Loughborough appoints its first Pro Vice-Chancellor for Sport

Loughborough University has appointed Jo Maher as its first ever Pro Vice-Chancellor for Sport.

Jo, a University alumna, is currently the Principal and CEO of Loughborough College. She is a member of the FA Council and its National Game Board, Chair of the English Colleges Football Association and has over 10 years’ experience as a sports psychologist. In her role at the College, Jo has built on its sporting success supporting 15 national sports governing body partnerships with over 2,000 elite athletes per year. 
Alongside her role as Pro Vice-Chancellor for Sport, Jo will take up the post of Professor of Practice in the School ofSport, Exercise and Health Sciences. 

Loughborough University is renowned for being one of the best integrated sports development environments. Its partnerships with leading global organisations place the University at the centre of the international sporting infrastructure, and its sports-related research and teaching have been named ‘Best in the World’ in the international QS subject tables for seven years running. 

As Pro Vice-Chancellor for Sport, Jo will help ensure Loughborough reaches the very highest global levels in all its sports-related endeavours, creating new national and international opportunities and partnerships.  

Speaking about her appointment, she said: “I’m incredibly proud to be taking on this role. My connection with the University goes back two decades, and to be able to join the institution again at such an exciting time, as it embarks on its ambitious new strategy is an absolute honour. 

“For me this is the ultimate role, and I look forward to working with the many world-leading academics and sporting professionals as together we continue to build on the University’s unrivalled sporting success.” 

Professor Nick Jennings, the University’s Vice-Chancellor, said: “At Loughborough, sport is in our DNA, from elite level sporting success to world-leading research. As we continue to embed the new University strategy, we wanted to ensure our strengths in sport across the board were maximised, and we are delighted Jo will be taking on leadership of this area as our first Pro Vice-Chancellor for Sport.”  

In her current role as Principal and CEO of Loughborough College, Jo has already been working closely with the University on a number of joint initiatives. This includes securing the relocation of the National Football League’s UK-based NFL Academy to the College and University in 2022. 

Jo is due to take up her new role in September, initially on a part-time basis, to ensure she can support the College in its transition to new leadership. 

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 23/96

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2023 QS World University Rankings – the seventh year running – and University of the Year for Sport by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2022

Loughborough is ranked 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2024, 10th in the Guardian University League Table 2023 and 11th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’, and in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 over 90% of its research was rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally-excellent’. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.