Esther Wilkinson

Head of international

My blog posts


My role is to help Jisc with its vision for the UK to be the most digitally-advanced higher education, further education and research nation in the world. I work as part of the group senior leadership team to contribute to the overall leadership, direction and development of Jisc.

I am responsible for driving the development and delivery of Jisc's international strategy, coordinating and providing leadership for international activities across the Jisc portfolio of products and services, and across our sector activities in higher education, further education and skills, and research, positioning these within Jisc's vision and overall strategy.

I lead on high level stakeholder relationships both in the UK and overseas, developing strategic partnerships and collaborations across the globe.

Find out more about our international education and research, or join our international community by contacting



I am a higher education specialist, with experience in strategy and policy, international, technology, teaching and learning, research, training, and data resources.

I have worked in various roles in higher education (after a short spell as a police officer); as ‘planetary protection officer’ on the Beagle2 mission to Mars at the Open University, and delivering a number of projects in the Research Councils for 13 years, (ranging from nuclear physics, £multi-million longitudinal studies transversing medical and social sciences, and in setting up the RCUK strategy unit).

Following this, I was assistant director in the UK HE international unit (Universities UK International) delivering overseas programmes including HEGlobal and the Dikti Scholarship Scheme, in addition to managing operations for the unit.

I have a PhD in chemistry from Imperial College.

Media coverage and events

Learning and Teaching Reimagined: A global perspective
TNC21, June 2021

The future of NRENs – wherever next?
GEANT Task Force for Educational Activities, June 2021

From obstacles to opportunity (pdf)
GEANT Connect June 2021

Improving Online Access Overseas: a sector approach for the future
ucisa, May 2021

Digifest 2021: edtech student support lauded
The PIE News, March 2021

Jisc’s new pilot project gives Chinese students access to quality online education
Education Technology, June 2020

UK TNE goes down under! (video)
IEAA TNE forum 2019

Evolution to Revolution: A National Research and Education Network perspective (pdf)
Jisc, 2019

Could borderless education help improve the student experience at home?
WonkHE, January 2018