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Alison Allden appointed Chief Executive of HESA

Alison Allden has been appointed to be the next Chief Executive of the Higher Education Statistics Agency. She will take up the post on 1 August 2009 when the current Chief Executive, Professor Robin Sibson, retires at the end of July.

Alison Allden was appointed Deputy Registrar and Director of Information Services at the University of Bristol in 2004. She is a member of the senior executive of the University and has direct responsibility for Information Services and strategy development across a range of activities and support services.

Following an early career in archaeology, she moved into IT through roles at the British Museum and the National Maritime Museum. She gained her MSc in Analysis, Design and Management of Information Systems at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1989 pursuing a career in IT latterly in higher education and moving to the University of Bristol in 2003 as Director of Information Services.

She is a member of the Board of JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) and a Fellow of the British Computer Society and chairs national committees for both of these bodies.

Alison therefore has valuable experience and expertise in information systems and data analysis in the UK's higher education sector.

Alison Allden commented: "HESA is a unique and highly regarded organisation in the UK's higher education sector and I am delighted to have been appointed as the next Chief Executive. I am looking forward to leading the agency through the next stages of its development, and working with the staff to build on the foundations of excellent quality and service."

Professor Robin Sibson said "I am delighted to welcome Alison Allden as the next Chief Executive of HESA and to congratulate both her and the Agency on her appointment. Her combination of a background in HE and leadership experience in IT will provide a sound basis for taking the Agency forward to the next stage of its development. I hope that she will find the job of leading an excellent team just as rewarding and enjoyable as I have done."

Professor Gordon Marshall, Vice Chancellor of the University of Reading and Chairman of the Board of HESA, said "We are very happy that Alison has accepted the position of Chief Executive. With her professional background, and her considerable experience of working in the higher education sector, I feel she is ideally qualified to continue the excellent work of Robin Sibson and add to the impressive achievements of the agency. I look forward to working with Alison in the future."

Notes for Editors

  1. Press enquiries should be directed to:
  2. HESA was set-up in 1993 following a Government White Paper ‘Higher Education: A New Framework', which called for more coherence in higher education statistics. HESA is not a government body, it is however a sector agency, working on behalf of the higher education institutions and sector bodies in the whole of the UK to meet the needs of the sector itself and to enhance and support the work of the government departments and funding bodies in each administration. HESA is a Company Limited by Guarantee, whose Members, the owners of the company, are the representative bodies Universities UK and GuildHE. HESA is now the central source for higher education statistics and has standardised and streamlined the data collection and publication process to become a respected point of reference.
  3. Alison Allden will take over as Chief Executive of HESA on 1 August 2009.
  4. Professor Robin Sibson, previously Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kent, has been Chief Executive of HESA since September 2001.


Press Release

Press Officer