The Educational Leadership Development Symposium took place on 10th -12th July to promote education leadership and innovation at Monash University and the University of Warwick. Funded by the Monash Warwick Alliance, it was designed to bring together expertise and experience across disciplines and institutions to design transformational change in support of the Education strategic direction of both institutions, through networking, mentoring and collaboration.
Thirteen Fellows and leading educators associated with the Monash Education Academy (MEA) and eleven Fellows of the Warwick International Higher Education Academy (WIHEA), were selected to take part in this three day intensive professional development retreat at the Monash Centre in Prato.
Professor Gwen Van der Velden, Academic Director, Warwick International Higher Education Academy said;
The Educational Leadership Symposium has turned out to be a great example of what Alliance work can offer: international peer review of practices, new collaborations and feedback from participants that shows they feel strengthened in their resolve to lead in their particular area of expertise. I have been struck how easily colleagues engaged with in depth explorations of what leadership means in the different national policy environments of Australian and UK Higher Education and the new insights this has resulted in.
The wonderful Monash in Prato setting no doubt helped colleagues to switch off from their daily work focus and focus on learning from three outstanding speakers who shared their research and expertise on leadership, policy and international engagement respectively.I look forward to see some of the many proposals that were drafted at Prato come forward for Alliance consideration. Some of the ideas generated during the event show great promise for implementation to the benefit of students both at Warwick and Monash."
During the three days, the participants worked in active learning sets on problem-based scenarios and engaged in coaching conversations. The educators looked ahead to planning approaches and collaboration in support of engendering educational change in their respective faculties and schools.
Professor Allie Clemans, Academic Director, Monash Education Academy explained why it was such a valuable event for staff;
The Prato leadership conference left me with a strong sense of the value of the Monash Warwick Alliance. It allowed staff from both institutions to learn from the commonalities and differences in each. Importantly, it created space for learning more about educational leadership in higher education - an endeavour that is not often seen for its complexity and distinctiveness yet it influences a large part of our work.
One of the speakers at the event was Professor Andrew Walker, President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Monash Malaysia. He explained why he is committed to positioning Monash Malaysia as a hub for educational innovation and excellence in Southeast Asia and how the Education Leadership Symposium can support this aim;
Education innovation is driven by the exchange of ideas and experiences. The education leadership symposium held in Prato in early July was an excellent opportunity for colleagues from Monash and Warwick to share perspectives on education challenges and to explore opportunities for future collaboration. As head of Monash's Malaysia campus, the symposium provided me with very useful insights into how Monash Malaysia can contribute to the education reform agenda of both universities. While there is much that we share in common, there is also a lot to be gained from drawing on the varied Australian, Malaysian and UK contexts to generate new thinking across the Monash-Warwick partnership. I am committed to the Malaysia campus developing as a hub for educational innovation in the ASEAN region. Rich collaborations with colleagues in both Australia and the UK will nurture our endeavors. Following on from the symposium, I am particularly interested in exploring how our varied relationship with industry partners can be drawn upon to enrich the exchange experience of students moving between Monash in Australia, Monash Malaysia and Warwick.