Mr Alex Usher
President, Higher Education Strategy Associates, Canada

Alex Usher is President of Higher Education Strategy Associates (HESA), a consulting firm which advises governments, institutions and corporations in the higher education sector on policy and strategy. Much of Alex’s work has focused specifically on access and student loans, providing assistance to Canadian governments as well as to governments and non-profits in Senegal, Uganda, Tanzania, Indonesia and the Solomon Islands. He has also written a number of global comparative works on cost-sharing in higher education, most notably (along with Dominic Orr and Johannes Wespel) of Do Changes in Cost-Sharing Have an Impact on the Behaviour of Students and Higher Education Institutions? Evidence From Nine Country Case-Studies which was published in June 2014 by the European Commission. He has also published three editions of Global Higher Education Rankings: Affordability and Accessibility in Comparative Perspective.

In addition to his work on student assistance, Mr. Usher has also worked extensively in the field of rankings, quality measurement and performance indicators. For six years, he partnered with the Toronto Globe and Mail of its “Canadian University Report” Rankings and in 2012 published Canada’s first-ever field-normalized research rankings. He was a founding Board Member of the International Rankings Expert Group and is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Academic Rankings of World Universities. He works frequently for the World Bank and other development agencies in Asia and Africa, and regularly partners with international companies such as Interbrand and Ernst & Young on higher education projects. He also writes a popular daily commentary on Canadian higher education called One Thought to Start Your Day. He is based in Toronto, Canada.