The future

is online

Expanding access to quality higher education.

Taking universities online.

Creating the future, today.


HEP’s mission is to increase access to top quality and affordable higher education through the online delivery of instruction and help online students succeed.

Equality of opportunity is at the heart of everything we do. By helping people improve their lives, whatever their background and circumstances, we believe that affordable and high-quality higher education builds fairer and more equitable societies, unlocks the potential of individuals, helps harmonise skills gaps with the needs of the workplace, transforms employability rates and delivers a thriving global economy.


HEP’s mission is to increase access to top quality and affordable higher education through the online delivery of instruction and help online students succeed.

Equality of opportunity is at the heart of everything we do. By helping people improve their lives, whatever their background and circumstances, we believe that affordable and high-quality higher education builds fairer and more equitable societies, unlocks the potential of individuals, helps harmonise skills gaps with the needs of the workplace, transforms employability rates and delivers a thriving global economy.


We have invested in cutting edge technology and market-leading expertise to help our partner universities grow their online market share. Our comprehensive suite of services includes:

  • Competitive online program portfolio selection.
  • Omni-channel marketing and online student recruitment.
  • Online student enrollment, retention and ongoing student support.
  • Academic capacity-building, including programme planning, instructional design, assistance in module conversion, quality reviews and faculty professional development.
  • Operational assistance to effectively support online student lifecycle.

Our Partner Support team works closely with operational teams at university partners to develop and execute structured yet tailored plans for the implementation and launch of new online programmes. The team delivers step-by-step support, guidance and expertise to ensure that all stakeholders, processes, systems and technology are aligned and geared up to deliver an outstanding end-to-end student experience.

Change Management

Programme Launch & Ongoing Management

Our Academic Services team supports university’s academic staff and instructional design teams with evidence-based best practices in online teaching and learning, guidance around strategic programme planning, and ongoing professional development and training opportunities.

Based upon needs analysis and in collaboration with programme leaders, the team guides online programme design and planning, assists in module mapping and development, module delivery, quality reviews, and utilisation and deployment of learning tools and technologies, all with the clear aim of ensuring the best possible student experience and student outcomes.

Our Academic Services approach is entirely tailored to the needs of each partner and is built around the principle of scalability. It is further focused on capacity building, equipping the academic teams at the university with the knowledge, tools and resources to help them design and deliver successful online programmes in a virtual learning environment. Ownership of all intellectual property always remains with the partnering institutions.

We take a comprehensive, customised and data-driven approach to promoting each partner’s online offering and manage on their behalf a proprietary, programme-specific omni-channel marketing strategy and execution. Our objective is to identify and target through various media outlets the most qualified potential students with the highest probability of enrolment.

Our digital expertise includes search engine marketing, content marketing, search engine optimisation, email marketing, and video and social media marketing across multiple user platforms including mobile, tablet and desktop. We work with Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and Bing, as well as additional affiliates to give our partners a competitive advantage in a highly competitive marketplace.

Our offline capability includes business-to-business marketing, traditional marketing through radio, direct mail, newspaper, magazine and outdoor advertising as well as public relations.

Our team of university-designated Enrolment Specialists engages with prospective students under university’s unique brand and helps them make informed decisions about online programme selection. The team follows a clearly defined and robust strategy in connecting with enquiring students and having the right conversations with potential learners to assess their online programme suitability. Each prospective student is assigned a dedicated Enrolment Specialist who supports him/her from the point of enquiry through the application and enrolment processes, right up to the beginning of class.

Student success is fundamentally what determines the success of our university partnerships. That’s why each of our partner universities is assigned a Student Success team to ensure the best possible student outcomes. The team provides proactive engagement and encouragement and support to all students throughout their online journey. Each student is allocated a dedicated Student Success Specialist who ensures that s/he is given the right level of support, from enrolment right through to graduation, and who identifies when the student needs encouragement, guidance or intervention in order to succeed.


EMENA Region Europe/Middle East/North Africa

HEP is committed to expanding access to quality education in the EMENA region. HEP believes in the transformative power of higher education on peoples’ personal and professional lives, and society as a whole.


