Sam Thorne

Associate Consultant

Sam specialises in student success and the student journey, technology-enhanced learning, apprenticeships and target operating model design. He brings expertise in analysing business needs and working with clients to co-create solutions and implementation approaches to suit their local contexts.

Sam worked for 15 years at The Open University (OU), leading a range of major change projects and quality improvements across all areas of university teaching and operations.

Leadership roles included Head of Student Success and Director of the Apprenticeships Change Programme, where he led the design and implementation of a target operating model to enable the OU to significantly scale up its apprenticeship provision.

He is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA), has a Masters in Online and Distance Education and brings a range of other knowledge and skills from previous roles in publishing, media and teaching. Sam has worked as a consultant in Higher Education since 2022, carrying out several assignments with SUMS.

Recent projects have included a review of the apprenticeships operating model at a West Midlands university, organisational and process improvement analysis at three other UK universities, and design of a quality assurance process for an EC-funded initiative to expand deep tech training across Europe.

Outside of consulting work, Sam’s interests include creative writing, journalism and Russian history and culture. Since October 2022, he has been working part-time on a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, which brings together these interests into a novel and critical study of contemporary literature and journalism set in Russia.