Thematic Track 3

Theme 3: Governance and Leadership in Higher Education

Coordinators: Dr Cecile Proches and Dr Mabutho Sibanda

Governance in Higher Education Institutions is becoming increasingly complex due to the dynamic nature of intraorganizational, interorgationization and government relationships. This complexity in governance is further exacerbated by tensions between the pursuit of various pivotal pillars defining the higher education institutions that demand multiple goals and objectives, both locally and globally, and the efforts to remain competitive, while facing increasing cost and resource constraints. In addition, competition from private and for- profit higher education institutions requires strong and dynamic leadership for an institution to remain relevant and sustainable. Unionization and student protests on the other hand, has placed pressure on leadership and governance structures amid dwindling state financial support. In addition, the very purpose of universities is being questioned and their role in society is increasingly coming under the spotlight. To formulate effective responses to these challenges requires effective leadership and governance of these higher education institutions. The focus has also shifted to developing the leadership abilities of academics and to facilitate the smooth running of the university, hence corporatization of higher education. Within this terrain higher education institutions navigate their way through the meaning of terms such as accountability, autonomy, increased responsiveness, performance, hierarchy and bureaucracy, and policies and procedures. Consequently, new approaches to leadership and governance of higher education institutions are required. Thus, in a dynamic higher education landscape, there is a need to develop innovative governance models, structures and systems, and dynamic leadership at various levels. In this strand, we welcome papers that evaluate, analyse and explore the dynamics in leadership and governance of higher education institutions.

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