LEAD 5th series of workshops took place at Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara from 1-5 May 2018

LEAD 5th series of workshops took place at Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara from 1-5 May 2018

LEAD 5th series of workshops on University Governance and Academic Leadership in the context of innovation and internationalization, co-organised by VUB and METU, took place at METU in Ankara from 1-5 May 2018.

The 5th series of workshops was attended by about 80 participants representing all LEAD partners, LEAD associated partners, other HEIs, and from relevant stakeholders such as the Erasmus+ Turkish National Agency. Participants included Rectors, Vice-Rectors, Deans, Vice-Deans, and other academic and administrative staff of faculties and schools from both European and Chinese Higher Education Institutions.

During the welcome session, Anthony Antoine, Executive Director of the Institute for European Studies at VUB, gave an opening speech on behalf of the VUB Delegation. Two former Vice-Rectors of VUB, Prof. Dr. Rosette S’Jegers and Prof. Dr. Jan Cornelis, also participated in the event and addressed the topics on academic leadership.

Participants were warmly welcomed by the Rector of METU, Prof. Dr. Mustafa Verşan KÖK, by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hale Işık-Güler, advisor to the Rector for Internationalization, by the Executive Vice-President of Tongji University, Prof. Dr. Wu Jiang and by UNICA President Prof. Luciano Saso.

The LEAD 5th series of workshops started with the presentations of three keynote speakers (Prof. Dr. Helen Spencer Oatey, Prof. Dr. Rosette S'Jegers and Prof. Dr. Ludwig Neyses) addressing the drivers and needs for developing a strategic plan for internationalization, crisis management in academic leadership, and the challenges for professional management of academic leadership.

These key themes were also the topics of workshops’ presentations together with two additional topics: creative mentality of academic leaders and new concepts of leadership. Several case studies and practices were shared by European and Chinese facilitators in order to steer the workshop discussions. The workshops addressed key issues such as managerial training programs, and case study as successful examples of HE innovation. Different examples of negotiation, intercultural competencies and communication skills needed by academic leaders for handling and resolving conflicts were also brought up when discussing conflict management in the academic setting and in the context of international cooperation. Moreover, non-traditional concepts and practices of leadership, namely distributive and shared leadership, were presented in order to engage participants to reflect and exchange on the distribution of powers, leadership styles, and decision making processes within higher education institutions.

The LEAD workshops positively addressed the needs and challenges of university leaders in relation to key topics for academic governance and highlighted the great interests of both European and Chinese leaders in continuing to learn from each other’s experiences through international platforms and the sharing of case studies.

The next LEAD events will be the LEAD Dissemination Conference at National Academy of Education Administration and Yunnan Normal University in China from 10-13 July 2018 and the LEAD Final Conference that will take place in Brussels from 10-12 September 2018.

See also news on VUB today: http://vubtoday.com/en/content/lead-project-5th-series-workshops-held-ankara