In April 2014, the Higher Education Leadership and Management Survey (HELMs) was sent to over 7,000 individuals in the UK who had previously had some involvement with the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education. The survey was designed in collaboration with Ashridge Business School and the University of the West of England. This report is one of four that analyse the data generated by HELMs. It focuses on the qualitative data relating to respondents’ perspectives on the skills and experience that are necessary to lead in higher education, on the attributes and skills that they look for in their own leaders, and their views around the challenges that lie ahead for higher education institutions Other major themes that emerged from the HELMs data set include what is expected from leadership, work–life balance, and motivating and developing staff.
The sample for this report (Leading in Higher Education) is 969 respondents from HELMs, including 848 staff working at universities or higher education colleges, 54 working for a higher education agency (or other institution) and 67 governors of universities/higher education colleges. It is dominated by senior staff and those in professional service roles, but nonetheless broadly reflects the heterogeneity of the sector in terms of institution type, job role and demographic characteristics.
This report presents an analysis of qualitative data collected from HELMs, and draws upon responses to questions that asked specifically about respondents’ perspectives on leadership in higher education: the skills that are required to lead, the challenges that higher education leaders face, and the leadership that they are looking for in the sector.
Paper written by Dr Kim Peters, University of Queensland and Professor Michelle. K Ryan, University of Exeter and University of Gronignen
Also in the HELMs series:
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