Responding to diverse demands: shapes of university leadership steering capacity regarding education enhancement
Katharina Lemmens-Krug et al, University of Twente, the Netherlands
Single presentation - 30 Minutes
How can university leadership take larger responsibility for education quality enhancement? Especially when it needs to facilitate diverse needs of students, teaching staff, labour market and the society at large? We address these questions by developing and studying the concept of steering capacity from an institutional logics perspective. Our novel conceptualisation takes into account varying contexts and both external and internal pressures university leadership needs to consider for successfully steering education quality enhancement. In that way we relate the steering capacity to university leadership’s responsibility to society. We do so by exploring the relationship between university leadership with their centres for excellence in teaching and learning (centres), which have emerged as responses to, the pressures to modernise education. Thereby, we study the interaction of steering capacity of university leadership with the professionalisation of teaching and learning in their institution. Comparing four cases in European countries helps us to highlight commonalities and contingencies underlying leadership’s steering capacity. The preliminary findings demonstrate that there is great diversity in terms of how and where steering capacity of university leaderships is manifested in the university. We identify underlying mechanisms, which are manifested in activation of collective identities, to explain the various shapes of steering capacity of university leadership.