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Alternative Provider Engagement Team

HEFCE’s Alternative Provider Engagement Team supports alternative providers (APs) with specific course designation in England, no matter where they are based in the UK. Working with the Department for Education as part of the joint AP Intelligence Unit, the unit gives alternative providers named points of contact within both organisations and provides opportunities for engagement beyond the formal designation processes and data returns. 

For contact details of the team members listed below see our searchable list.


Rob Stroud

Rob leads on the overall engagement processes HEFCE undertakes with alternative providers outside of processes related to their designation for student support. He has oversight of complex matters related to specific providers, and the management of the Council’s activities as part of the joint ‘Intelligence Unit’ for alternative providers with the Department for Education. Rob has previously been Senior Policy Adviser for teaching funding and student number controls, and spent a number of years working for a large post-1992 higher education institution in the area of student experience and engagement policy. 


Evangeline Carey-Phillips

As a Higher Education Policy Advisor Evangeline interacts with a number of alternative provider institutions across the UK. Evangeline also has responsibility for some project work within her team including items such as alternative provider involvement in the National Student Survey. Formerly Evangeline worked as a teacher in a secondary school and a further education college.


Joanne Lowe

Joanne is the first point of contact for a number of alternative providers across the UK. Prior to joining the Alternative Provider Intelligence Unit, Joanne was a policy advisor in HEFCE’s North Institutional team. Joanne has also worked at a number of universities across England.


Katie Twomey

As a Higher Education Policy Advisor Katie interacts with a number of alternative provider institutions across the UK. Before joining HEFCE Katie worked in university administration for a number of years, with a focus on student case work and quality assurance


Sacha Cook

Sacha is the main point of contact for a number of alternative provider institutions across the UK. Before joining HEFCE Sacha worked in higher education publishing for a number of years, working closely with academics to develop global content for use with both undergraduates and postgraduates.


Natalia Alderson

As a Higher Education Policy Advisor Natalia is the first point of contact for a number of alternative providers across the UK.  Prior to joining HEFCE Natalia worked at the Arts and Humanities Research Council primarily on postgraduate and strategic funding programmes.


Alexander Malpass‌

As an information advisor, Alex manages the collected data on the alternative provider sector. This involves some qualitative analysis, and provides a good overview of themes and trends. Before joining HEFCE, Alex worked in various data-focused roles, and was a university lecturer.