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Co-organised by VUB and METU, the LEAD 5th series of workshops on University Governance and Academic Leadership in the context of innovation and internationalization took place at METU in Ankara from 1-5 May 2018.


The event was attended by about 80 participants representing all LEAD partners, LEAD associated partners and from relevant stakeholders such as the Erasmus+ Turkish National Agency. Participants included Rectors, Vice-Rectors, Deans, Vice-Deans, and other academic and administrative staff of faculties and schools from both European and Chinese Higher Education Institutions.

During the welcome session, Anthony Antoine, Executive Director of the Institute for European Studies at VUB, gave an opening speech on behalf of the VUB Delegation. Two former Vice-Rectors of VUB, Prof. Dr. Rosette S’Jegers and Prof. Dr. Jan Cornelis, also participated and addressed the topics on academic leadership.


Participants were warmly welcomed by the Rector of METU, Prof. Dr. Mustafa Verşan KÖK, by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hale Işık-Güler, advisor to the Rector for Internationalization, by the Executive Vice-President of Tongji University, Prof. Dr. Wu Jiang and by UNICA President Prof. Luciano Saso.

The LEAD 5th series of workshops started with the presentations of three keynote speakers (Prof. Dr. Helen Spencer Oatey, Prof. Dr. Rosette S’Jegers and Prof. Dr. Ludwig Neyses), addressing the drivers and needs for developing a strategic plan for internationalisation, crisis management in academic leadership, and the challenges for professional management of academic leadership. (read more below photo).

These themes were also discussed in the workshops along with two additional topics: creative mentality of academic leaders and new concepts of leadership. Several case studies and best practices were shared by European and Chinese facilitators to steer the workshop discussions. The workshops looked at managerial training programmes, different examples of negotiation, intercultural competencies and communication skills needed by academic leaders for handling and resolving conflict situations in an academic setting and in the context of international cooperation. In additional, non-traditional concepts and practices of leadership, such as distributive and shared leadership, were presented in order to engage participants to reflect on the distribution of power, leadership styles, and decision-making processes within higher education institutions.


The next LEAD event will be the LEAD Dissemination Conference at the National Academy of Education Administration and Yunnan Normal University in China, from 10-13 July 2018, and the Final LEAD conference will take place in Brussels from 10-12 September 2018.



Initiated in 2015, the LEAD project is an Erasmus+ KA2 Capacity Building Project in the field of Higher Education supported by the European Commission. Coordinated by VUB, LEAD brings together 5 European partners and 5 Chinese partners, together with 10 associated partners from Europe and China. The project aims to strengthen cooperation and enhance the capacity of EU and Chinese higher education institutions in governance and academic leadership in the context of innovation and internationalization of higher education. The goal is to foster a better understanding of academic leadership approaches in the EU and China by developing and implementing trainings for academic leaders in areas such as policy making, strategic planning and change management. To find more about it, please visit the project website: