-paying study abroad and exchange. David’s previous experience as Learning & Teaching Dean (overseeing programme development and quality assurance) has been highly influential. Examples include 2+2 articulation from community colleges and 3+1+1 agreements with liberal arts colleges, bespoke faculty-led programmes and tailored summer-school courses. David has overseen a more than doubling of North American students attending the University of Glasgow, with the USA now the second largest source of international students (after China) with the additional benefit that these students have diverse interests; distributed across all disciplines.

David has also led on worldwide strategic partnerships and initiatives to support these at Columbia University, University of Hong Kong, McGill University, University of Sydney and the Smithsonian. At McGill he has driven the Open Skies initiative whose ultimate goal is jointly awarded degrees. In Latin America, he has supported the development of priority partnerships, including workshops to advance their internationalisation.

Consultancy Expertise

Strategic planning for comprehensive internationalisation.

Organisational leadership structures and institutional assessment.

Development of strategic partnerships, including research, teaching collaborations and student mobility.

Innovation in study-abroad programmes and growth of partnerships.

Development of effective and efficient systems and processes.

Development of interpersonal and leadership skills.