Tracking the impact of the Diversifying Academic Leadership programme on participants and institutions: a two year follow up study
A research partnership commissioned by the Leadership Foundation between Leeds Trinity University, University of East London, the University of Bradford and the Equality Challenge Unit, has been selected by competitive tender to conduct a two year study tracking the impact of the Diversifying Leadership programme on participants and institutions.
The under representation of people from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds in senior roles in higher education is a significant issue of concern for the sector. The Diversifying Leadership programme was designed in response to feedback to the Leadership Foundation at a BME Leadership Summit, held with Equality Challenge Unit, in 2015. This programme – funder-supported and now in its second year – aims to support BME staff transition into leadership roles.
This research project has been commissioned to investigate how leadership development can address contextual and institutional issues surrounding the BME careers pipeline, and how leadership development for BME academics and professional services staff can have an impact on progression, success and representation of BME leaders in higher education. The research team, led by Professor Jan Fook, Director of International Centre for Higher Education Educational Research at Leeds Trinity University, will take a three-strand approach to this study: longitudinal tracking of individual participants; in-depth lived experience of participants through narrative interviews; and the analysis of organisational contexts and how these influence the individual experience.
The project outputs will include sets of recommendations for further programme development and the implementation of strategies and policies at institutional levels to sustain and develop more diversified leadership, in order to enable a sustainable transfer of learning and translation into impact.
Professor Jan Fook, Leeds Trinity University, said: ‘We are extremely pleased to be able to work with the Leadership Foundation on this project. The timing seems particularly important, given that we need to do our utmost to create especially inclusive work environments in the wake of the vote to leave the European Union. We hope that our research will contribute to understanding the experiences of potential BME leaders and how these interplay with their specific policy and workplace contexts, so that we might help facilitate the inclusion of BME staff in leadership positions.’
Fiona Ross, Director of Research at the Leadership Foundation, said: 'We received some very good quality proposals from experienced teams. This one stood out for being practical as well as conceptually and menthodologically strong. We liked the multi method approach and plans to get underneath the interplay between the individual and their institutional context. The excellent team is culturally diverse and a partnership of experts.'
About the research team
The research team consists of a partnership between Leeds Trinity University, University of East London, University of Bradford and Equality Challenge Unit. The researchers are:
Additional reading - BME research undertaking by the Leadership Foundation
Black and Minority Ethnic Leaders: Support Networks and Strategies for Success in Higher Education Professor Kalwant Bhopal, University of Southampton Dr Hazel Brown, University of Winchester, August 2016