Valerie Cotter

Deputy Academic Registrar &
Director of Student Services


I joined the University of York in August 2017 as Deputy Academic Registrar and Director of Student Services. From 2008 I worked in the University of Sheffield as Director of Faculty Operations (Arts and Humanities) where I was involved in a number of service developments and institutional change projects all aimed at improving student experience and providing excellent support to academic departments. Prior to entering Higher Education I worked for nearly 20 years in large public sector organisations in a variety of jobs. These included leading teams in health and social policy, equality and social inclusion, community based regeneration and the coordination of local public services. In 2005 I spent a year on secondment to the Department for Education and Skills to lead a policy team that worked with a number of other government departments. I have experience of working at local, regional, national and international levels and a strong commitment to working collaboratively to deliver excellent services. 

I graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a degree in English Literature and History before coming to the UK in the late 1980s and I still maintain a strong interest in Irish literature, history and culture. In 1998 I completed a postgraduate diploma in Health and Social Policy at Sheffield Hallam University. I am an ACAS qualified workplace mediator and am also an experienced coach and mentor with particular interest in supporting women in their career development.

I am delighted to be in York and to lead a service that provides essential advice and administration to support the student journey from enrolment through to graduation. I am committed to working with colleagues across the University to ensure that we continue to deliver efficient, reliable and responsive services that meet the needs of students and staff.

Roles and responsibilities

As well as deputising when required for the Academic Registrar, Wayne Campbell, I am the professional lead for Student Services.  The service delivers essential business processes that support the student journey. These include Registry Services, Student Financial Support, Special Cases (which manages academic appeals) and international student and welfare advisors who provide face to face advice and support through the Student Hub. The service also has a central role in ensuring that our student records are accurate and complete. This is particularly important in making statutory data returns and for monitoring and reporting on the University’s Tier 4 visa compliance.

My aim is to develop a service where talent is nurtured and developed and staff members are encouraged to find creative solutions to problems.  We prize working in collaboratively and constantly look for ways in which we can take a joined up approach within the service and with others to maximise the impact of our work.  We are committed to being well managed and efficient in our use of resources and our activity must be  grounded in a good understanding of how what we do connects to front line academic business and the enhancement of student experience.  We actively seek feedback on how well we are doing and are proactive in working with others on projects designed continuously to improve how and what we deliver.  We strive to be outward looking and known in the sector for service excellence.

Contact details

Ms Valerie Cotter
Deputy Academic Registrar and Director of Student Services
Student and Academic Services
University of York

Tel: 01904 322149


Del Gee
Deputy Director: Student Services 
01904 324655

Jen Wotherspoon
Assistant Registrar: Student Progress and Deputy Director of Student Services
01904 324040