Proven Innovator in Higher Education to Head RMIT University


MELBOURNE, Australia, July 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — RMIT Chancellor, Dr Ziggy Switkowski AO, is pleased to announce the appointment of Martin Bean to the position of Vice-Chancellor and President of RMIT University.

The Melbourne-born executive is currently the Vice-Chancellor of The Open University, the largest university in the United Kingdom.

RMIT University is Australia’s largest tertiary institution, with three campuses in Melbourne, Australia, two campuses in Vietnam and a centre in Barcelona, Spain. The University also offers programs through partners in Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, mainland China, Sri Lanka, Belgium, Spain and Germany.

A global leader in managing the intersection between education and technology, Martin Bean has placed The Open University in a very strong position, maintaining its top-five position for student satisfaction in the UK’s National Student Survey, with scores of more than 90 per cent, while continuing to consolidate its world-class research profile.

Before joining The Open University, Martin was General Manager Worldwide Education Products Group at Microsoft, following executive leadership roles at Novell and other IT companies integrating technology and learning systems.

“Martin’s focus upon the student experience and understanding of how technology enables better learning and teaching outcomes will drive a new era in quality education for students attending RMIT,” Dr Switkowski said.

“He is an executive with strong international relationships within the higher education sector and industry built over many years and will bring a wealth of commercial and operational experience to the RMIT community.

“In addition, having successfully managed higher education reform amid the widespread regulatory changes within the UK system in recent years, he is perfectly positioned to lead RMIT through the changing regulatory landscape currently being shaped by the Federal Government.”

Awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of London in 2013, Martin has a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Technology, Sydney.

At the invitation of the UK Government, Martin developed and launched FutureLearn in December 2012, the UK’s response to the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) movement.

Under his leadership The Open University has also made its award-winning course materials available to more than 200,000 enrolled students via tablets and smartphones. Martin will step down as the Chair but continue on the board of FutureLearn.

“I am thrilled and honoured to take up the role of Vice-Chancellor and President at RMIT University, one of Australia’s most vibrant and exciting institutions, especially during this time of reform within the Australian higher education system,” Martin said.

“With its focus on global learning, its urban and creative orientation and connections to professions, industries and organisations RMIT is uniquely positioned to build on its fine reputation in the years ahead.”

A graduate of the University of Technology, Sydney, Martin’s career in the igher education and IT sectors spans 25 years, working largely in North America.

He started at Drake Training and Technologies, managing the Asia-Pacific team, and later shifted to global IT software company Novell, which saw him running the field marketing operations world-wide.

Senior global operational roles at The Thomson Corporation and New Horizons Computer Learning Centres followed, before becoming a global manager at Microsoft, where he worked closely with worldwide education communities. He joined The Open University in 2009.

After spending the past 20 years in various international assignments, Martin will return to Melbourne to take up the role of Vice-Chancellor at RMIT in February 2015 and will be joined by his wife and three daughters.


The search for the new Vice-Chancellor and President of RMIT University was overseen by the RMIT Council and managed by a sub-committee of five Councillors led by the RMIT Chancellor, Dr Ziggy Switkowski AO, further supported by former Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of South Australia, Professor Denise Bradley AC, and the University’s Executive Director of Human Resources, Marcia Gough, with the advice of Partner at executive search firm Amrop Cordiner King, Dr Sean Davies.

A high-res image of Martin Bean is available on request.

For media enquiries: David Glanz,
  +61 (0)3 9925 2807,
  +61 (0)438 547 723 or
  [email protected] 

Image Attachments Links: