Dr Omar Khan has been appointed Director of the Centre for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in Higher Education (TASO).
Omar will lead TASO’s transition into an independent charity, developing its team and strategy to widen participation in higher education and eliminate equality gaps between students.
Omar joins TASO from race equality think tank the Runnymede Trust, where he has been Director since 2014. As Director of the Runnymede Trust, Omar has grown the organisation and increased its profile. Prior to this, Omar was Head of Policy at the Runnymede Trust and led its financial inclusion programme.
Omar holds several advisory positions, including chair of Olmec, chair of the Ethnicity Strand Advisory Group to Understanding Society, chair of the advisory group of the Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity at the University of Manchester, Commissioner on the Financial Inclusion Commission and a member of the 2021 REF and 2014 REF assessment. Omar was previously a Governor at the University of East London and a 2012 Clore Social Leadership Fellow.
Dr Omar Khan said:
“I am delighted to be taking up the role of TASO’s Director. Improving student access and outcomes for underrepresented and disadvantaged groups in higher education is a longstanding challenge in Britain, and one I look forward to tackling with TASO’s team and, collaboratively, with the wider sector.
“I am also hugely grateful to have served as the Runnymede Trust’s Director for the last six years. In my new role at TASO, I will continue to champion equality issues by using evidence to improve opportunities and outcomes for all disadvantaged students.”
Professor Eunice Simmons, Chair of TASO’s Board of Trustees, said:
“I am very pleased to welcome Dr Omar Khan as TASO’s Director. Omar was selected after a highly competitive recruitment process, led by members of TASO’s Establishment Steering Board and Trustees. In Omar, TASO will have a Director who has already contributed so much to social justice and mobility in Britain. This experience, and his ongoing commitment to ensuring equal opportunities for all, will be invaluable to TASO as it expands and delivers on its vision to eliminate equality gaps in higher education.”
Chris Millward, Director for Fair Access and Participation at the Office for Students, said:
“I am delighted to see Dr Omar Khan appointed as Director of TASO. As I know from serving with him on Universities UK’s Social Mobility Advisory Group, he is a passionate champion for fair access and participation in higher education and he is committed to improving and deploying robust evidence in this cause. I am grateful to Susannah Hume for steering TASO through its first year. I look forward now to working with the centre as it becomes an independent charity which will serve the higher education sector by improving the targeting and evaluation of its work.”
Susannah Hume, TASO Establishing Director, said:
“I am thrilled to welcome Omar as TASO’s Director. His experience as a social equality advocate will be an asset to TASO, particularly as it develops into an independent charity. I have been privileged to lead the establishment team and would like to thank everyone involved in setting up TASO.”
The Centre for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in Higher Education (TASO) is a new independent hub for higher education professionals to access leading research and evaluation techniques to help widen participation and improve equality within the sector. It is being set up by a consortium of King’s College London, Nottingham Trent University and the Behavioural Insights Team.
TASO is an affiliate What Works Centre. It is currently funded by the Office for Students. TASO will be fully independent and self-funding by 2022.