Enabling Innovative Postgraduate Research: Critical Foresight and Strategic Considerations for University Leaders
Innovative postgraduate research is an outcome that requires necessary preconditions to flourish in the higher education system. Neither the system underpinning postgraduate research nor the students themselves can make this happen. Rather, the worldviews and assumptions of leaders as decision-makers, who continually build, amend, and deconstruct higher education systems, are critical precursors to nurturing innovative postgraduate research.
There is almost universal agreement that universities are vital in shaping global, national, and local futures. The impact of universities is broader than their traditional remit and encompasses a full diversity of ecological, social, and economic outcomes.
Universities have a pivotal role in achieving a shift from traditional sources of wealth to new service models, radical innovation, and small and medium enterprise development.
Disruptions faced by society are also disrupting traditionally “slow to change” university institutions. This challenges university leadership. While many still regard the world as thriving in the information age, it has been suggested that we have already transitioned into a new age, the conceptual age. Universities will need to address this shift to economies dependent on conceptual workers through their education model(s).
A new profile of university leadership is rapidly emerging to enable the emergence of innovative postgraduate studies to meet the need of the conceptual age through initiatives such as embodied in “third-generation postgraduate studies”. The necessary paradigms needed by university leaders are outlined for this important aspect of higher education engagement to flourish to the benefit of innovation, the economy, and ultimately societies.
KeywordsInnovation Postgraduate research Postnormal Higher education Universities Knowledge Work Leadership
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