Navigating Challenges in Australian University Leadership: Analysis and Recommendations
Task: What are the key challenges faced by university leaders in Australia's higher education sector, and how can they address these issues to ensure effective leadership and institutional success?
The prime motive of the paper is to recognize and evaluate key factors which create an impact on universities within Australia. The higher education system within Australia is build-up of across 170 higher education providers. It is seen that every university is being set up under its individualregulation, recognizes its own degrees and courses, does both research and teaching into a range of fields. The focus of the paper will be towards analysing the issues faced by the university leaders within Australia along with providing recommendations to address the issues. Along with this a reflection will be presented by determining the learning gained from the above analysis.
Environmental analysis of the tertiary education sector in Australia
Currently, the strategies of Australian government exemplify and determine a demand to maximize the number of tertiary students and to outfit to students from a huge diversity of backgrounds (Deloitte, 2015). Moreover, there possess a specific focus on recruiting tertiary students from backgrounds which possess traditionally been under-represented into higher education.
Within Australia, funding across the tertiary education sector is competitive and tight. This creates implications for the ascilite members who might rely upon their grant monies or institutions to gain access to specialized services. Furthermore, identification for members’ credentialswithin the tertiary sector is also observed as highlytreasured for on-goingoccupation.
Students’ needs and expectations are changing. As student fees have augmented there has been a modification to a more ‘client-centred’ emphasis in which students are more shrewd regarding the value which they are gaining for their educational asset (Teece, 2017).Universities have been apparent to be out-dated with inflexible assemblies, traditional teaching styles along with obsolete technologies which are not proportionate with the technologies which students utilize into their social lives and will utilize into their professional practice in the future.
There have been a major growth into the ownership of electronic devices. It is seen that student proprietorship of handheld along with laptop devices is enormously high.For specialized societies like ascilite, the community members of tertiary education have unbelievable proficiency both in practice and research across the utilization of technologies within university education.
Within Australia the environmental changes are raising the question for the security of the student into tertiary education. Thus, the environmental regulations are affecting the absolute cost benefit dynamics into the tertiary industry.
The government of Australia has built up a diverse set of laws for the smooth operation of the tertiary education. Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act) along with associated legislations prevents and enhances the reputation of Australia for providing superior education (Hube, Stockport&Soutar, 2022). Moreover, it facilitates tuition security along with supporting the truthfulness of the visa program of the students within Australia.
Identification of the main issues facing the university leaders
In today’s context, university leaders within Australia are facing certain issues which creates an impact on their work performance. The issues are as follows:
It has been analysed that intercultural issues were determined to be one of the major issue faced by the university leaders within Australia. The influence of educational cultures has frequently been disregarded in both research and practice, in spite of the noteworthy power of inter-cultural issues impactingbut not conclusivelydemonstrating – the actions of university leaders along with other participants (Scull et al., 2020).
Restricted capital back into current facilities
After the Great Recession, universities and colleges have not funded their services capital renewal requirements at the similar level. It is seen that when the campus leadership is unable to keep up with the services requirement, than the outcome is an increasing backlog of the services. Most of the university leaders are unaware regarding their needs.
Upsurge of operations accountabilities without any funding
Another major issues faced by university leaders is the upsurge of operations accountabilities without any funding (Collins, Azmat&Rentschler, 2019). It becomes challenging for the facilities leadership to uphold a new service standards or level since the community returns to campus and overcome the requirement in order to balance the reactive maintenance work with advantageous planned maintenance programs.
Increased role into campus leadership.
One of the significant issues facing university leaders are increased role into campus leadership. It becomes quite challenging for the leaders to manage the accountability to serve information to the major stakeholders to assist them in influencing their major decisions. Since the role of servicesraises and is a major stakeholder into the community, it is perilous that the leadership team enquire the position quo, createreliable plans leveraging obtainable data, involve with major stakeholders, and develop realistic objectives for change (McGaughey et al., 2022).Here the university leaders deal with the challenge of lack of confidence along with the fear of failure. Other issues comprises of addressing imposter syndrome, resistance to responding to new concepts as well as upholding authencity at the time of self-promotion.
