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Professor Symeon Dagkas is the provost and chief academic officer at St Mary's University and is responsible for overseeing all academic activity across the University's three faculties. He also provides leadership in defining and advancing the University's vision, mission, and priorities for student experience, learning, teaching, academic partnerships, research, and workload distribution for academic staff.
Professor Dagkas joined St Mary's in 2018 after serving as head of the School of Human and Life Sciences at Canterbury Christ Church University. He has also served as director of Research and Deputy Associate Dean, Research at the University of East London, as well as head of the Sport Pedagogy Department in Birmingham University's School of Education, where he spent 13 years in various roles.
Symeon completed his Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree with first-class honours from Democritus University of Thrace. He then studied at Exeter University after receiving a scholarship from the Greek Ministry of Education, where he completed his PhD on Enhancing Cultural and Religious Inclusion in Physical Education and sport.
Professor Dagkas is a dedicated researcher who is passionate about advancing diversity, equality, and inclusion in all facets of sport, exercise, and health. His research focuses on examining how race, class, ethnicity, and culture intersect among young people, particularly those from immigrant and ethnic minority backgrounds, and how these factors affect their participation in sport and physical activity as well as their access to health and health services. Currently, he is a participant in the Advance HE London Higher working group on addressing racism in Higher Education.
Symeon has received grants from a variety of funding bodies for his work and has over 90 published research outputs. Inclusion and Exclusion Through Youth Sport (2012) and Families, Young People, Physical Activity, and Health: Critical Perspectives (2016) are two of his edited books for Routledge. His most recent Routledge book, Race, Youth Sport, Physical Activity, and Health: Global Perspectives, co-authored with colleagues from Columbia University, New York, and Leeds Beckett University, UK, was released in 2019.
The provost is the chief academic officer responsible for oversight of all academic activity across the University's three faculties, providing leadership in defining and driving forward the vision, mission, and priorities of the University for student experience, learning, teaching, academic partnerships, and research.
The provost also has responsibility for Quality and Standards, degree outcomes, progression, and retention. As chair to the University's Academic Strategy, Portfolio and Student Experience Committee, the provost maintains oversight of the St Mary's Academic Offer for all taught programmes to include the University's apprenticeship provision, academic strategies, policies, regulations, and frameworks. Professor Dagkas is also deputy chair to the University's Academic Board reporting to the Board of Governors.
Alongside the above academic areas, the provost currently also has oversight of International Engagement, Student Recruitment, and Admissions.