UAL is proud to award Natalie Brett with an honorary degree in recognition of her 25-year-long career in the higher education sector, more pertinently in recognition of her contributions to UAL as its former International Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of London College of Communication.
Natalie holds a degree in visual communications from Wolverhampton University. Following her successful career in graphic design and illustration, with clients including Saatchi and Saatchi, Random House and M&S to name a few, she joined UAL as a senior lecturer in 1996 before moving to positions of leadership at 3 of our 6 Colleges including Acting Dean of Chelsea College of Arts and Design, Dean of Camberwell College of Arts and later, Head of London College of Communication in 2013. Since joining the University, she has led and contributed to a number of projects that have positively impacted student learning experiences and increased our engagement with external partners and participants. These include Peckham Space and working with Tate Britain, The British Library and the South London Gallery in supporting the development of their education programmes. During her tenure at UAL, she contributed to a variety of art and design education - related topics for the BBC, The Observer, The Guardian and Sky as well as major broadcast channels in India, China and the Philippines. Beyond UAL, she is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (FRSA), a governor for The Northern School of Art and one of the former founders and governors for Global Academy and a former governor of GBMet.
Natalie is a natural leader, and in the words of those who have had the pleasure to work with her; her authenticity is truly inspiring. Her can-do approach encourages new ideas to develop and is the driving force behind many of the wonderful initiatives at UAL to create equal opportunities for students. A firm believer in action over words, she has worked tirelessly to improve student and staff experiences by championing disability and the LGBTQ+ community, with the latter resulting in UAL being named amongst Britain’s Top 100 LGBT+ inclusive employers.
In her role as a consultant and tutor on BBC 2’s Art School in 2005, she helped develop a 2-week curriculum for celebrities like John Humphreys and Keith Allen, for which the show received critical acclaim and increased the stature of Chelsea College of Arts and Design. While working as the Head of London College of Communication, she successfully led the College to the forefront of creative communications education and played a key role in building the institution as we know it today.
Her dedication to UAL’s staff and students and her motivated commitment to positively transform each College that she’s worked with, stands as a hallmark of her incredible life and career.