Generally, the challenges facing services leaders currently have only been raised with the pandemic and the limelight which has been put on facilities organizations along with their leadership (Dopson et al., 2019).Advancement takes time and moving decision making of an institution, operations response along with culture could be an on-going challenge.
Recommendations to manage the challenges
In order to manage intercultural issues it becomes crucial for the university leaders within Australia to enhance their inter- cultural communication skills since they are responsible in exchanging information among the students. Hence, it becomes important to gain an appropriate knowledge regarding others culture (Trudgett, Page & Coates, 2021). The focus must be towards utilizing techniques like active listening to avoid misinterpretation. Furthermore, it is highly recommended that in order to restrict capital back into current facilities it becomes significant for facilities leaders within Australian universities to embrace exceptional and novel opportunities for the purpose of funding capital revitalization. Here the objective must be to generate a tool which would assist facilities to make appropriate decisions with the emergence of the future. Hence, university leaders are required to serve conversations acquire the nuggets for planning their facilities appropriately.
Furthermore, it is strongly recommended that in order to address an increased operations accountability without any funding it becomes important for the university leaders to manage the operations of the university systematically. For this there is a need to enhance certain skills which involves technical proficiency, organizational skills, risk analysis, strategic planning, budget management, decision-making skills, problem-solving skills along with time management and interpersonal skills (Bromfield& McConnell, 2021). It is recommended that the emphasis of the university leaders must be towards making sure the examination of major institutional procedures by gaining insight into these processes intermittently.
Along with this, it is also recommended that for managing increased role into campus leadership it becomes crucial to display significant vision by setting upcoming position of the institution. Transformational leadership is determined to be a theory of leadership where a leaders efficiently works with the followers or teams beyond their instant self-interests to recognize the required change. It is recommended that while managing the responsibilities it becomes important for the university leaders to apply this leadership theory since it would assist in motivating staff members to perform efficiently.Hence, this would allow in developing a vision to direct the change via operating the change in relation to the dedicated group members, inspiration and influence.The emphasis must be towards enhancing articulation mastery where it is necessary to communicate and encourage with precision. It also becomes crucial to maintain integrity by retaining a practical association along with constant honesty (Brammer& Clark, 2020). It can be said that fluctuating the communication towards a practical method to services ownership along with management would create a long lasting impact on the institution. There is also a need to advocate for change and resolve complex issues faced by the institution along with the students as a whole. Moreover, by depending upon the strategy, the university leaders set huge expectations and take calculated risks where they demonstrate determination along with resilience while motivating everyone to achieve their targets.
From the above analysis I have analysed the fact that tertiary education sector within Australia involves private and public universities along with the Australian branches of institutes of higher education, university colleges along with the branches of international universities. I have come to know that political, economic, social, technological, environmental as well as legal factors creates a huge impact on the performance and on-going process of the universities. Furthermore, I have got to know that university leaders within Australia are dealing with certain issues which in turn affect their leadership abilities to a greater extent. Moreover, for the smooth functioning of the universities the issues needs to be managed systematically by analysing all the major factors associated with the universities and its leadership (Nash& Churchill, 2020).
The paper helped in demonstrating that based on political factors it is seen that the strategies of Australian government exemplify and determine a demand to maximize the number of tertiary students and to outfit to students from a huge diversity of backgrounds.It is seen that student proprietorship of handheld along with laptop devices is enormously high within the Australian universities. It has been observed that when the campus leadership is unable to keep up with the services requirement, than the outcome is an increasing backlog of the services. It is highly recommended that in order to restrict capital back into current facilities it becomes significant for facilities leaders within Australian universities to embrace exceptional and novel opportunities for the purpose of funding capital revitalization. The emphasis must be towards enhancing articulation mastery where it is necessary to communicate and encourage with precision. Furthermore, it also presented reflection regarding the learning gained from the above analysis.
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