IHE Annual Conference 2023

Join us at One Great George Street on 28 November for the UK’s flagship event for the independent higher education sector.

The IHE Annual Conference is the only conference specifically tailored to the needs and interests of independent providers of higher education.

Gold Sponsor

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We look forward to welcoming you to One Great George Street, our new conference location in the heart of Westminster, on Tuesday 28 November.

  • Hear the latest policy insights and debate some of the big challenges facing the sector.
  • Network with sector leaders and senior staff from independent providers.
  • Reflect on 2023 and get ready for 2024.
  • Join us in recognising excellence in the sector with the IHE Awards 2023.
  • Celebrate the 15th anniversary of IHE.

Our conference programme unpacks some of the key issues independent providers are grappling with: navigating sector regulation, supporting student success, responding to changing models of HE delivery, education funding reform, and much more.


We are delighted to announce our confirmed speakers:

  • Robert Halfon MP
    Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education
  • Matt Western MP
    Shadow Minister for Higher Education
  • Philippa Pickford
    Director of Regulation, Office for Students (OfS)
  • John Blake
    Director of Fair Access and Participation, Office for Students (OfS)
  • Professor Mary Stuart
    Director of Leadership Development at Minerva, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln
  • Professor Helen Marshall OBE
    Independent Consultant, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Salford
  • Jo Johnson
    Chairman of FutureLearn, former Minister of State for Universities and Science
  • Nick Hillman
    Director of HEPI
  • Jonathan Shaw
    Strategic Director, Kent Further Education
  • Jess Lister
    Associate Director, Public First
  • Shane Chowen
    Editor, FE Week

Plenary sessions

  • The Labour vision for higher education
  • Flexible funding for a lifelong learning system
  • The risk and opportunity of regulating in the student interest
  • IHE at 15: the past, present and future of higher education policy

Breakout sessions

Our breakout sessions will cover a broad range of themes:

  • Building sustainable independent higher education
  • Strategies for growth: from start-up to world-leading
  • Towards an international student employability strategy
  • Creating conditions for success: the role of independent providers in closing the gaps
  • Artificial intelligence: preparing for the future
  • Meaningful student engagement
  • A local skills revolution: how IHE members can create opportunities across the country
  • Assessing quality and Degree Awarding Powers


Booking is now closed.

Evening reception: 15th anniversary celebration, including the IHE Awards

Join us for an evening of celebration immediately following the conference programme to mark the 15th anniversary of IHE. We look forward to welcoming guests from the sector, IHE friends past and present, and our supporters and partners, to celebrate this significant milestone. We will reflect on our impact over the years, look to the future, and recognise excellence in the sector with the IHE Awards 2023.

Conference Exhibitors

Advance HE

Advance HE helps all kinds of higher education organisations be the best they can be, by unlocking the potential of their people. We are from the sector, not for profit, and our work is driven by our belief in the transformative power of higher education for people, places and society. We are higher education experts with a particular focus on teaching and learning, governance, leadership, and EDI. Our membership provides a range of research, knowledge and resources exclusive for members, as well as accreditation for teaching and learning and equality charters that aim to advance gender and race equality in higher education and research.


Coole Insight

Coole Insight Ltd is the home of students’ union development, driving sector improvement through collaboration, expertise, and insight. We work hard in our pursuit of getting the right thing done by people, and by organisations. We embody the transformational power of the student movement, and share our lived and work experience of this power to maximise the potential of elected student leaders, professional staff teams, and students’ unions as organisations.



We offer the most comprehensive and easy-to-integrate products on the market, specifically designed to encourage engagement with the timetable and enhance student and staff experience. We are the architects of the popular Timetabler product used by hundreds of universities and colleges worldwide. We provide intuitive, feature-rich solutions for creating and publishing timetables, monitoring student attendance, managing room bookings, generating pay claims, reporting and much more.


Crowe UK

We are a leading national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm with global reach and local expertise. The talent of our people, our size, our structure and our values mean our clients can rely on a depth of specialist knowledge and personal delivery from the professionals they work with.



Ellucian is the world’s leading provider of software and services HE institutions need to help students succeed. More than 2,400 HEIs in over 40 countries rely on Ellucian to help enable the mission of higher education for over 18 million students. Ellucian provides student information systems, finance and HR, recruiting, retention, analytics and advancement software solutions. Over 1,400 institutions subscribe to Ellucian’s cloud services and SaaS offerings. Ellucian supports the HE community with a range of professional services: application software implementation, training, education and management consulting.


