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Issues and challenges in higher education leadership: Engaging for change

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Abstract

It is proposed from this study that engaging productively with others to achieve change has never been more critical in educational environments, such as universities. Via semi-structured interviews with a cohort of senior leaders from one Australian university, this paper explores their perceptions of the key issues and challenges facing them in their work. The study found that the most significant challenges centred around the need for strategic leadership, flexibility, creativity and change-capability; responding to competing tensions and remaining relevant; maintaining academic quality; and managing fiscal and people resources. Sound interpersonal engagement, particularly in terms of change leadership capability, was found to be critical to meeting the key challenges identified by most participants. In light of the findings from the sample studied some tentative implications for leadership and leadership development in university environments are proposed, along with suggestions for further empirical exploration.

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Drew, G. Issues and challenges in higher education leadership: Engaging for change. Aust. Educ. Res. 37, 57–76 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03216930

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Keywords

  • High Education
  • Academic Staff
  • Leadership Development
  • Academic Quality
  • High Education Policy