The Academic Board is responsible for the academic governance of the University. It supports the University’s commitment to academic excellence and the delivery of the highest quality education and research programmes and awards. The University’s benchmarks for robust internal academic quality management are informed by the UK Quality Assurance Agency; and its remit, summarised in its Terms of Reference, extends beyond regulating the academic work of the University to encompass issues such as research, scholarship, quality teaching and learning processes, curriculum enhancement and student learning experience. The Academic Board is the guardian of academic standards and plays a role in advising on matters relating to the academic components of the University’s Strategic Plan. It discharges certain responsibilities through standing sub-committees.
  • Professor Catherine Bachleda (Chair)


    Professor Catherine Bachleda is the Vice-Chancellor and CEO of the University of Gibraltar, responsible for the strategic direction of the University and for providing academic leadership.

    Over the past 35 years, Catherine has worked in North Africa, the Middle East, the USA, the United Kingdom and Australia in a variety of management, quality, and learning roles, in academia and in the service industries of health, law, and education.

    Over the course of her career, she has held leadership positions that include Chief Executive Officer of a leading accredited corporation providing executive and continuing education; Director of a small corporate law firm; Assistant Vice-President for Academic Affairs in an accredited American-Liberal Arts university located in Morocco; and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Gibraltar. In these roles, she has provided leadership in strategic planning and implementation, quality assurance, staff performance management and development, programme design and implementation, resource allocation and statutory compliance. Committed to the concept of continuous improvement, she also possesses extensive experience in establishing accreditation-compliant processes and in business development.

    Catherine’s main research interests lie in the fields of consumer behaviour and services marketing, and she has been the recipient of an Outstanding Paper award in the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence.

    She holds a Doctorate in Business Administration, a Juris Doctor, and a Master of Business Administration.

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  • Professor David Abulafia CBE

    Beacon Professor

    David Abulafia is Professor of Mediterranean History at the University of Cambridge, where he has spent his academic career. He is a Papathomas Professorial Fellow at Gonville and Caius College, and has served as Chairman of the History Faculty, as well as spending more than four years on the governing Council of Cambridge University as an elected member.

    He is a Fellow of the British Academy (where he has sat on a number of committees) and a Member of the Academia Europaea, and has been decorated by the President of Italy for his services to history. He won the Wolfson History Prize following the publication of his most recent book The Boundless Sea: A Human History of the Oceans, published by Penguin Books in 2019. His other books include The Great Sea: a Human History of the Mediterranean (Penguin Books, 2011), which was awarded the Mountbatten Maritime Award and the British Academy Medal, a biography of Emperor Frederick II and The Discovery of Mankind: Atlantic Encounters in the Age of Columbus (Yale University Press, 200

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  • Dr Darren Fa

    Director of Academic Programmes & Research

    After obtaining a first-class honours degree in Education with QTS in 1990, Darren taught for ten years during which he read for and completed his PhD in Biological Oceanography at the University of Southampton. He then moved to the Gibraltar Museum in 1999 during which time he also read for a Masters Degree in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester. Darren was then chosen to be seconded as part of the team that developed and implemented the roadmap for the creation of the University of Gibraltar, eventually joining its team as Director of Academic Programmes and Research in 2014.

    As well as authoring several popular books, Darren has published over 70 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters mainly on ecological and archaeological subjects, and has been principal investigator on a number of EU and EFCHED funded projects, several of which received international awards. His primary research areas are in marine species ecology and conservation, palaeoecology, and human evolution and behaviour, especially the relationship between people and the sea in the past.
    He is responsible for all the academic research that takes place under the aegis of the University, and is a member of the University’s Research and Research Degrees Committee as well as its Academic Board. He is also directly responsible for the development and delivery of a number of its academic programmes, having personally written the specifications for the MSc in Marine Science and Climate Change and the University’s flagship PhD programme.

    Amongst other things, Darren is a member of HMGoG’s statutory Nature Conservancy Council, Climate Change Committee and Scientific Diving Committee, as well as member of the UNESCO WHS Gorham’s Cave Complex Action Forum. He is an appointed mentor on the Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort and European Commission Expert on Environment and Higher Education. He is a registered Scientific Diver, a Chartered Biologist by the Royal Society of Biology and Elected Fellow of the Linnaean Society of London. He is married with three daughters and somehow finds time to dive, ride and play music when he can.”

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  • Dr Elaine Lima

    Head of School (Education)

    Elaine holds the post of Head of School (Education) at the University and is responsible for programmes such as the PGCE and the Masters in Education.

