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We are Advance HE

We believe excellence is achieved by people. Removing the barriers, so all can succeed; driving positive change, to make higher education better for all.

We are dedicated to helping higher education shape its future.

  • Providing insight, so you can use the foresight
  • Enhancing organisational performance, to deliver sustainable change
  • Developing and connecting people, so they can deliver impact
  • Accrediting achievement, so you can be recognised

Advance HE, helping HE shape its future.

Our extensive consultation shows the sector’s priorities for Advance HE’s focus: 

  • supporting transformative leadership and management, teaching and learning, equality, diversity and inclusion, and effective governance, including the importance of accreditation of teaching and learning programmes, Athena SWAN, and the Race Equality Charter 
  • convening and facilitating continual enhancement
  • building on our established networks and communities of practice; and concurrently to building our resources, insights and knowledge in support of ‘what works’ and best practice in the areas our members tell us are priorities for them

Meet Advance HE

The Chair of the Board of Advance HE

Nigel Carrington is the vice-chancellor of University of the Arts London.

From 1987 to 2000, he was an international lawyer with Baker McKenzie, where he was also managing partner of the firm's London office (between 1994 and 1998) and chairman of its European region (between 1998 and 2000). From 2000 to 2007, he was managing director and deputy chairman of McLaren Group, the automotive technologies group. He holds a law degree from St John's College, Oxford, and studied History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art.

Since 2005, he has held a number of non-executive roles in the charitable and public sectors, including as a non-executive director of University College London Hospitals, treasurer and trustee of Crisis, chairman of Jeans for Genes and chairman of The English Concert.

Nigel is chairman of the board of trustees at the Henry Moore Foundation. He also sits on the board of the Creative Industries Federation and on the Universities UK board as presidential nominee for specialist institutions.

Advance HE Board
Nigel Carrington

Chief Executive of Advance HE

Alison Johns was appointed chief executive of Advance HE in autumn 2017.

Prior to that she was the chief executive of the Leadership Foundation. She has worked in higher education for 25 years. 
Before becoming chief executive, she was head of policy for leadership, governance and management at the Hefce (now the Office for Students), where she established both the Leadership Foundation and the Equality Challenge Unit. 

She is a past president of the Association of University Administrators (AUA) and represents the UK on the Association of Commonwealth Universities Human Resources Management Network and has recently joined the British Council’s planning committee for Going Global, the major international higher education conference. 

Alison has extensive international experience of higher education including leading the review of teaching and learning for the Australian government. This led to the establishment of the Office for Learning and Teaching to enhance teaching quality across the Australian higher education sector. Alison regularly takes part in conferences and events, both nationally and internationally, speaking on all aspects of university leadership, governance and management.

The Executive Group
Alison Johns

More about Advance HE

Our Charitable Objective

Our charitable objective is to support strategic change and continuous improvement through the development of individuals and organisations of higher education.

Advance HE Articles of Association

Advance HE Statutory Accounts 2017-18

Advance HE Statutory Accounts 2018-19

Advance HE Statutory Accounts 2019-20


The registered office of Advance HE is:

Innovation Way, York Science Park, Heslington, York, YO10 5BR

Operational Addresses:

Advance HE First floor, Napier House, 24 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6AZ  
Advance HE Innovation Way, York Science Park, Heslington, York YO10 5BR
Advance HE Holyrood Park House, 106 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8AS


Company registration: 04931031
Registered charity, England and Wales:1101607
Registered charity, Scotland: SC043946.