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Geoff Webster

Group Chief Executive Officer

Geoff serves as HEP’s Group CEO and is responsible for our organisational objectives and the success of all our partnerships globally. Before joining HEP, Geoff was Managing Director of CEG Digital, a UK-focused Online Programme Manager, which he founded in 2015 within Cambridge Education Group. Prior to CEG Digital, he served for 4 years as Group Strategy and Development Director for INTO University Partnerships, one of the world-leading education pathway organisations. Before moving to the Higher Education sector, Geoff held a range of senior roles with British Telecom and AT&T, including as Chief Marketing Officer for AT&T's international business. Geoff is a graduate of the University of Bristol in the UK, where he received his bachelor's degree in Law. In addition, he is a qualified lawyer having passed all heads of the Law Society Examination at the first attempt.


‘The transformative impact of education is key to our evolution as a society. Higher Ed Partners work with a select group of universities to expand access to high quality and affordable online education globally, helping to underpin the future success of our partners and of innumerable ambitious individuals across the world.’

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Kristin Micalizio

Chief Operating Officer, EMEA

As COO, Kristin oversees Marketing, Enrolment and Retention Services, Partner Support, IT, and Business Intelligence for the EMEA region with a focus on driving profitable growth. Prior to HEP, Kristin spent 5 years at Academic Partnerships serving as VP Performance Marketing, as well as Vertical Chief for Healthcare, Business and Undergraduate programs. Prior to AP, Kristin held a variety of executive level marketing, GM, and operational roles with Office Depot, Galls LLC, Innovative Mattress Solutions and Anacomp Inc


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Ed Harland-Lang

Vice President Marketing - EMEA

Ed is HEP’s Vice President Marketing - EMEA. He is responsible for the omni-channel marketing and student recruitment for online programmes from HEP university partners. Prior to joining HEP, Ed worked in a number of marketing leadership roles, including Head of Marketing for the Churchill and Privilege insurance brands and Head of Marketing at NIG. Ed is responsible for launching the marketing activity for partners and for ensuring the ongoing efficiency, effectiveness and success of marketing campaigns and their performance. Collaborating closely with university partners from the outset, Ed develops a deep understanding of their brand, culture, strengths and points of differentiation - creating a bespoke marketing strategy for each institution. He manages the development, execution, measurement and ongoing optimisation of all campaigns, partner sites and landing pages, taking a data-driven approach to delivering continuous improvement in both marketing and enrolment performance.


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Ed Perryman

Vice President for New Partnership Development

Ed is Vice President for New Partnership Development. He is responsible for forging new university partnerships that align with HEP's vision, values and model. Ed manages all aspects of the process up to the point of contract signature and ensures that each new partner institution is set up for success at the point of onboarding. Ed brings a real breadth of education experience and above all a passion for improving access and outcomes using technology. Prior to HEP, Ed led the development of new UK partnerships at Aula, one of Europe's fastest-growing EdTech startups, where he worked with senior leadership at universities such as Glasgow, Coventry and South Wales to craft innovative new strategies around digital and blended learning. Before Aula, Ed spent over 10 years in general management and student recruitment roles at high-growth education providers such as Cambridge Education Group. Ed holds a BA from University College London and an MBA from Imperial College Business School.


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Kate Lindsay

Senior Vice President of Academic Services

Kate Lindsay is HEP’s Senior Vice President of Academic Services. Her focus is to lead strategic programme efforts with university partners that will enable the growth of internal capability and capacity to design and deliver high quality, sustainable online learning. Kate was previously Head of Digital Education at the University College of Estate Management, one of the UK’s only fully online Universities. Here, Kate was responsible for the innovation, design and production of award-bearing, accredited programmes of study. She has over 20 years of experience in developing outstanding digital education, including roles as Head of Technology-Enhanced Learning and Director of Academic IT Services at the University of Oxford. Here she led a portfolio of projects and services to achieve the university’s digital education strategy and drive forwards modernisation in teaching, learning and assessment. Kate plays an active role in the higher education online learning community, and worked closely with Advance HE and Guild HE to deliver seminars to support the HE sector over the pandemic. She is a Senior Member of the Association for Learning Technology and a judge for the annual Association of Learning Technology Awards and the international Learning Technology Awards. A SEDA recognised teacher, she has specialist interests in digital assessment, learning design, and emerging models of higher education to support widening access and participation.


