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Insights: Driving evidence-informed change

Enhanced insights and analysis services to the sector and institutions to help identify strengths and challenges and the impetus for change.

We are specialists in higher education research. Our expert team can provide, qualitative, quantitative or mixed-methods offers, underpinned by sector-wide datasets from our student surveys and our sector-leading higher education statistical reports. We offer multi-pronged evaluation and a specialism in equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).  

Whether you’re a sector agency, institute, university or another organisation with a higher education offer we will work with you to help higher education be the best that it can be.

Want to find out more?

If you would like to know more about Advance HE Insights, contact insights@advance-he.ac.uk or complete the form below to receive a copy of our brochure.

Enquire

How we support institutions 

insights
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion audits
  • Desk-based literature reviews
  • Understanding hard-to-reach audiences
  • EDI stats reports and data collection guidance
  • Sector data advanced analysis
  • Programme and policy evaluations
  • Bespoke consultancy research - qualitative and quantitative
  • Student surveys

If you are interested in working with Advance HE's Insights Team please contact insights@advance-he.ac.uk

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Equality, diversity and inclusion audits

Our bespoke equality audits are designed to help institutions identify where the challenges lie and what works within their own context. These audits not only provide institutions with an overview of how equality and diversity are perceived and experienced in general, but also allow institutions the opportunity to sensitively explore equality characteristics which may have historically received less attention (such as sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion/belief).

Edge Hill University commissioned Advance HE’s Insights Team to conduct a bespoke EDI review of its policies and to gather qualitative staff experiences.

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Programme and policy evaluations

Some of our major pieces of work involve large-scale evaluations of major sector or institution-wide initiatives. With our sector-wide lens and specialism in both quantitative and qualitative research methods, evaluation is a main focus of what we do. 

Advance HE were commisioned to undertake an independent evaluation of the Accomplished Study Programme in Research Excellence, read the project success story here.

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Bespoke research – quantitative and qualitative

Solving the most complex research problems requires the most appropriate methods and often a combination of rich detail and robust data. With our expertise in conducting primary research through in-depth interviews and focus groups as well as designing and analysing some of the largest surveys in the sector we can offer a fully combined qualitative and quantitative offer. Our researchers are experienced in using analytical software including Atlas.ti and SPSS which offer a broad range of advanced techniques.

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Student surveys

The student surveys from Advance HE have engaged with over 170,000 students over the last two years. Our surveys help institutions understand and enhance student experience and engagement, benchmark performance, and pinpoint where interventions are most needed. Advance HE's student surveys are:

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Understanding Stakeholder Perceptions

Institutions are facing complex challenges in an ever changing context. To name a few: delivery modes post-pandemic; mental health and wellbeing; perceptions on value; and, the ‘culture wars’. Advance HE supports institutions to understand and identify complex challenges through the perceptions of key stakeholders to develop appropriate strategies and solutions.

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Data collection guidance

Collect and analyse equality data to identify areas for action and meet legal requirements.

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Team members 

Head of Business Intelligence & Surveys
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Advance HE
Jonathan-Neves
Jonathan joined Advance HE in 2015, bringing with him 16 years’ experience in customer insight and market research. Jonathan graduated from the University of Liverpool with a degree in Geography, and is a full member of the Market Research Society. Heading up the insights and student surveys portfolio at Advance HE, Jonathan is co-author of the Advance HE-HEPI Student Academic Experience Survey report, and is responsible for the overall strategy for the UK Engagement Survey as well as the Postgraduate Taught and Research Experience Surveys (PTES and PRES). Jonathan has also worked across the sector collaborating on the use of the UK Engagement Survey within Learning Gain pilots.
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Head of Knowledge and Research
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Advance HE
Amanda Aldercotte
Amanda has led Advance HE’s research team since November 2017 and over the course of the last three years has helped establish the team’s unique position as qualified researchers working within the realms of higher education and equality, diversity and inclusion.
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Surveys Officer
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Advance HE
Jason Leman, Advance HE
Jason is Surveys Officer at Advance HE and has worked on the designing, gathering and reporting of student feedback for over 15 years.
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Mixed Methods Researcher
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Advance HE
Anne Rowan
Anne joined Advance HE in 2021 as a mixed-methods researcher. She has over 12 years’ professional work experience, developing expertise and knowledge in Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) at both a national and international level. Anne has a PhD in Education focusing on capturing the experiences of disabled international students within UK Higher Education.
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Researcher (mixed methods)
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Advance HE
Panagiota Sotiropoulou-545x363px.jpg
Panagiota (Peny) Sotiropoulou joined Advance HE in 2021 as a mixed-methods researcher. Her main interests lie in EDI considerations in HE, with a special focus on issues related to race and ethnicity.
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Quantitative Researcher
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Advance HE
Florence Reedy
Florence joined Advance HE as a Quantitative Researcher in June 2023. Prior to this, she was Policy and Research Manager at the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS). Her role involved managing the delivery of the AGCAS research programme, leading quantitative qualitative, and mixed methods research projects. Florence completed her PhD in 2020, which explored approaches to addressing gender and intersectional inequalities in UK higher education (HE). She then worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Hull and Newcastle University. Although a quantitative specialist, Florence also has extensive experience leading on mixed methods and qualitative research projects. Her areas of specialism include designing and conducting equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) reviews and evaluation projects which aim to develop more inclusive cultures.
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Associates 

