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‌Sarah Howlssarah_howls
Head of Student Opportunity

Sarah leads on HEFCE’s student opportunity policy and as such has oversight of all aspects of the team’s work. The key areas she is currently focussed on are the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP), reviewing the student opportunity allocation, developing HEFCE’s policy on addressing differential outcomes, reviewing the provision and support for disabled students and the development of the outcomes framework.

t0117 931 7073 

‌Jennifer Allen
Senior Higher Education Policy Adviser

Jennifer is leading on the development of an evidence framework which supports the evaluation of the value delivered through the HEFCE funded support of outreach consortia, improving retention and supporting disabled students. She is also developing and managing the delivery of a communications strategy for the HEFCE funded national collaborative outreach programme (NCOP).

t: 0117 931 7225

Senior Higher Education Policy Advisor

Jenny leads on the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP) which aims to support the most disadvantaged young people in England progress into higher education. She oversees the work of the wider NCOP team to engage and support the HEFCE funded outreach consortia.

t: 0117 931 7252

Richard Smith
Senior Higher Education Policy Adviser 

Richard oversees a range of projects and programmes across HEFCE’s Student Opportunity and Learning & Teaching policy teams. Richard’s work focuses on the intersections between learning and teaching, skills and participation and he also leads on teaching funding policy. Richard is particularly interested in all aspects of social mobility, excellence in teaching and learning, academic attainment and progression, and how to evidence and evaluate policy initiatives.

t: 0117 931 7180

‌Cassie Agbehenu
Higher Education Policy Adviser

Cassie leads on communications for the National Collaborative Outreach Programme. As an account manager, she also supports institutions delivering projects in this policy area.


t: 0117 931 7176

Gemma Cadogan and Sarah Jackson (jobshare)  gemmacadogan-sarahjackson
Higher Education Policy Advisers‌

Gemma and Sarah are the project managers (jobshare) for the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP). Gemma was previously project manager for the National Networks for Collaborative Outreach (NNCO). Gemma works Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; Sarah works Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

t: 0117 931 7410 or 0117 931 7387 

Samantha Dyer
Higher Education Policy Adviser

Samantha is supporting HEFCE’s work on OfS transition (access and participation). She also has oversight for the HEFCE/ESRC funded ‘Centre for Global Higher Education’.


t: 0117 931 7280

Kirsty Johnson
Higher Education Policy Adviser ‌

Kirsty is the project manager for the Catalyst Call focused on addressing barriers to student success and works on issues related to differential outcomes more broadly. She also supports work on the development of an evidence framework.

t: 0117 931 7443

Anju Kataria‌
Higher Education Policy Adviser 


Anju is the project manager for the monitoring of HEFCE’s Student Opportunity allocation. She is also an account manager for the National Collaborative Outreach programme (NCOP) and she supports HEFCE’s work to understand the nature, scale and impact of HE sponsored schools.

t: 0117 931 7153

Marcell Phillips‌‌
Higher Education Policy Adviser

Marcell leads on the monitoring returns work for the National Collaborative Outreach Programme and as an Account Manager supporting institutions to deliver projects in this policy area.

t: 0117 931 7155

Tamsin Rott
Team administrator

Tamsin is the Student Opportunity Team administrator and supports the team in communications with external colleagues and arranging meetings and events.

t: 0117 931 7134

Grace Simpson
Higher Education Policy Adviser 

Grace leads on areas of policy which relates to supporting disabled students and postgraduate taught education. She is also an account manager for the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP).


t: 0117 931 7380

Ruth Tucker
Higher Education Policy Adviser 

Ruth contributes to HEFCE’s policy on part-time, mature and flexible study.


t: 0117 931 7367





Page last updated 22 June 2017