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EUA is currently piloting a Leadership Development Programme for senior leaders in European higher education institutions. This dynamic programme is crafted to enhance leadership skills and competencies with a distinctive European perspective, offering a unique blend of international insights and tailored support for EUA members.

Join EUA’s Leadership Development Programme to elevate your leadership skills, foster meaningful connections with European peers, and drive impactful change within your institution. The application period will open in September 2024.

Be part of a forward-thinking leadership community dedicated to excellence in European higher education.

Stay tuned for updates on the EUA Leadership Development Programme

The programme, inspired by the NEWLEAD inspirational guide and developed by EUA under the guidance of an experienced advisory board and expert pool, offers a dynamic mix of online and in-person sessions designed to elevate leadership in European higher education. Leveraging EUA’s extensive research and expertise, it delves into the most crucial leadership and governance challenges in the Learning and Teaching and Research and Innovation mission, and the future of Quality Assurance. Participants will explore essential facets of European higher education leadership, including cultural diversity, leadership styles and cultures, and gain insights into the latest foresight strategies and effective communication.

The programme features three in person sessions in April, June and September 2025 delivered through a mix of expert input, real world cases, dilemma-based exercises and interactive group work.

In April, a 1-day kick-off session of the EUA Leadership Development Programme will be organised around the EUA Annual Conference at the University of Latvia in Riga.

A second on-site 5-day block will be organised in June in Brussels. There participants will learn about the latest trends and tensions in European higher education and engage in interactive sessions around the pillars of strategic foresight, leadership, governance and management. This block will also provide exclusive engagement opportunities with key European policymakers and stakeholders.  

In September, participants will have the choice to select between three modules organised in 2-day on-site sessions in Brussels. The focus will be on leading big transformations such as the European Universities alliances, sustainability and the digital transition, and equity, diversity and inclusion.

Complementary online sessions will complete the offer and cover transversal topics such as innovative leadership, change management, integrity in leadership, or academic freedom among other.

  • Holistic approach: A wide array of themes and topics including leadership, governance, foresight, ethical decision-making and crisis preparedness.
  • The latest research and experience: Informed by the latest European-wide research on leadership and transformation and developed by an experienced advisory board and expert group from across Europe.
  • Cutting-edge insights: Exclusive content on European policies and trends in learning and teaching, research and innovation, quality assurance and governance, tailored to the unique challenges faced by senior university leaders.
  • European policy engagement: Direct engagement with key European policy makers, including the European Commission and the European Parliament, gaining exclusive insight into the future of higher education policies.
  • Not just another event: A dynamic blend of real case studies, group work, foresight exercises, and interactive sessions designed to challenge and inspire.

The initial cohort will bring together 20 aspiring university leaders from different universities from across Europe.  This pioneering pilot will establish a community for the first-ever leadership development programme at European level tailored for senior university leaders, with a unique European and global perspective.

The programme leverages EUA’s experience in fostering collaboration among senior university leaders and staff from over 50 higher education systems, navigating diverse cultures, systems, and contexts.

In its pilot phase, EUA’s Leadership Development Programme seeks to bring together 20 leaders eager to engage in a multicultural European setting, fostering open exchange and collaboration.

Participants must be members of a university senior management team with responsibility for strategic decision-making. To apply, they require the support of their EUA member institution’s senior leadership.

To ensure that the programme reflects the diverse needs of EUA’s membership, EUA has established an advisory board to guide its broader development and key aspects.

  • Chair: Josep M. Garrell, President, European University Association, former Rector, Universitat Ramon Llull (2012-2022), Spain
  • Hans Adolfsson, Vice-Chancellor, Umeå University, Chair, The Association of Swedish Higher Education Institutions SUHF, Sweden
  • Mihai Gîrțu, Vice Rector for Research and Innovation, Ovidius University Constanzia, Romania
  • Agata Kulesza, Secretary General, Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland (CRASP), Poland
  • Eeva Leinonen, President, Maynooth University, Ireland
  • Anne Lequy, Board member, European University Association, former Rector, Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences (2014-2022), Germany
  • Snježana Prijić-Samaržija, Rector, University of Rijeka, Croatia
  • Koen Verlaeckt, Secretary General, Flemish Interuniversity Council VLIR, Belgium
  • Arturs Zeps, Vice-Rector for Strategic Development and Finance, Riga Technical University, Latvia

EUA Secretariat:

  • Thomas Estermann, Director, Governance, Funding and Public Policy Development
  • Maria Blanco, Adviser, Governance, Funding and Public Policy Development

In addition to the advisory board, a pool of experts contributes to the design and implementation of the pilot programme. 

  • Karin Allera, Programme Director, The Association of Swedish Higher Education Institutions (SUHF)
  • Jason Blackstock, Founder and CEO, How to Change the World
  • Nadine Burquel, Director-General, Heads of University Management & Administration Network in Europe (HUMANE)
  • Raf Devos, former Personnel Director, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)
  • Pio Fenton, Project Lead Academic Leadership Development, Teaching and Learning Unit, Munster Technological University
  • Gregor Halff, Dean Faculty of Social Sciences of the Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam
  • Klaus Jonas, Director, Leadership and Governance Academy, University of Zurich
  • Ragnar Lie, Senior Advisor, Universities Norway; Senior Advisor, European Association of Research Managers and Administrators (EARMA)
  • Sybille Reichert, Reichert Consulting: Strategy, Policy and Organisational Development in Higher Education
  • Marijk van de Wende, Programme leader UGov21, University of Utrecht
  • Oliver Vettori, Dean of Accreditations & Quality Management, Director of Programme Management and Teaching & Learning Affairs, Vienna University of Economics and Business
  • Petra Wend, Chair of the Board, University of Hamburg; former Vice-Chancellor of Queen Margaret University

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