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Ben Timney

Senior Director of IT Operations

Ben Timney is the Senior Director of IT Operations at Higher Ed Partners. He is responsible for steering HEP’s technical operations, and he is dedicated to driving excellence in online learning and assisting our partner Universities and their students in achieving their objectives. Boasting a career spanning over two decades in online learning, Ben has worked in both the public and private sector delivering online courses from vocational training to postgraduate masters degrees. In previous roles Ben lead the team that delivered more than 180 MA/MSc modules, plus multiple short courses and built an estimated 2,200 weeks of content with over 44,000 activities and 3,700 videos. More recently Ben worked in the Open Data Institute (ODI) founded by Tim Berners-Lee where he held a pivotal role in driving the growth and expansion of the Learning Team. During this time Ben took on a diverse set of responsibilities, overseeing various aspects such as marketing, sales, operations, content development, and technical implementation for all training courses offered by the ODI.


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Tom Brownrigg

Director of University Partnerships

Tom joined HEP as University Partnerships Director in June 2023. He previously worked on business development for QA Higher Education in LATAM and Europe promoting multi campus Postgraduate and Undergraduate degrees in partnership with UK universities including University of Ulster, University of Roehampton and Northumbria University. He then moved to Cass Business School (now Bayes, City University) where he was responsible for business development for undergraduate and MBA programmes. In 2015, he went on to lead corporate strategy for Executive Degrees with Saїd Business School at the University of Oxford working with a number of global organisations including the UK Cabinet Office, EY, Mott MacDonald. Programme responsibility included the Oxford EMBA, MSc in Major Programme Management and Postgraduate Diplomas in Strategic Management. Following Oxford, Tom led on Bath School of Management’s business education programmes, drawing on the expertise of world-renowned faculty to design and launch open, custom and accredited executive degrees. New initiatives included leading the School’s launch of the Small Business Charter and Help to Grow programme, creation of the Bath/Coursera stackable MBA and bespoke collaborations with UAE Prime Minister’s Office. Tom has a BSc in Business and Hispanic Studies, MA in Project Management and a PgDip in Financial Strategy and is an alumnus of St Hugh’s College, University of Oxford.


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Andy Wright

Director of University Partnerships

As Director of University Partnerships, Andy leverages his experience and expertise to ensure that, working alongside our university partners, we are successful in achieving our shared, strategic aims, and that we consistently exceed our partners’ expectations in terms of both professionalism and performance. Andy has a wealth of experience in the EdTech and Digital Learning sector, with nearly 15 years spent working both within universities and in partnership with them. He also has a master’s degree in Technology Enhanced Learning, Innovation and Change. Over several years at the University of Birmingham, Andy led digital learning initiatives in the Medical School and the Business School, including the delivery of the first-ever fully online MSc in Advanced General Dental Practice and the creation of several MOOCs in partnership with FutureLearn, that enabled hundreds of thousands of non-traditional students worldwide to access high-quality UK Higher Education (HE). Andy also played a pivotal role in the growth of CEG Digital (a UK-based OPM company) from start-up to scale-up, serving on the Senior Leadership Team and significantly expanding the company’s network of UK University partners, including Queen Mary University London (QMUL), University of Hull, Bayes Business School (UoL) and the University of Southampton. Subsequently, as Director of Product at Fourthrev, he managed the creation and delivery of an innovative and highly successful suite of short course products (Microcredentials and Career Accelerators) in partnership with some of the world’s most prestigious universities, such as University of Cambridge, London School of Economics (LSE), Kings College London (KCL) and Melbourne Business School (MBS), plus a diverse group of industry experts and high profile, global employers, such as Tableau, HubSpot, Github and AWS.



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Lord John Eatwell

Chairman of the Board

Professor Lord Eatwell has served for more than two decades as President of Queens' College at the University of Cambridge and was also Director of the Centre for Financial Analysis and Policy at Cambridge’s Judge Business School. A 25-year Labour member of the House of Lords, he has served as Principal Opposition Spokesman for Treasury and Economic Affairs. Lord Eatwell was a member of the UK’s Board of the Securities and Futures Authority and the Regulatory Decisions Committee of the UK Financial Services Authority as well as Chairman of the Jersey Financial Services Commission. He is the founder of the Institute for Public Policy Research, a leading UK think tank. Educated at Cambridge and Harvard University, Lord Eatwell has been a teaching fellow at Harvard, a visiting professor at Columbia University and is a visiting professor of economics at the University of Southern California.


