Our Commercial Suppliers

Independent HE Commercial Partners

The Access Platform (TAP) is an online peer recruitment tool for universities and colleges to engage, inform, convert and retain students at every stage of their journey to campus. Our core offering is a direct messaging service for prospects to chat with students in real time and asynchorously; they can ask questions about what really matters to them and hear students’ authentic answers. Additional features include student-authored answers to FAQs, and the collection of user generated content from the student community for publication to universities’ websites and social channels. TAP’s approach to student recruitment undoubtedly works; one partner university reports that 24% of its website visitors who engage with The Access Platform go on to apply. Contact us or book a demo here.

Carter Thomas Solicitors is a leading specialist immigration law firm ranked by both The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners.

We advise higher and further education providers, English language centres and independent schools and are regarded as having ‘an unparalleled reputation in the sponsor licensing sphere‘ (The Legal 500).

Working with numerous organisations including UKCISA, ICN, London Higher, Independent HE, British Council, English UK, AISA, StudyWorld, the Independent Schools Council, the Boarding Schools’ Association and Westminster Higher Education Forum on key issues affecting the sector, we are often invited to speak at conferences and/or provide high level training in addition to our regular client work.

Our clients are based across the UK and benefit from our unique contacts within the Home Office, our ability to resolve potential issues at an early stage and our discreet approach.

Ellucian is the world’s leading provider of software and services higher education institutions need to help students succeed. More than 2,400 institutions in over 40 countries rely on Ellucian to help enable the mission of higher education for over 18 million students. Ellucian provides students information systems (SIS), finance and HR, recruiting, retention, analytics, and advancement software solutions. With more than 1,400 institutions subscribing to Ellucian’s cloud services and SaaS offerings, the company is one of the largest providers of cloud-based solutions. Ellucian also supports the higher education community with a range of professional services such as application software implementation, training, education and management consulting.

Communications Management is a communications and reputation consultancy for the higher education sector. The company has worked with more than 120 universities, business schools and specialist colleges during its 30 year history and its Chief Higher Education Consultant, Justin Shaw, is a former in-house head of media and communications for the University of Hertfordshire. Communications Management carries out: perceptions  and reputation research; reviews of communications teams, channels and performance/impact; media coverage and social media analysis; student engagement and student communications research; internal communications assessments; community relations and public engagement reviews. It also devises and delivers PR and media coverage  campaigns – and works with ExpertFile (a Toronto-based channel) to generate international awareness and to stimulate demand for academics and the application of their expertise for commercial income.

Contact: Justin Shaw, Chief HE Consultant – via email to:  justin@communicationsmanagement.co.uk or telephone 01438 861611

Brand & Reputation is a specialist consultancy firm focusing on high-level brand, marketing and communications audit, review and strategy development in the education, public and cultural sectors. With a range of high profile national and international clients, Brand & Reputation offers senior consultant experience and expertise which delivers exceptional results and value for money.

Shakespeare Martineau is a leading law firm, ranked 52 in the top 100 that combines creativity, commerciality and clarity. We work with blue-chip companies, leading organisations, high street brands and individuals across the country. Our multi-disciplinary team delivers a broad range of specialist legal services, and particularly stands out for its expertise within Education, including Independent Providers, Higher Education, Further Education, Academies and Independent Schools. We pride ourselves on protecting and growing businesses and personal wealth. Our approach goes beyond just legal solutions: clients trust us to advise on what’s possible, what’s prudent and what’s coming around the corner.

Pinsent Masons is a global 100 law firm with an international higher education practice. Our market leading team includes over 150 lawyers based in our UK, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Australian offices and provides a full service offering to the sector, advising universities, higher education institutions, pathways providers and new entrants to the market. Our global footprint enables us to advise both UK and overseas clients on their responsibilities to the challenges and opportunities of an increasingly global market. Through our international network of 22 offices, we regularly advise on overseas projects ranging from the establishment of branch campuses, academic collaborations and international recruitment arrangements.

Our grounding in higher education governance and policy means that we can offer clear and practical advice for independent higher education providers on the acquisition of degree awarding powers and university title and the regulatory regime beyond.

Our approach is pragmatic and commercial, and clients say that we are ‘exceptionally responsive and proactive’.

Independent HE Commercial Supporters

Cairneagle is a boutique strategy consultancy focused on education, media and technology that has built a strong reputation for delivering rigorous, data-driven analysis and excellent value for money since our establishment in 2001.

Our strategy of building an education practice alongside our media & technology capability was rewarded as we were recognised at the 2015 and 2016 Educational Investor Awards with the award for best consultant to the private sector against stiff competition from the incumbent and the accounting firms.

We work on growth strategy and performance improvement in the UK and internationally for a wide variety of educational institutions, companies providing services to them and private equity firms.

Kortext is a world-leading digital textbook and personal study platform providing access to etextbooks, OER content, coursepacks and more. The platform’s built-in smart tools also allow students to annotate, view interactive content and collaborate with peers.

Kortext also provides analytics dashboards, which give insights into learning habits, inform decision making and help create personalised learning paths.

The platform is being adopted worldwide, from a single-course to the whole institution, to help learners study anytime, anywhere.

Both Brexit and the Industrial Strategy highlight the need to develop the skills that the UK economy requires. To close the productivity gap we must re-skill the workforce, and increase social mobility. KPMG’s Education, Skills and Productivity group concentrates on the increasing links between education providers, apprenticeships and the learning and skills required by specific employers or local areas.

Last year we helped over 120 UK universities, 50 colleges and 40 schools across the public and private sectors. We worked closely with local and central government on their skills, devolution and productivity agenda. Many of our diverse team at KPMG have backgrounds in the education sector, including providers and regulatory bodies. We have strong links with education teams in other KPMG practices (including US, Australia, India and China).

Our clients benefit from our broad perspective and in-depth understanding: we can support IHE members on issues as varied as tax and VAT; governance; M&A and assurance as well as broader advisory work.

Please contact Justine Andrew if you’d like to discuss anything with KPMG.

Jisc is the UK higher, further education and skills sectors’ not-for-profit organisation for digital services and solutions. We:

• Operate shared digital infrastructure and services
• Negotiate sector-wide deals with IT vendors and commercial publishers and
• Provide trusted advice and practical assistance for universities, colleges and learning providers.

Tribal Group plc is a pioneering world-leader of education software and services. Its portfolio includes Student Information Systems and app technology; a broad range of education services covering quality assurance, peer review, benchmarking and improvement; and student surveys. Working with Higher Education, Further and Tertiary Education, schools, Government and State bodies, training providers and employers, in over 55 countries; Tribal Group’s mission is to empower the world of education with products and services that underpin student success.

Emsi is a labour market data specialist, supplying the most detailed local, regional and national labour market insight (LMI) to Higher and Further Education institutions, local and central government, local enterprise partnerships, and recruitment organisations.

Our user-friendly online research tools are used by universities and colleges to support their portfolio planning and course creation, aligning programmes and pedagogy to the labour market and skills demand to improve graduate employability outcomes.  Our student-facing tools help institutions engage their students on how their courses link to careers and labour market demand for those careers, supporting both retention and recruitment by giving students a clear career vision and purpose for their studies.

Emsi also undertakes Economic Impact Studies and has conducted over 2,000 of these for institutions across the UK, US and Canada.  These demonstrate the economic value of an institution to stakeholders and answer critical questions such as what an institutions RoI is in its regional economy.

Please note that IHE takes no responsibility for the services provided by Commercial Supporters or Partners.


For more information on commercial partnership opportunities please get in touch with us at info@independenthe.com or on 020 3929 3370.