Fulfilling the need for people who lead (1 of 3)

October 4, 2012

Jack Grove's feature "Breeding leaders" ( September) told a fascinating and entirely credible story of successful career journeys emanating from certain "hub" universities. The emphasis on the willingness of vice-chancellors in those institutions to offer leadership opportunities at an early stage and to push early career leaders out of their comfort zones - along with the creation of a network of leaders who stayed in touch as they rose to the top - resonates strongly with the work of the Leadership Foundation.

Near its end, the article asks: "So is there a recipe for developing future university leaders?" It immediately follows with the comment: "It is not as simple as that..."

It is indeed not enough to leave it to a few universities to develop tomorrow's top leaders, however commendable the outcomes. At the time of the prolific period at the University of Southampton, we were establishing the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education and integrating into it the relatively new "Top Management Programme". We have built on the positive lessons that those interviewed in the article discussed, and now the majority of new vice-chancellor appointments are TMP alumni.

We are now about to run our 30th TMP programme. We have an alumni network of more than 600 senior leaders from TMP alone who network with and continue to learn from each other. We have underpinned this with a wide range of development opportunities in the UK and abroad for thousands of academic and professional leaders at a variety of levels.

Many of those mentioned in the article are alumni of TMP - among them Eric Thomas, vice-chancellor of the University of Bristol, Dominic Shellard of De Montfort University, Paul Curran of City University London and Jon Baldwin, who is now based in Australia.

After nine years of the Leadership Foundation, we have the largest community of leadership learning in UK higher education. Not every institution can offer what those such as the University of Southampton and the University of Warwick have done but we can offer similar and additional development opportunities for tomorrow's leaders.

Ewart Wooldridge, Chief executive, Leadership Foundation for Higher Education

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Monster behind man at desk

Despite all that’s been done to improve doctoral study, horror stories keep coming. Here three students relate PhD nightmares while two academics advise on how to ensure a successful supervision

opinion illustration

Eliminating cheating services, even if it were possible, would do nothing to address students’ and universities’ lack of interest in learning, says Stuart Macdonald

Sir Christopher Snowden, former Universities UK president, attacks ratings in wake of Southampton’s bronze award

Female professor

New data show proportion of professors who are women has declined at some institutions

Reflection of man in cracked mirror

To defend the values of reason from political attack we need to be more discriminating about the claims made in its name, says John Hendry