Libby Hackett

Libby Hackett


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Libby is a recognised expert in higher education policy and strategy in Australia and the UK. She has played a key role in developing higher education policy, funding and regulatory system solutions at the national level; and advising universities as they navigate changing external environments. She enjoys finding positive and pragmatic solutions to highly complex problems. Libby has around 20 years’ experience of working with the university and school sectors and has held senior roles in government, parliament, a think tank, peak bodies and in private sector consultancy in both countries.

Influential work

  • Significantly contributed to the design, advocacy and implementation of an income-contingent loan system for UK higher education across two major system iterations
  • Was twice instrumental in removing UK student number controls, including working closely with the Treasury to model a staggered approach to mitigate risk
  • Oversaw major research and a public campaign that demonstrated the priority of continuing to fund research based on excellence and which maintained an open, competitive funding environment for the whole higher education research sector when it was under threat from public spending cuts
  • Supported the government of an accession country to the European Union to determine a university funding system that would enable access to more students, drive quality, support better research and be affordable and sustainable
  • Conducted regression modeling and qualitative research to identify the root cause of high student attrition at a London university and identify solutions.

Outside of Nous

Before joining Nous, Libby was chief executive officer of University Alliance in the UK and then a partner (higher education) and global head of the Government and Public Policy Practice at Perrett Laver, based in Sydney. She is an invited fellow of the RSA and was named one of the UK’s ‘Education Reformers of the Year’ by the Education Foundation for work promoting social mobility and access to higher education. As a visiting senior research fellow at Global Higher Education and in various other roles, Libby has written many higher education publications, policy reports, book chapters, articles and government and parliamentary reports. She has extensive written and broadcast media experience.

Libby holds a Master and a Bachelor of Arts (politics, philosophy and economics) from University of Oxford. She has formally served as a director on the UK Higher Education Commission; as an advisor to the Browne Review of Higher Education Fees and Funding; and as a board director of the Bridge Group, promoting social mobility in education She is currently a member of the UPP Foundation Advisory Board and the Economics of Higher Education Group.

In her spare time...

Libby enjoys life in beautiful Thirroul (Illawarra) with her husband Nick and their dog Harry – a 65kg Bullmastiff ‘puppy’ – who takes them on many beach and bush walks.