    Elaine conducted her research for her PhD on newly qualified teacher induction, specifically studying if an induction programme which married peer group mentoring (where only NQTs constituted the group) and action research as the environment, ethos and methods for induction could meet beginning teachers’ professional needs and concerns more adequately than other versions of provision available.

    Elaine qualified as a teacher by undertaking a Postgraduate Certificate in Education at Canterbury Christ Church University after reading History at the University of Kent. A teacher for over twenty years, she has experience across the full range of Key Stages having taught pupils from Reception age to Year 13 students.

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  • Ms Natalie Muirhead-Davies

    Graduate Research & Teaching Associate (GRTA) Student Academic Board Member

    Natalie is a PhD researcher who was a University of Gibraltar MSc Marine Sciences and Climate Change student, 2021/2022, and is a BSc Environmental Sciences graduate from Bath Spa University. After graduating from Bath Spa in 2016, she built an eclectic CV with roles including milking cows, a sustainable building design guide writer, a ranger, a gardener and a racehorse stable manager.

    In 2021, she made the decision to change careers and return to academia to improve her chances of finding employment in the marine sustainability sector, her main area of interest, and moved from the UK to Gibraltar to join the university. During the course, she found that marine policy and management were her topics of particular interest in relation to marine conservation. Natalie designed her independent research project around these areas and has taken the opportunity to develop the project further as a PhD researcher, she is also providing assistance in both the Library and the School of Marine Science.

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  • Mrs Aine Panter

    Head of School (Business)

    Áine Panter is the head of the School of Business, and as such, manages the undergraduate and postgraduate programme provisions of the School.

    She holds a postgraduate certificate in education and taught in a higher education setting for a number of years. In addition to being a qualified educator, Áine is also a chartered accountant. Prior to entering full-time education, she worked in private practice for many years where she managed a wide portfolio of clients and gained a wealth of experience across many types of industries. She also holds a BSc (Honours) in Accounting, a Master in Business Studies (both from University College Cork, Ireland) and is a fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland.

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  • Captain Sukhjit Singh

    Head of School (Maritime Science)

    Captain Sukhjit Singh is a practitioner turned academic with over 25 years of experience in the maritime sector which includes last 8 years in the field of maritime training, education, and research. With years of active service on-board various types of merchant marine vessels, his key areas of specialization include new building supervisions & trials, dry docks, initial surveys, development, and implementation of Safety Management Systems (SMS) and Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plans (SEEMP).

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  • Mr James Vinales

    Head of School (Health Sciences)

    James Jude Vinales qualified as a registered nurse (Ad Diploma in Nursing – Adult) in 2000 and then completed a B.Med.Sci Nursing (registered nurse – children) in 2001, both at the University of Sheffield. James worked in England, Gibraltar and Melbourne (Australia) as a Registered Nurse before pursuing a career in higher education. In 2008 James completed his MA in Nurse Education (University of Brighton) as part of the School of Health Studies lecturing team.

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  • Professor John White

    Adjunct Professor

    Professor John White was born in Dundee, Scotland. He was educated at the University of Edinburgh where he took a Bachelor’s degree in Law and Politics. There he was awarded the Simon Gray Prize. He then attended the University of Cambridge where he studied Criminology at Master’s level. After Cambridge he returned to Scotland and to the University of Edinburgh where he completed his doctoral thesis in the Faculty of Law. During seven years in Edinburgh, he taught at Edinburgh Napier University, the University of Edinburgh, Queen Margaret University and the Scottish Police College. He then moved to Hong Kong and taught law for three years at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the University of Hong Kong.

    He returned to the UK to teach Law and Criminology full-time at the University of Leeds with some part-time teaching at Leeds Beckett University. He then spent twenty years as Dean/Head of Law at Anglia Ruskin University (where he was appointed a full professor) before becoming Head of Human Sciences and Law at Bucks New University. He has also taught at the University of Newcastle, in Malaysia and on sabbatical as Distinguished Visiting Professor at a university in North Carolina. During the last few years he has acted as a higher education consultant and occupied positions as Principal, President and Advisor at various private international colleges. He is a Senior Member of Wolfson College, University of Cambridge. He organises programmes in Sports Law in Cambridge on behalf of ISDE Law & Business School, Madrid and is developing similar programmes in Oxford. His principal academic interest is in Sports Criminology. He has been a secondary school governor, a member of the governing body of a prison and a monitor of the treatment of prisoners in custody areas.

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