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Executive Management Group

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Professor Shelley Kinash

Professor Shelley Kinash is an executive leader with over 30 years’ experience in tertiary education. Her substantive position is as Universal Higher Education’s Chief Academic Officer. In addition, she is Chair Academic Board for two other private tertiary education providers, enabling benchmarking and cross-fertilisation. Her ongoing research is practice-based, deriving impact on student voice and equity, and graduate career outcomes. She is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a Faculty-member of the Australasian Council on Open and Digital Education’s Learning Technologies Leadership Institute. As a teaching academic, she facilitated student learning in educational technology, inclusive education, teacher preparation and community rehabilitation and disability studies. As an executive leader across three Australian universities, she has led institution-wide quality, learning, teaching and student experience. This 360 approach to her career journey enables Professor Kinash to lead joined-up collaboration and communities of practice, facilitating high-quality experiences and outcomes for students, graduates, staff and communities.

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Thara Shimoga

Thara Shimoga is the Executive Manager (Academic Registrar Pro Tem) at Universal Higher Education. She has a master’s degree in Tertiary Education Management from the University of Melbourne. Her areas of interest includes higher education governance, quality assurance, risk, compliance, and policy.

Thara has over 20 years’ experience in the higher education sector holding positions such as lecturer, academic services manager, compliance manager, Governance officer and academic registrar where she was involved in managing support staff, allocating resources, and implementing policy initiatives in the tertiary education sector. She has an excellent understanding of corporate and academic governance principles and practices. Thara is a member of UHE’s Executive Management Committee, Audit and Risk Committee, Academic Board, Teaching and Learning Committee, and various other sub committees of the Academic Board.

Thara oversee the compliance of UHE in line with the relevant regulations required by TEQSA, the AQF, CRICOS, ESOS Act, HESF (Threshold Standards) 2021 and the course professional accreditation bodies including providing regulatory advice on the corporate and academic governance space.


Rizwan Ahmed

Rizwan Ahmed, currently serving as the CEO, brings to the position over 20 years of comprehensive business management experience, with a notable focus on the private education sector spanning 14 years. His expertise encompasses various domains including academic leadership, strategic planning, curriculum and assessment development, efficient administrative practices, international marketing, and regulatory compliance within Universal Institute of Technology, Universal English, and Universal Higher Education.

Before his tenure in the education sector, Rizwan demonstrated a successful track record in small business ownership and development within the telecommunications sector across Australia.

Rizwan's overarching life goal has consistently been "to make a difference in the lives of others," a mission he passionately fulfills through his dedication to the education sector. His commitment lies in serving the educational needs of clients, aiming to enhance their career prospects and improve their quality of life. This commitment is evidenced by his establishment and management of educational institutions committed to excellence in learning and innovation, not only within Australia but also on a global scale.

Rizwan's devotion to continuous education is reflected in his academic achievements, holding a Master of Enterprise from the University of Melbourne, a Graduate Diploma of Information Technology from Swinburne University, and a Bachelor of Science (Electronics) from Osmania University. As the CEO, he remains steadfast in his pursuit of educational excellence and societal impact.

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