Alex Usher

Alex Usher is President of Higher Education Strategy Associates, a consultancy based in Toronto, Canada with a practice that includes work on all six continents.  He is the author or co-author of many works on access, student financial assistance, higher education finance and quality measurement.  His most recent major work, with Dominic Orr and Johannes Wespel of the German Centre for Higher Education and Science Studies (DZHW), is Do Changes in Cost-Sharing Have an Impact on the Behaviour of Students and Higher Education Institutions? Evidence from Nine-Case Studies.  He writes a daily column on higher education called One Thought to Start Your Day which can be found at

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Most Recent Articles

March 5, 2017
Targeted free tuition makes lots of sense, but it really does need to be targeted.
May 18, 2016
A few weeks ago, the Times Higher Education published a new ranking of “top attractors of industry funds." In these two essays Alex Usher and Phil Baty offer two perspectives on the usefulness and validity of this newest ranking.
March 27, 2016
Qataris are paying hundreds of millions a year for – the right to be associated with the prestige of several institutions. That’s what brand is all about— apparently, it’s worth up to a couple of hundred thousand dollars per student.  
March 13, 2016
To some degree, freeness is in the eye of the beholder. 
February 22, 2016
Free tuition, whatever its benefits, also has some pitfalls.
June 14, 2015
The big news in May in Santiago was the announcement of the "free tuition" plan. Only it's not quite free tuition, and it's still not clear how it will be paid for.
May 25, 2015
AHELO is the higher education equivalent of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Not everyone is keen on this.
March 2, 2015
If you follow rankings at all, you’ll likely have noticed a fair bit of recent activity going on in the Middle East, but there is a fundamental problem with trying to rank Arab universities. 
January 28, 2015
Universities are better when they have calm, stable and informed student partners actively engaged in improving institutional quality.
November 24, 2014
Was there really a rise of Asia this year? Look closely at the changes in the ranking positions from 2013-14.


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