Ali has oversight of the College’s academic affairs, which include admissions, teaching, and examining.

Much of this work is carried out by the team in the College Office, which he manages. Their tasks run from organising the academic side of freshers’ week at the start of the year to sorting out special examination arrangements at the end. He’s tasked with making sure that the quality of teaching and support for study in College is maintained to high standards. Ali has a leading role in planning academic strategy and monitoring students’ progress. Sometimes that involves finding extra help or resources to cope with unexpected difficulties. Ali is a key member of the Welfare Team with particular responsibility for disability and safeguarding.

Ali taught Geography at Keble for 25 years before becoming the full-time Senior Tutor in 2013. He was a specialist in urban and social geography, and also contributed to books and articles on the history and philosophy of the subject. Together with a former Keble geography student, Noel Castree, and Rob Kitchin, he is the author of the Oxford Dictionary of Human Geography. Between 2000 and 2018 he was the editor-in-chief of Global Networks, a scholarly journal about globalization and transnational affairs.