Helen Fawcett has joined UK business and IT consultancy Waterstons as the new lead consultant for higher education.

The new appointment enhances Waterstons’ offer to higher education institutions across the UK by offering strategic consultancy and technology services to help universities realise their strategic ambitions across research, education and student experience.

Helen joins Waterstons from Durham University where she worked for seven years as a Strategic Planner. Helen played a key role in developing the university’s strategy for expansion from 16,000 students to over 20,000 in 10 years – looking at the impact of growth on the university’s academic communities and infrastructure and planning for future needs.

Together with 10 years’ experience as an Intelligence Analyst with Northumbria Police, analysing data to detect, prevent and find the root causes of crime, Helen has extensive experience of using data and insight to help set strategic directions for organisations.

In her new role as Higher Education Lead Consultant, Helen will provide strategic guidance to Waterstons’ higher education clients through understanding their strategic objectives and working with them to implement effective transformation.

Helen said: “I’m passionate about higher education; I was the first to go to university in my family and I’m inspired by the transformative impact that education has on individuals, communities and globally through the reach of high-quality research.

“The higher education sector is experiencing change at an unprecedented rate and scale. With the introduction of university fees – and raised expectations of what universities need to deliver for students and the wider communities they serve – universities are thinking about how they address these issues. They are reflecting on their portfolio of programmes and wider offer to ensure they remain competitive. Many higher education institutions are considering the right strategies, be that growth, consolidation or more creative solutions. People are their biggest asset and they need to consider these investments, alongside infrastructure and technology, to meet their long term strategic goals.

My strategic higher education expertise and that of other new colleagues in the team, combined with our track record in delivery in data and digital capabilities, means that we’re incredibly well placed to help support the UK’s higher education sector’s diverse needs.”

Waterstons has worked with a range of higher education clients across the UK such as; Manchester Metropolitan University, University of Salford, Teesside University, The University of York, Newcastle University, University of Ulster, Hull University, Durham University and The British Library.

Andrew Gill, Head of Transformation at Waterstons said: “It’s my pleasure to welcome Helen to Waterstons.

“With universities and higher education providers confronted with so many decisions about the future, we can provide a holistic, tailored and practical consultancy service, working hand in hand with higher education clients to understand their needs, challenge and define strategic direction and implement solutions required to help realise their goals.”