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Helping HE shape its future

We are proud to have a distinctive role helping higher education and research be the best it can be worldwide, founded on a deep-rooted partnership with the sector.

Advance HE is a member-led, sector-owned charity that works with institutions and higher education across the world to improve higher education for staff, students and society.

Our strategic goals to enhance confidence and trust in HE, address systemic inequalities and advance education to meet the evolving needs of students and society, supports the work of our members and the HE sector. 

We are experts in higher education with a particular focus on enhancing teaching and learning, effective governance, leadership development and tackling inequalities through our equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) work. 

We deliver our support through professional development programmes and events, Fellowships, awards, student surveys, providing strategic change and consultancy services and through membership (including accreditation of teaching and learning, equality charters, research, knowledge and resources).

Using our expertise and sharing best practice, we work with our network of global associates and partners, and with people, providers and systems around the world to understand contexts and challenges, and deliver solutions. It is our people and the people we help that really make us who we are.

Our purpose

We help higher education be the best it can be.

Our vision 

Higher education providers and systems that are inclusive, sustainable and high-performing in all they do.

Advance HE Strategy 2021-24

There are many challenges facing institutions and research institutes and how we support members in this context has rightly informed the development of our strategy to 2024.

Please take an opportunity to explore our strategy by visiting our new strategy web page.

Explore our strategy
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Meet Advance HE

The Chair of the Board of Advance HE

Stephen Marston joined the University of Gloucestershire in 2011 as Vice-Chancellor.

He had previously been Director General, Universities and Skills, at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Before then, Stephen was Director General for Lifelong Learning and Skills in the former Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and prior to that he was Director of Skills Group at DfES. Stephen joined the Department for Education and Science in 1983, where he worked on a range of schools, Further Education, Higher Education, and finance issues in various posts across the Department.

Stephen worked in the Cabinet Office/Economic Secretariat in the early 1990s. Between 1998 and 2002, he worked in the Higher Education Funding Council for England as Director for Institutions.

Stephen won a scholarship to Cambridge University where he studied Classics.

Advance HE Board

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

More about Advance HE

Our Charitable Objective

Our overarching charitable objective is to promote higher education for the public benefit detailed further in our articles of association.

Advance HE Articles of Association

Advance HE Statutory Accounts 2020-21

Advance HE Statutory Accounts 2019-20

Advance HE Statutory Accounts 2018-19

Advance HE Statutory Accounts 2017-18


The UK registered office of Advance HE is:

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

The registered Ireland address of Advance HE is:

First Floor, Penrose 1, Penrose Dock, Cork, T23 KW81, Ireland

Operational Addresses:

Advance HE First floor, Napier House, 24 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6AZ  
Advance HE IC 2.12 Innovation Centre, Innovation Way, York Science Park, York YO10 5DG


Company registration: 04931031
Company limited by guarantee registered in Ireland no. 703150
Registered charity, England and Wales:1101607
Registered charity, Scotland: SC043946.