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Sara de Freitas Governor


Sara is an eminent educator with twenty-five years’ experience in the university sector. Sara has held senior roles in research and education in five universities in the United Kingdom and Australia as Director of Research, Associate Deputy Vice Chancellor, Pro Vice Chancellor, and Deputy Vice Chancellor.

With a PhD in information science, Sara has worked in Computer Science and Education disciplines, holding Professorships in Education, most recently as Professor of Digital Education. Over time, she has led over 50 research and development projects, including as a Scientific Coordinator for a European Union network of excellence, and as an investigator on two Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council grants, as well as holding 15 European Commission 7th Framework programme grants.

She is also an international author and regular public speaker, publishing seven books and over 100 journal and conference papers that focus on learner engagement, digital education, learning analytics, and education policy. She has spoken on educational innovation in four continents and lectures regularly around the United Kingdom and overseas.

Sara has worked closely with educators and industry to adapt their curricula and portfolios, build scalable game applications, increase performance, progression and retention of students, support business clusters and start-ups and improve student employability and wellbeing. She regularly consults with educational technology start-ups, UK and overseas government departments and agencies, universities, and research groups to support innovation and spread good practices.

Holding a previous non-executive board role on the Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Network for the Creative Industries. Sara currently sits as a Governor on the Board of Sunderland University where her special interest in widening participation, curriculum design, and systems analysis is helping to support the continued achievements of the university executive.

Sara is well known for her frameworks, learning models, approaches, and ‘future learning’ paradigm which are outlined in her latest book: Education in Computer Generated Environments, which came into paperback in 2017 and was published in the Routledge Research in Education series.

For her research and educational work, Sara has been awarded the Royal Society of Arts Fellowship, Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy, and an Honorary Fellowship from the University of London.