Professor April McMahon

Vice-President for Teaching, Learning and Students, University of Manchester


April has been Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Education at the University of Kent since 1 September 2016, where her portfolio covers teaching, learning and the student experience. Previously she was Vice-Chancellor at Aberystwyth University from 2011-2016, and Vice-Principal for Planning, Resources and Research Policy at the University of Edinburgh. She was first in her family to go to university, and took her MA and PhD at Edinburgh; and she has also worked at the universities of Cambridge and Sheffield. April’s academic field is linguistics, and her research interests include how and why languages change; the use of computational methods to group languages into families; the evolution of language in humans; and the history of varieties of English and Scots. She has published 11 books and a wide range of articles and book chapters.

April is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the British Academy, and the Learned Society of Wales, and is currently a member of both the Audit Committee and the Research and Higher Education Policy Committee of the British Academy. She has a lively interest in training and development, especially relating to career development and leadership; she also chaired the Vitae Advisory Group for the Researcher Development Framework. She is an Honorary Fellow of Selwyn College, Cambridge, and in 2016-17, the 40th anniversary of the admission of women to Selwyn, will serve as President of the Selwyn Alumni Association. Her strong commitment to public engagement with research means she is proud to chair the RCUK Public Engagement with Research Advisory Panel.