Helen’s academic interest in higher education policy developed from more than 20 years of professional experience of university administration – in public relations and admissions.

She gained her doctorate from Oxford in 2010 (a study of the market created by the introduction of £3000 fees for Home/EU undergraduates at English universities in 2006); since then, she has conducted research into the impacts of student fees and funding on institutions, students, graduates and applicants within the higher education sector in England. She also works as a consultant to higher education institutions and fills senior interim roles in marketing, communications and student recruitment.

Helen was Pathway Convenor for the MSc Education (HE) for two years and continues to supervise Masters students researching her areas of interest within higher education. She is also an Associate of the SKOPE, the department’s research centre for Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance, and a member of the Higher Education Research Group.

In Helen’s recent publication, as editor of UK higher education – policy, practice and debate during HEPI’s first 20 years  (HEPI Report 161, 2023) for the Oxford-based higher education think-tank HEPI (the Higher Education Policy Unit), she draws on her academic and professional backgrounds to provide an overview of policy-making and its impacts across the UK higher education, in the context of the four increasingly diverse sectors that are emerging following devolution of responsibility to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


  • Brown, R., & Carasso, H. (2013). Everything for Sale?, The marketisation of UK higher education. Taylor & Francis.

  • Book chapters
  • CARASSO, H., & Locke, W. (2016). Paying the price of expansion: Why more for undergraduates in England means less for everyone. In P. John & J. Fanghanel (Eds.), Dimensions of Marketisation in Higher Education. Routledge.

  • CARASSO, H. (2014). Reassuringly expensive? The impact of market forces on England’s undergraduate provision. In H. Ertl & C. Dupuy (Eds.), Students, Markets and Social Justice higher education fee and student support policies in Western Europe and beyond (pp. 21-46). Symposium Books Ltd.

  • Journal articles
  • Brown, R., & Carasso, H. (2012). Everything for sale? The marketisation of UK higher education 1980-2012. Higher Education Forum, 9, 1-15.

  • Carasso, H., & Gunn, A. (n.d.). Fees, fairness and the National Scholarship Programme: Higher education policy in England and the Coalition Government. London Review of Education, 13(2).

  • Other
  • CARASSO, H. (2010). Implementing the financial provisions of the Higher Education Act (2004) - English universities in a new quasi-market.