International Strategy for Higher Education Institutions

About Us

I established Vicky Lewis Consulting in June 2013 to provide an expert consultancy service to education institutions with international ambitions. Since then, I have completed over 60 projects with more than 35 client institutions based in the UK and overseas.

Vicky Lewis

My strengths as a consultant result from my particular combination of:

  • senior higher education (HE) leadership experience, including expertise in developing internationalisation and marketing strategies informed by organisational priorities;
  • in-depth understanding of marketing, communications and student recruitment practices;
  • application of insights developed from academic research into HE strategy and management, with a particular focus on values-led, fully integrated internationalisation;
  • personal attributes including incisive thinking, willingness to listen and learn, translation of strategy into tangible actions, and the ability to engage and motivate a wide range of stakeholders.

I have direct experience of engaging with students, partner organisations and other stakeholders in Asia, North America, Africa and Europe.

Professional Profile

After graduating from the University of Oxford with a degree in Modern Languages (and following a foray into freelance travel writing), I worked for nearly 20 years within UK universities, starting off in Wales, then moving to Scotland before settling in southern England in 2000.

Internationalisation has been a constant thread in all my roles which have ranged from establishing an International Office from scratch to leading an 80-person Marketing & Communications Directorate. I have 13 years’ experience operating at University Leadership Team level, leading organisation-wide initiatives, including development of institutional marketing and internationalisation strategies.

I have had management responsibility for international student recruitment, partnerships and exchanges; international admissions and student support; English language and pathway provision; market research, strategic and relationship marketing; branding, marketing communications and publications; corporate communications, PR and media relations; digital communications; internal communications; UK student recruitment and outreach; alumni relations and development.

Professional highlights prior to becoming a consultant include:

  • Achieving stretching student recruitment targets (double-digit percentage growth in international enrolments each year for nearly a decade)
  • Directing organisational re-branding project to establish single strong corporate identity, contributing to improved institutional league table position (rose to top modern university in Britain in 2009 and 2010 – The Guardian)
  • Building network of 220 international agents and establishing quality-assured partnerships with private sector providers to deliver preparatory English and Study Skills programmes
  • Leading transition from devolved to centralised staffing and budgeting model for marketing and communications, involving reconfiguration of staff base and reduction in costs
  • Establishing professional enquiry-handling service (consistently out-performing that of competitors) and international admissions service with 48 hour turnaround
  • Twice achieving top ranking in the UK for International Office, including a commendation for the immigration advice received (i-graduate International Student Barometer)

Vicky Lewis' doctoral thesis

Alongside my work, I completed a Doctorate of Business Administration (Higher Education Management) at University of Bath in 2007. My doctoral thesis examined the motivations, strategies and approaches to internationalisation embraced by UK universities. I have continued to undertake research in the areas of transnational education and institutional strategies for global engagement. 

I am a graduate of the Senior Strategic Leadership Programme (delivered by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, now AdvanceHE), an active member of the European Association for International Education (EAIE), and a Consulting Fellow with Halpin, a leading UK-based higher education management consultancy.


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