Derfel Owen’s career has been spent in student-facing roles. Following a period working in students’ unions in 2007, Derfel joined the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) where he led efforts to improve student engagement and participation in the agency’s work, but also to raise the profile of student views and expectations in shaping and developing activities. In 2011 Derfel moved to work at the University of Exeter and in 2014 joined UCL where he was responsible for the governance structures of the University, leading the development of academic policies, complaints and appeals, student engagement, quality assurance and enhancement and student data. In 2023 he moved to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to take up the position of Director of Education Services.
Derfel is recognised as a leading authority on student engagement and quality assurance, he has spoken at numerous international conferences and recently co-edited The Student Engagement Handbook: Practice in Higher Education.