05 December 2018 | Report

Efficiency, Leadership and Governance: Closing the gap between strategy and execution

A USTREAM report

Thomas Estermann and Veronika Kupriyanova

Many European universities are initiating strategic transformation programmes that either seek a step change in institutional efficiency, respond to drastic shifts in higher education policy and financing, or improve their competitive academic advantage. Key ingredients for successful strategy implementation at universities include effective institutional leadership (governance and management), coherent operating models and structures and institutional culture. Leadership provides direction and defines accountability and responsibility for strategic academic outcomes. Operating models and structures provide an institutional platform for effective and efficient delivery, and culture is an all-pervasive feature of academic life that defines the shared institutional beliefs, which shape how the university delivers its academic mission.


This report summarises the input, discussions and findings of the third USTREAM Peer Learning Seminar "Efficiency, Leadership and Governance: Closing the gap between strategy and execution" to achieve sustainable efficiency gains (Brussels, April 2018). It tries to do justice to university leaders grappling with the day-to-day challenges of implementing strategies in complex, often under-funded circumstances. The report aims to summarise these outputs in a coherent and, above all, practical way so that they can be translated into a variety of institutional contexts.

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