Intersol Global

Intersol Global recognise that work and study place investigations impact lives, livelihoods, and careers. As external investigation specialists we deliver investigation and panel training, qualifications, mediation, and impartial investigation services, allowing your people to focus on their core roles, improving the wellbeing of people whilst minimising risk and adding value. Our ‘invest to save’ business model not only delivers critical impartiality and expertise but is also more cost-effective and versatile than investing in in-house investigators. Purpose-driven by clear values, acting with integrity, behaving ethically, treating people with empathy, being evidence-led and trauma-informed, we help you professionalise today to protect tomorrow.



Jisc is the UK digital, data and technology agency focused on tertiary education and research and innovation. We are a not-for-profit organisation and believe education and research improves lives and that technology improves education and research. We provide managed and brokered products and services, enhanced with expertise and intelligence to inspire and enable digital transformation. Our vision is for the UK to be world leaders in technology for education and research.


Pearson Test of English (PTE)

Pearson Test of English (PTE) provides secure English language testing for study applications worldwide, and for visa applications for work and migration in Australia, the UK, New Zealand, and Canada. Every year, tens of thousands of people trust PTE to help them rapidly prove their English proficiency – and to open doors to their future lives and careers.


Peridot Partners

Established in 2009, Peridot Partners is a values-led company committed to developing the leadership of socially focused organisations through executive and board recruitment. The strength of our organisation comes from our cross-functional networks, our exceptional research team and our experience of attracting people from all sectors. In the Education Practice, we provide a bespoke and personal approach towards the recruitment of executive, academic and professional services leaders and non-executive directors across the higher education sector. 


Pinsent Masons

Pinsent Masons is a top ranked adviser, currently working with over 70 higher education clients. We specialise in supporting transformational change, setting up branch campuses, private sector partnering for student accommodation, complex governance and constitutional advice, and digital transformation including IT and procurement. We manage events of reputational crisis, handling potentially damaging incidents to minimise the impact of fraud, sexual violence and student protests. We help clients with joint ventures and collaboration agreements, seeking IP protection or addressing constitutional reform, dealing with regulatory obstacles and secondments - as well as acting for new entrants to the sector.



QAA is a world-leading quality agency with unmatched experience of working with providers in relation to the requirements of regulators. QAA’s new services offer providers in England valuable guidance and support relating to the quality and standards of higher education. Flexible and tailored to a provider’s individual context our services are informed by our recognised expertise in quality and standards. Come and talk to us about: Degree Awarding Powers (DAPs) Service - to assist providers in England who are either seeking Full or New DAPs, or have existing time-limited or probationary powers; Targeted Quality and Standards Service - versatile and flexible support for specific challenges relating to quality and standards arrangements.


Shakespeare Martineau

We have been providing legal advice to education institutions since 1900 and act for over 100 further and higher education institutions. With a long-standing involvement in and commitment to the education law sector, our team have extensive experience across all legal issues that affect the sector, guiding and supporting our clients through challenges and opportunities. Working with universities, colleges, independent and alternative providers, academies, and schools, our full-service team can advise on any legal issue that an education institution may have. We are fully immersed in the sector, with a number of specialists working exclusively with our education clients.



Tribal believes everyone should have access to a great quality education, and that goes beyond teaching alone. We provide the expertise, software and services required to underpin your student’s success. Our innovative ecosystem of solutions supports providers to drive positive learner outcomes. Our student information system, ebs, helps you to manage the entire student lifecycle; from recruitment through to graduation. Delivering degree apprenticeships? Maytas can support your delivery, ensuring compliance and timely completions. In addition to both these solutions, Tribal’s Engage app can further boost your student’s engagement and satisfaction, whilst enabling you to easily share important updates and information.



UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, is the UK's shared admissions service for higher education. Our services support learners by providing information and guidance in progression to university, college, or apprenticeships. We support 1.5 million students every year to explore higher education, employment and apprenticeships and manage almost three million applications for undergraduate courses at over 380 universities and colleges across the UK. We also provide a range of research, consultancy and advisory services to schools, colleges, careers services, professional bodies, and employers, including apprenticeships.


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