Dr Peter Dewhurst has worked in higher education since 1987 taking on senior management roles first at the University of Wolverhampton and then in 2007 at the University of Derby’s Buxton Campus, first as Assistant Dean, then in 2008 as Dean and in 2012 as Strategic Director with responsibility for both the HE curriculum and commercial offer at the University’s Buxton campus. During this period Peter’s “Real World Learning” vision for applied vocational learning contributed to the Buxton based Tourism and Hospitality degree programmes being ranked first in the UK in the Guardian Subject League table of May 2014.
In August 2014 Peter took on his current role as the founding Director of the University Strategic Partnerships Unit. The Unit which is based at the University’s Derby campus, has a vision “to enhance the University’s reputation and build its income streams through delivering inspirational and innovative partnerships that positively impact on the communities and other stakeholders with which the partners engage”.
The Unit’s remit includes overseas partnerships, UK academic partnerships and corporate partnerships that relate to the University’s core teaching and learning proposition. In addition, the Unit is tasked with driving the University’s Higher and Degree Apprenticeship strategy, managing the commercial “Real World Learning” operation at the University’s Buxton campus and ensuring the successful launch, in autumn 2016, of the University’s newest campus in Chesterfield.
Peter Dewhurst's academic career began in 1987 following a period of self-employment, when he joined the then named Manchester Polytechnic as a Research Assistant specialising in Visitor Attraction Management. In 1992, Peter went on to become a Lecturer in Leisure Management at Warrington Collegiate Institute, before moving on to Leeds Metropolitan University, where he became the Tourism Programme Leader. In September 2000, Peter moved to Wolverhampton University's School of Sport, Performing Arts and Leisure (SSPAL), where in 2002 he was promoted to the post of Assistant Dean with responsibility for Research and External Income Generation. During his time at Wolverhampton, Peter was responsible for the establishment of a number of spin-out and spin-in businesses, he also helped secure a number of patents and oversaw a significant growth in SSPAL's income from 'third stream' activities.
Peter joined the University of Derby in September 2007 as Assistant Dean and Head of the HE School in Buxton. He began by undertaking an extensive review of the curriculum offer that led to a focusing of the HE provision. In July 2009, Peter was appointed Dean of University of Derby Buxton with responsibility for both the HE and FE provision within the Faculty. His vision from the outset was to establish Buxton as the UK centre for high quality Real World Learning which served the needs of the learners and employers, whilst also working to maximise the synergies between 'town and gown'.
In August 2014, Peter took on the role of Director of the University Strategic Partnerships Unit with responsibility for UK academic and overseas partnerships, corporate partnerships that deliver benefits to the University's core teaching and learning product proposition, the roll-out of the University's higher and degree apprenticeship offer, the commercial operation in Buxton and work to establish the University's campus in Chesterfield.