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Sara Prowse

CEO - University Academy 92

Sara Prowse is CEO of UA92, a ground-breaking higher education institution co-founded by the Class of ‘92 and Lancaster University.

With a successful 30-year career in consumer retail across the UK, US and Europe, Sara has developed a reputation for strategic brand management and accelerating brands into the digital environment. She has held senior positions at Debenhams and Shop Direct before becoming MD at Lands End and most recently, CEO at Hotter Shoes, which she left in March 2019.

Following a sabbatical in South America, where she fell in love with Peru, Sara returned to the UK in late 2019, and took up a new challenge in consultancy and branding.

At this time, a higher education institution led by Gary Neville and the Class of ‘92, was in its start up phase, and was actively seeking a deliberately different CEO, with commercial, brand and customer experience.  After meeting the founders, she was quickly brought into the vision to transform and modernise higher education. She joined as CEO of UA92 in May 2021.

Based in Old Trafford, Manchester, UA92 is committed to making higher education accessible to all no matter the background, through its founding principles of accessibility, social mobility and inclusivity.

It offers a portfolio of degree and higher education courses across business, sport, media and digital disciplines, accredited by Lancaster University, and prepares students for the world of work by offering industry-led courses through its partnerships with leading industry names.

Ensuring the institution not only paves a new path for education but supports the local community, Sara has implemented a raft of successes at UA92, and has helped develop partnerships with the likes of Microsoft, TalkTalk, KPMG, Trafford Council, Lancashire Cricket Club and Manchester United.

Sara is a refreshing voice for the UK education sector and regularly discusses the need for greater accessibility and inclusivity within higher education, especially in disadvantaged areas of the North West where admissions to higher education fall below the national average.

Away from the boardroom, Sara lives in Cheshire with her partner, and enjoys travelling, yoga, holistic health and wellbeing.

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