Associate
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Advance HE
Nkasi-Stoll-545x363px
Dr Nkasi Stoll is a qualitative researcher, with a focus on inequalities and psychology. She completed her ESRC funded PhD from Kings College London. Her doctoral research explored the impact that life events and experiences have on Black undergraduate and postgraduate students mental health and wellbeing during their education journey.
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Associate
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Advance HE
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Hannah is a freelance mixed-methods research and evaluation professional, leading high-profile research projects and programme evaluations related to staff and student experiences, with a particular interest in disability inclusion.
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Associate
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Advance HE
Lateesha Osbourne
Lateesha is a PhD holder (University of Bath) and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion consultant. Her doctoral research focused on Black students’ identity and sense of belonging in higher education. She used qualitative methods to focus on how social identities were constructed, negotiated and threatened in different social contexts.
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Associate
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Advance HE
Naomi Alormele
Naomi is a scholar activist, passionate about centering the voices of individuals from the Black community in both their working environments and community spaces. Her research and activism work are informed by her positionality as both an academic and a Black British Ghanaian woman.
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Associate
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Advance HE
Carla has worked as a quantitative researcher since 2009. She undertook her PhD and a post-doctoral research project at UCL, both of which were in Cognitive Neuroscience / Psychology topics, and these provided her with a solid experience in terms of study and questionnaire design, statistical analysis using SPSS (including factor analysis, ANOVA, regression, and analysis of categorical data), and writing up publications / presenting results at conferences.

Who we work with 

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Disabled Students' Commission

The Disabled Students’ Commission (DSC) was announced by the former Universities Minister in June 2019 and was formed in March 2020. This independent and strategic group takes responsibility for advising, informing and influencing higher education providers to improve support for disabled students. Advance HE has responsibility for providing secretariat support, as well as overseeing the management, coordination and dissemination of research and other DSC outcomes.

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Disabled Students Commission
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Insights Spotlight Series

Wellcome Trust Success on the Board: Unlocking the power of underrepresented voices in research

Researcher: Dr Panagiota (Peny) Sotiropoulou, Mixed Methods Researcher

Our insights team evaluated the programme content for ‘Success on the Board’ to assess the impact that engagement with the programme had on participants’ board-relevant knowledge, skills and confidence.

Read the case study

Accomplished Study Programme in Research Excellence (ASPIRE) for Black students: Fixing the broken pipeline

Researcher: Dr Hannah Griffin-James, Quantitative Researcher



Advance HE was commisioned to undertake an independent evaluation of the Accomplished Study Programme in Research Excellence.

Read the case study

University of East Anglia (UEA): Review of Health Sciences student recruitment practices

Researcher: Dr Anne Rowan, Mixed Methods Researcher

Advance HE was commissioned to undertake a review of the entire application cycle to better understand what stops students from certain groups from applying to Health Sciences at UEA and why they experience the interview process differently to other applicants.

Read the case study
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Contact us 

If you have any questions about Advance HE Insights please get in touch by emailing insights@advance-he.ac.uk.