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Higher education leaders from across the globe get a close-up insight into how the sector operates in Western Australia

12 Jul 2023 | Advance HE Participants on Advance HE’s prestigious Top Management Programme visit Edith Cowan University in Perth and learn from its Vice-Chancellor Steve Chapman CBE what the future holds for the sector in Australia.

Higher education leaders from Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, the UK and Australia got a close-up insight into the way institutions in Western Australia are gearing up for the future when they visited Edith Cowan University (ECU) in Perth.

The group were all participants on Advance HE’s prestigious Top Management Programme (TMP) – an intense, multi-module six-month programme which has been running for more than 20 years and involves every cohort spending up to a week studying the way universities operate in a specific country in the world.

Higher education in Australia

For cohorts 48 and 50, the programme involved a study of higher education in Australia and as well as spending the day on an institutional visit to ECU, they also got the chance to hear about:

  • National regulation of the sector from the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency’s Lenka Ucnik
  • A broad perspective on higher education across Australia from Anthony Bagshaw, Global Education Practice, L.E.K Consulting, and
  • A perspective from current leadership practitioner Professor Simon Leunig, Pro Vice Chancellor and President, Curtin Malaysia.

Pictured below - are participants in the TMP event in Perth with, front from left to right, Advance HE’s Chief Executive Alison Johns and Programme Directors Louisa Hardman and Vijaya Nath.

A group of around 30 people against the backdrop of a modernist building

They received a warm welcome to ECU from its Vice Chancellor Professor Steve Chapman CBE who is pictured below, centre, with Alison Johns, left and ECU Chancellor Denise Goldsworth AO (Order of Australia).

Two women with a man between them holding a sign saying Advance HE Top Management Programme

Pictured below is TMP director Vijaya Nath, ECU School of Business and Law’s executive dean, Professor Maryam Omari with TMP director Louisa Hardman

Three women smiling

Prof Chapman led a wide ranging discussion with participants during which he provided his in-depth analysis of ECU's strategy context and answered questions about his personal leadership journey.

Programme director Louisa Hardman said: “This international element of the programme enables those taking part to step outside their immediate higher education context and view things from a new perspective.

“We aim to make the learning and development truly immersive and an invaluable part is the creation of strong peer groups with whom participants will continue to learn and grow long after they have completed the programme itself.”

Next generation of leaders

 “The Top Management Programme exists to prepare the next generation of higher education leaders with the thinking and practice they need to respond as members of their executive teams to current and emerging challenges wherever they are in the world,” said Alison Johns.

“Those who secure a place on the programme may go on to become future institutional leaders or progress further in their current executive roles so need to be prepared to have the insight, networks and thinking needed to lead global higher education institutions in an ever changing environment.

“We are immensely grateful that Prof Chapman and his team at ECU who have generously given us so much of their time and valuable insights today. What we have heard and experienced is something that we will all take with us into our leadership practice.

“We’re also looking forward to building still further on the insights we have gained at ECU when we visit Murdoch University, the University of Western Australia, the University of Notre Dame Australia and Curtin University last this week.”

 After an afternoon of presentations, participants and speakers had the chance to mix informally at a networking session pictured below.


Woman speaking at informal gathering
Woman speaking at informal gathering with onlookers interacting

Find out more about the Top Management Programme, including how to apply, here.

Our new Strategic Leadership development portfolio for 2023-24 supports those in senior or strategic roles with their development of a strategic outlook and skill set to lead across organisational boundaries. Find out more.

Members benefit from a 25% discount on booking prices and there is an additional 10% early booking discount for bookings made before 30 September 2023 on selected programmes and events.

We feel it is important for voices to be heard to stimulate debate and share good practice. Blogs on our website are the views of the author and don’t necessarily represent those of Advance HE.

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