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Athabasca University appoints expert in digital-first education as its new president

Prof. Peter Scott of University of Technology Sydney in Australia will join AU in January 2022.

Edmonton, Alberta, Oct. 7, 2021 – Prof. Peter Scott, an accomplished academic, researcher, and senior executive with extensive experience in online and digital-first education will become the 10th president of Athabasca University (AU), Canada’s Online University. He will begin his tenure on Jan. 4, 2022, taking over from interim president Deborah Meyers, who will return to her role as vice-president of finance and performance services and chief financial officer at AU.

Scott is currently pro vice-chancellor (education) at the University of Technology Sydney, where he leads the strategy on new modes of teaching and learning, particularly digital learning. He is a former senior executive at the Open University in the U.K. and was director of its Knowledge Media Institute. He holds a PhD in psychology from the University of Sheffield, U.K.

“I’m thrilled to be joining AU to work with an incredible team of leaders in online education,” said Scott. “Together we will keep AU at the forefront of digital-first post-secondary learning while continuing the university’s long-standing commitment to open access for learners worldwide. Removing barriers to education is critically important to me, and to AU.”

Scott was named president after an extensive, global search by a committee made up of learners, board members, and faculty, informed by consultations with the AU community.

“We heard from our community that they wanted an innovative and creative president with a strong academic and research background, and with a bold vision for the future of online learning and Athabasca University’s role in leading it,” said Nancy Laird, chair of AU’s Board of Governors. “Our board strongly believes that Prof. Scott fulfills all those requirements and more.”

Learn more

Athabasca University Hub article

Prof. Peter Scott bio page

YouTube announcement video

About Athabasca University

Athabasca University (AU) is one of the world’s foremost and fastest-growing online and open education institutions, serving 43,000 students across 87 countries. AU is a comprehensive academic and research university offering online Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate programs alongside online courses for both personal learning and professional development. It is uniquely founded on the principles of flexibility and openness, giving students control over their studies to learn whenever and wherever is right for them. For more information, visit:

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Updated November 07, 2023 by Digital & Web Operations (