Leader award a boost

June 15, 2007

Winning the Outstanding Contribution to Leadership Development Award in 2006 has helped Newcastle University enhance its position as one of the leaders in the field of management development and training.

Since gaining The Times Higher award, four further training programmes have taken place, with two more planned for this summer. The scheme has also been expanded to encompass a wider group of leadership roles, including deans and directors of research institutes. By September, 36 prospective leaders will have participated in the scheme.

Under the scheme, which was set up in 2005 with the aid of a Leadership Foundation fellowship, prospective heads of school take part in paper-based and practical leadership-related activities, receive feedback and produce plans for their development.

Tony Stevenson, pro vice-chancellor for planning and resources, and project manager Lynne Howlett are hosting "best practice visits" from other universities. They have also been invited to speak at Leadership Foundation events and have contributed a chapter to a management book.

Professor Stevenson said: "The success of the programme has raised the profile of Newcastle University as an institution that is willing to make a serious investment in quality leadership and management development. But, more important for the future, it is bolstering our long-term confidence that we will have a more skilled group of managers."

A partnership that helps people from poor backgrounds enter medical school helped win Nottingham and Lincoln universities the 2006 prize for best Widening Participation Initiative. Students who meet certain criteria are allowed on to courses with lower grades than normal.

Penelope Griffin, head of widening participation at Nottingham, said: "This was a brave thing for the university to do, and the award has acknowledged that our selection methods are good, which is helpful. The scheme has also been a huge amount of work for academics in terms of curriculum development, the application process and assessment - it was nice to get recognition of that."


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