The programme leader or director role is crucial to higher
education institutions’ core business – the delivery of programmes of study.
However, programme leadership is little researched or defined. This Special
offers insight to the role, examples of programme leadership in practice, and
ways to support programme leaders in executing their responsibilities
effectively. This work will be of interest to educational developers supporting
programme leaders, HE leaders developing the programme leader role, and
programme leaders themselves.
The responsibilities of the programme leader include
academic leadership (creating a unified and coherent academic programme made up
of a collection of modules), and the leadership of academics (supporting peers
in meeting their specific responsibilities across the programme). Integral to
both is the importance of creating productive and positive inter-personal
relationships across a wide array of colleagues: quality and administrative
officers, educational developers, academic peers, senior academic leaders and,
of course, students.
These responsibilities are far reaching, yet programme
leaders often lack formal managerial power. Personal effectiveness, then, is
important to the role of the programme leader, and to the success of the
programme. These issues are all explored within the Special.