A brief summary of Johnny’s career. Please feel free to copy this for use in publicity for events or projects in which Johnny is involved. A photo for publicity can be downloaded here.
Johnny Rich has a number of roles including Chief Executive of outreach organisation Push, Chief Executive of the Engineering Professors’ Council, and a consultant in higher education and careers. His recent clients include European Commission (working as Director of Usability and Strategic Communications on the global universities comparison tool U-Multirank) and a host of employers, education bodies and media organisations.
After taking his first degree at the University of Durham and doing a stint as its student union president, Johnny worked in media relations before founding Push in 1992. It quickly became the UK’s leading independent guide to universities and student life for current and prospective students. Push has a reputation for its humorous and uncompromising approach and providing agenda-setting research on student debt, drop-out and student choice. Push now operates as an influential and award-winning not-for-profit enterprise running a unique programme of outreach and training events that visits nearly 400 schools and colleges each year.
The Engineering Professors’ Council is the voice of engineering in UK higher education. Under Johnny’s stewardship since 2016, its membership has grown to include over 7,500 academics in over 80 universities and the EPC has become an influential force in national policy in HE, skills and industrial strategy.
As a consultant, Johnny is widely regarded as an expert on student choice and information, and on employability. As a contributor to various think tanks and strategy bodies, Johnny contributes widely to policy debates on education, careers, wider participation and social mobility. He wrote a widely-cited landmark policy paper for HEPI on employability and is an occasional contributor to WonkHE.
He recently spearheaded projects on school-leaver recruitment and on work-related learning, served as a director of the Higher Education Academy and on the steering committee of BestCourse4Me.
With degrees from the Universities of Durham and East Anglia, his background also includes journalism, publishing, media relations, television and the web. He appears regularly on television and radio and is author of the highly acclaimed novel .
In 1999, Johnny returned to education as a mature student, completing an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. His debut novel The Human Script was published by Red Button in 2013.
Johnny’s other work has included jobs in television production and writing widely on student life, the arts and popular science for many newspapers and magazines from The Guardian to Times Higher Education. For a while Johnny was editor-in-chief for Real World, the leading on-campus and online graduate careers magazine, which he steered to a Europe-wide expansion.
Johnny is an accomplished public speaker and trainer in presentation skills. He is a sought-after speaker for keynotes and after-dinner speeches and is often invited to chair panels, debates and events and compere awards (often with a bit of stand-up comedy). He appears regularly on television and radio as a specialist on students and higher education issues and has contributed to Government HE strategy through various committees and consultations as well as working with HEFCE on student information needs.
Johnny lives in London with his wife and two daughters and, on the rare occasions he finds himself with any spare time, he often spends it writing, playing poker or working with animals. He also once had a drawing shown on the Gallery in Take Hart, but that was a while ago.