Helen graduated from Newnham College Cambridge, and subsequently gained an MA from the Open University and a PhD from Birkbeck College, London University. She has worked in the university sector since 1983, reaching a number of senior management positions including Director of Quality, Associate Dean Undergraduate Programmes and Head of Learning and Teaching. The major part of her career was spent in Aston Business School, where she is Professor of Higher Education Learning and Management, and where she designed the innovative Business and Education Management Foundation Degree.
In 2003 Helen founded the Centre for Higher Education Learning and Management (HELM). She has undertaken extensive research work in the areas of employability and work-based learning, intercultural competences and strategic issues in HE management. In 2008 Helen led the team which was awarded a Jaguar Land Rover Arts and Business Award with the MAP Consortium “for the partnership which best embeds culture as a core element of employee development”. She has edited (with Julie Green) ten editions of a Learning and Teaching Good Practice Guide.
Helen is a member of Aston Business School's Operations & Information Management Group. She has been a Subject Reviewer for the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and from 2003 to 2008 was a member of the HEFCE Quality Assurance Learning and Teaching strategic committee and the Quality Assurance Framework Review Group. She has worked extensively with the Association of Business Schools and the Higher Education Academy and is the Aston key contact for the Business Management, Accounting and Finance (BMAF) Subject Centre. Helen is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Association of University Administrators (AUA), for whom she is also a mentor for the Postgraduate Certificate.
Helen Higson was awarded an OBE in the 2011 New Year Honours list.