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Entrepreneurial Leadership

The development of entrepreneurial leaders in higher education, with mindsets and behaviours such as creative thinking, the willingness and ability to innovate, lead change and take calculated risks, in order to lead skilfully at this time of unprecedented change in the sector, has never been more important.

The National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education (NCEE) is proud of its Entrepreneurial Leadership programmes. These programmes focus on the development of entrepreneurial leadership skills in higher education, and introduce strategies to support innovation and implement change.

Entrepreneurial leadership at all levels of a university can enable that university to deal with challenges, seize opportunities, develop a competitive edge and achieve success. Through its portfolio of Entrepreneurial Leadership programmes, the NCEE supports leadership development at various levels in universities, both in the UK and internationally, through the provision of high quality leadership education and by creating powerful multidisciplinary networks of professional and academic colleagues from across the higher education sector whether in research, teaching, enterprise or administration.

Entrepreneurial Leaders

Entrepreneurial Leaders is an established and highly regarded flagship programme designed for senior university leaders, which has been delivered annually since 2010 and has many eminent alumni in very senior roles across the HE sector in the UK and overseas. The programme introduces participants, through a series of three residential modules, to entrepreneurial leadership and what it means to lead an entrepreneurial university in a constantly changing, and often turbulent, external environment. It promotes entrepreneurial and creative thinking and behaviours that can be beneficially disseminated and embedded into universities. The programme offers the opportunity to interact with influential policy makers, successful Vice Chancellors, thought leaders and other experts in the field of higher education. This interaction, as well as the networking opportunities and discussion with other senior colleagues, provides valuable insights and learning on how to lead proactively and positively and to plan and implement change.

Benefits for universities include:

• High quality leadership development for senior leaders which advocates entrepreneurial leadership as a means of achieving success during times of change and uncertainty.

• Return on investment as evidenced through leaders with a greater knowledge and understanding of opportunities for innovation, creativity, income diversification and the value of doing things differently for the benefit of the university.

• Leaders who interact with a range of Vice Chancellors, thought leaders and leadership experts from across the HE sector to share ideas and learn more about the sector and their approaches to leadership.

• The opportunity to be involved in the participant’s project which will focus on a change or innovation which has benefit for the wider university.

Benefits for participants include:

• High quality senior leadership development which enables the development of increased personal confidence along with an entrepreneurial mindset and agile behaviours to enhance individual chances of success. Ability to initiate change and innovation for the benefit of their teams and the wider university .

• In-depth understanding of the current challenges facing the HE sector and an opportunity to learn about how other universities and their leaders are dealing with change and uncertainty.

• Opportunities to interact and network with a range of experienced university leaders and benefit from shared learning and experiences.

• Career development opportunities through becoming part of a network of influential alumni in senior leadership roles across the university sector.

Entrepreneurial Heads

Entrepreneurial Heads is a recent introduction to NCEE’s portfolio and introduces Heads of Schools (or academic departments) and Services to the concepts of entrepreneurial leadership and change management and how to implement these concepts in practice. Entrepreneurial Heads is designed to enable Heads of Schools (or academic departments) and Services to respond positively and innovatively to the challenges, brought about by uncertainty and the rapidly evolving higher education landscape. Heads of Schools, or academic departments, play critical roles in higher education. They have to respond and interpret the demands of the complex and changing external environment and senior university leaders, whilst balancing these with the needs of their Schools, their staff and the wider university. Heads of university Services are being asked increasingly to consider and interpret needs beyond their own services, and implement changes internally in response to the increasingly complex external environment and budgetary constraints.

Entrepreneurial Heads aims to support Heads of Schools and Services to respond personally to the external and internal challenges their organisations are facing. This programme promotes the development of entrepreneurial thinking, along with an entrepreneurial mind-set and behaviours that can be embedded into Schools, Services and the wider university. The Entrepreneurial Heads programme also encourages participants to work across academic and service areas to enhance and promote interdisciplinarity and innovation.

There are currently two options available for the delivery of Entrepreneurial Heads:

1. Delivery of an open national programme attracting Heads of Schools and Services from universities across the UK (and internationally). This mode allows opportunity for increased networking and sharing of practice across different universities. The delivery location of mode of the Entrepreneurial Heads programme will be in London, starting in mid-June 2019 in the first instance, but there could be regionally delivered programmes, subject to interest and demand.

2. On-site delivery where NCEE works with an individual university to deliver the programme for their Heads of Schools and/or Services. The core programme, comprising the three study days exists but there is also opportunity for some bespoke sessions and flexibility to meet the particular needs of the commissioning university.

Benefits for universities who sponsor staff to attend Entrepreneurial Heads:

• The development of entrepreneurial leadership skills, entrepreneurial thinking and change management skills in this important tier staff.

• Affordable and relevant leadership development to promote innovation and encourage entrepreneurial thinking for the benefit of the wider organisation.

• Opportunity for interdisciplinary development of academic and service Heads to enhance and promote creativity and innovation.

Benefits for participants in Entrepreneurial Heads include:

• Increased understanding of the concepts and theories of entrepreneurial leadership and change management.

• Acquisition of new knowledge, entrepreneurial skills and tools to implement change in their Schools, Department and Services.

• Opportunities to network with like-minded individuals who are facing similar challenges.

• A clearer understanding of the changes and challenges impacting on the sector and how they can apply an entrepreneurial mindset and behaviours to confront them.

• Opportunities for leadership development and career progression with the option of progressing to the NCEE Entrepreneurial Leaders Programme.

For more information on either of these programmes contact Professor Lesley Dobree at

More details available on line at

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