Women as leaders of higher education institutions: a British-German comparison

Read, B. and Kehm, B. M. (2016) Women as leaders of higher education institutions: a British-German comparison. Studies in Higher Education, 41(5), pp. 815-827. (doi: 10.1080/03075079.2016.1147727)

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Across the vast majority of countries women are a significant minority in senior academic positions, and as of 2013 only 17% of vice chancellors (VCs) of UK universities and 12% of German Universities were women. This paper discusses findings from a study consisting of interviews with eight female VCs of British and German higher education institutions. The paper takes a feminist poststructuralist approach to look at the ways in which characteristics of ‘ideal’ leaders in academia are discursively produced in a myriad of gendered ways, and looks at the influence of dominant academic cultures, status of institutions and national policy landscapes. From an analysis of the findings we argue that in addition to increasing the numerical proportion of women leaders in academia, work also crucially needs to be done to challenge academic cultural practices and dominant gendered conceptualisations of the ‘leader’.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kehm, Professor Barbara and Read, Dr Barbara
Authors: Read, B., and Kehm, B. M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Social Justice Place and Lifelong Education
Journal Name:Studies in Higher Education
ISSN (Online):1470-174X
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Taylor and Francis
First Published:First published in Studies in Higher Education 41(5):815-827
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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