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Almost exactly a year ago Advance HE commissioned a scoping study to inform the development of a global leadership survey for higher education (HE) and related organisations. At the centre of the study we placed a deceptively simple question, What works for leadership in higher education?  

Whilst a question with a certain timeless quality, worthy of being asked and considered on an open and ongoing basis, the pandemic experience of the last three years has brought it into sharp focus. The Creating Socially Distanced Campuses and Education (SDCE) project led by Advance HE in May/June 2020, still referenced by sector colleagues, identified that “extraordinary times require outstanding leadership”. Twelve-months later a successor project, Hybrid Higher: Hybrid working and leadership in higher education (July 2021), again run on the basis of collaborative enquiry with the sector, delivered a series of powerful messages regarding the need to step up the quality and consistency of leadership development at all levels within the sector, with associated investment.

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