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Social Mobility Advisory Group reference groups

The Social Mobility Advisory Group was supported by an Academic Reference Group and a Practitioners' Reference Group.

Academic Reference Group

The Academic Reference Group was chaired by Professor Mary Stuart, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lincoln, who was also a member of main advisory group.

The group focuses on the evidence base and identifies future challenges for social mobility, in addition to those already identified by the government. It also considers how data, including data on admissions, can support social mobility objectives.


  • Professor Mary Stuart, Vice-Chancellor, University of Lincoln (Chair)

  • Jane Artess, Principal Research Fellow, College of Education, University of Derby

  • Jo Blanden, Research Associate, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE and University of Surrey

  • Dr Vikki Boliver, Acting Deputy Head of School (Research), Senior Lecturer in Sociology / Social Policy in the School of Applied Social Sciences, University of Durham

  • Dr Mark Corver, Director of Analysis and Research, UCAS

  • Sam Friedman is Assistant Professor in Sociology at London School of Economics and Political Science

  • Sarah Howls, Head of Widening Participation, Higher Education Funding Council for England

  • Dr Steven Jones, Senior Lecturer, Manchester Institute of Education, University of Manchester

  • Dr Daniel Laurison, Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Sociology Department, London School of Economics and Political Science

  • Professor Steven Machin, Centre for Economic Performance Research Director and Programme Director Labour Markets - Education and Skills, Community, at the London School of Economics and Political Science

  • Heidi Mirza, Professor of Race, Faith and Culture, Goldsmiths, University of London

  • Dr Anna Mountford–Zimdars, Senior Lecturer in Higher Education, Kings College London

  • Dr G Singh, Principal Lecturer in Social Work Coventry University

  • Professor Liz Thomas, Edge Hill University

  • Professor Mike Savage, Martin White Professor of Sociology, Head of Department, London School of Economics and Political Science

  • Professor Anna Vignoles, Professor of Education, Director of Research, University of Cambridge

  • Dr Paul Wakeling, Senior Lecturer, University of York

  • Dr Gill Wyness, UCL Institute of Education

Practitioners' Reference Group

The Practitioners' Reference Group draws in the expertise of widening participation practitioners, and representatives from third sector organisations and educational charities.

The group is chaired by Anne-Marie Canning, Director of Widening Participation at King's College London and Mike Nicholson, Chair of the Higher Education Liaison Officers Association, both of whom are members of the advisory group. It works with the advisory group to develop a series of specific, practical and realistic recommendations for action.


  • Anne-Marie Canning, Director of Widening Participation, King's College London (Joint chair)

  • Mike Nicholson, Director of Student Recruitment and Admissions (Bath), Chair of the Higher Education Liaison Officers Association, (Joint chair)

  • John Adams, Vice Principal, Wiltshire College

  • Rachel Carr, Chief Executive and Co-Founder, IntoUniversity

  • Richard Gould, Chief Executive, Villiers Trust Educational Park

  • Janet Graham, Director, Supporting Professionalism in Admissions

  • Dr Joan O' Mahony, Academic Lead, Retention, Higher Education Academy

  • Nona McDuff, Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Kingston University and Chair of the Higher Education Race Action Group

  • Nadira Mirza, Director of Student Success, University of Bradford and Universities Association of LifeLong Learning

  • Claire Owen, Policy Adviser, Medical Schools Council

  • Jenny North, Guidance Adviser, Birmingham Metropolitan College

  • Anand Shukla, Chief Executive, Brightside

  • Ian Sinker, Associate Dean (Academic Development and Innovation), University of Cumbria

  • Dr Helen Thorne, Director of External Relations, UCAS

  • Alice Wilby, Director of UK Recruitment and Partnerships, Oxford Brookes University

  • Chris Wilson, National Programme Director, The Scholars Programme, The Brilliant Club

The team

Emily Darian

Emily Darian

Policy Researcher
Universities UK

Eleanor Jubb

Eleanor Jubb

Policy Analyst
Universities UK

Fiona Waye

Fiona Waye

Senior Policy Lead - Inclusion, Equality and Diversity
Universities UK


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