The Leadership Advancement Workshops are the brainchild of the Association of African Universities (AAU). The Ninth edition was hosted by Great Zimbabwe University in collaboration with Stellenbosch University under the theme “University Advancement: A Systematic Approach – the Key Role of the Vice Chancellor and Senior University Leaders”. The three-day workshop was held at the Kingdom Hotel in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, from 28 to 30 June 2016 and brought together twenty-nine (29) participants drawn from seventeen (17) Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Africa.
The Leadership Advancement Workshop took off amidst an array of factors that are changing the landscape of Higher Education. It was observed that most universities are grappling with sustainability challenges in the face of increasingly dwindling government support, the massive impact of Internet and online education while teaching and learning are still organized within university walls using outdated models, increased student activism, graduate unemployment and persistent underemployment, a worrying economic forecast of a constant slow down of global growth (with implications on numbers of international students) and issues arising from the global ageing population (with effects on lifelong learning strategies and numbers of local students).
The just ended workshop, therefore, sought to provide a platform for HEIs to develop strategies aimed at ensuring university sustainability. The main objective was to assess university leadership’s readiness to tackle the challenges facing HEIs, arm universities with competencies needed for the launch of a campaign aimed at creating awareness, building relationships and generating support for the same’s teaching, research and community service responsibilities, with a particular focus on the role of the Vice Chancellor and Senior Leadership. With respect to methodology, presentations, small group discussions, panel and plenary discussions were used.
Taking into consideration all the emerging perspectives during the course of the workshop, participants recommended that University leadership should:
Report Submitted by: Mrs Yvette Quashie, Project Officer – University Advancement Workshops