Focus group 1 was held at the end of March 2022 and was hosted by Ramon Llull University (Barcelona)
Focus group 2 was held at the beginning of June 2022 and was hosted by the University of Iceland (Reykjavik)
In the first half of 2022, the NEWLEAD Consortium organised two focus groups (Multiplier events) that brought together more than 50 university leaders from 20 European countries. The first Multiplier event was held at Ramon Llull University and the second one at the University of Iceland.
Both Focus Groups (FG) were organised in the form of interactive workshops where the challenges identified in the Newlead surveys have been discussed.
The participants were selected based on an open call for participation and asked to contribute to the event with their institutional/leader’s perspective and experience in institutional transformation.
Both meetings discussed what the current challenges and opportunities for higher education institutions are, stemming from their external and internal environment. The three main transformations that were discussed were: female leadership in higher education; greening and sustainability; international collaboration (especially through the angle of the European University Initiative)
The focus groups were based on a capacity building through peer learning approach. Short input interventions were alternated with breakout group work, inspirational talks, interviews, workshops and case studies.
In Barcelona, two experienced speakers gave inspirational talks. On the first day, Prof. Dr. Marijk van der Wende, Distinguished Faculty Professor of Higher Education, Utrecht University & Programme leader UGOV21, Universities of the Netherlands gave her vision on strategic approaches to leadership development.
On the second day, as a keynote speech, Marc Correa, Dean of Executive Education and Professor of the Department of People Management and Organization at Esade Business School-Ramon Llull University gave the talk “Hope-based leadership: a new vision for higher education institutions”. Dr. Correa emphasised that hope is the fundamental leadership driver that will help higher education institutions to remain relevant in our societies.
In Reykjavik, Prof Dr. Simon Mercado, Executive Vice President, and Dean for Executive Education, Corporate & External Relations from ESCP Business School, gave a lecture about leadership styles and megatrends impacting HE. Afterwards, participants took part in a workshop on internationalisation.
The second day of the focus group started with an inspiring lecture on change management by Professor Dr. Árelía Eydís, from the University of Iceland. She spoke about self-leadership, team-leadership and future-leadership and raised essential points such as the need of trust, well-being and happiness when exerting leadership.
The project partners will now work to compile and write down all the inputs, reactions and shared experiences of the participants. The results of these two FG will be included in the Intellectual outputs of the project.