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Justyna Dymerska, Ph.D.

Board Member

Justyna Dymerska is Chairman and Managing Partner of Best Merchant Partners (BMP), a parent organization of a group of online program managers across Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America. Educated at the University of Cambridge, she spent her entire career in education, initially as post-doctoral fellow at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin and Southern Methodist University. After joining BMP, she worked in executive roles at its portfolio companies, including at Academic Partnerships and Ilumno. Justyna serves or has served on the boards of directors of Ilumno, Higher Ed Partners Limited, Higher Ed Partners South Africa, Academic Partnerships Foundation and various higher education institutions in Brazil, Argentina, Panama, Chile and Colombia.


Prioritising wellbeing in higher education: strategies for improving students’ mental health

That increasing numbers of students are experiencing mental health problems isn’t news; it’s an escalating trend that was extensively documented even before the Covid-19 pandemic, as HE providers reported unprecedented demands for access to their health and welfare support services prior to the 2020 crisis.

Diversification: the key to unlocking new higher education revenue streams

The recent global crisis has highlighted a long-standing need for revenue diversification in the higher education sector.

The same but different: improving fairness of access, participation, and outcomes in higher education

Fairness lies at the heart of modern higher education – in principle, at least. That everyone – regardless of social or economic background – can aspire to study for a globally acknowledged qualification, opening doors to greater education and employment opportunities, has been a cornerstone of HE provision for decades. But equality only works if everyone’s starting point is the same and, as societal divisions widen, universities must do more to level the pitch.

Optimising the digital higher education experience: delivering outstanding support for online learners

The higher education sector is experiencing a period of rapid transformation. With demand for more flexible access options catalysing significant growth in online, hybrid and blended delivery models, universities must not only design new, more adaptable, degree programmes, but must also review and strengthen the support services that are essential to sustain a student body that’s more diverse – and dispersed – than ever before.

Hybrid and blended learning: the flexible future of higher education?

After the restrictions of the last two years, the fact that university campuses everywhere are once again buzzing with students feels like a cause for optimism.

Transforming higher education for the long term

For those in the world’s wealthiest countries, tertiary education has now become the norm – especially among the 18-34-year-old demographic.

Automation in online education

Technology is fundamental in addressing one of the biggest challenges in education – how to continue to increase scale on decreasing budgets?

Online delivery is rightly seen as a valid approach. However, we must consider the students’ consumer expectations for educational experiences that are as good as experiences in other sectors, such as retail or online services, along with the goal of ensuring students are treated as individuals. Automation is key to meeting these challenges.

Motivating online students to support each other

Clear intentions, guiding principles, well-chosen, and well-instructed activities greatly increase students’ participation in peer learning

There are a variety of strategies to help students feel engaged and motivated to participate in online distance learning (ODL) programmes, but perhaps none are more powerful than finding ways to motivate students to interact with their peers.

Effective peer learning in online courses

How to motivate students to participate and genuinely benefit from learning from their peers

Well-designed online learning can be highly engaging, motivating, and enjoyable. Historically though, distance learning, both pre-web and in early online courses, suffered from poor retention – students found it difficult to study on their own.

The future of work: how universities can prepare students for an uncertain future

More people than ever are going to university. In the UK, well over a third of all 18-year-olds (37.8 percent) enrolled on a full-time undergraduate course last year, according to UCAS. And, while some students are drawn to higher education to increase their academic knowledge and enjoy the university experience, most will also be looking to improve their employment and earning prospects. Government figures for 2020 show a graduate employment rate of 86.4 percent, with median graduate earnings standing at £35,000 (£9,500 more than their non-graduate counterparts).

Creating a rich social and cultural experience for online degree learners

Much of the discussion around the recent global shift from campus-based to remote-learning models has centred on the quality of online programmes of study – more particularly on how universities can effectively motivate, support, and assess individuals as part of a dispersed student population.

Breaking the bias: addressing the higher education gender pay gap

As participation continues to widen in the UK’s higher education sector with increasing numbers of applications from previously underrepresented sectors, many gender-based anomalies remain. For example, while women are much more likely to go to university than men (as well as to complete their studies and to achieve a good degree), figures show that women graduates cede their professional advantage in a matter of months.

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