1st Edition

Learner-centred Leadership in Higher Education A Practical Guide

By Kerri-Lee Krause Copyright 2024
    284 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    284 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This is the go-to guide for higher education leaders of learning, teaching and the learner experience. It offers research-enriched, practical insights and case studies, together with a must-have toolkit of strategies for future-focused higher education leaders.

    Kerri-Lee Krause combines her extensive track record as a senior university executive, award-winning teacher and higher education researcher. Inspired by the disruptive educational opportunities arising from the global COVID-19 pandemic, Krause takes academic and professional staff leaders on a journey through the core capabilities required of successful leaders in a rapidly changing higher education landscape. Key topics include:

    • learner-centred strategy co-design
    • collaborative strategy implementation with learners at the heart
    • leading curriculum innovation and renewal
    • partnering with learners for engagement and success
    • collegial academic and professional staff capability-building and leadership development
    • coming to terms with educational policy development and quality work
    • shaping learner-centred cultures; and
    • leading with integrity in higher education

    As universities and higher education providers look for ways to rebuild in the wake of a global pandemic, capable, courageous, learner-centred leadership matters more than ever. This readable, intellectually rich and practical book is for current and aspiring higher education leaders who have a passion for effective leadership with learners at the heart.

    Part 1: WHY does learner-centred higher education leadership matter? 1. Understanding learner-centred leadership in higher education 2. Leading learner-centred strategy co-design in higher education Part 2: WHO does learner-centred higher education leadership focus on? 3. Engaging with students as learners in higher education 4.Connecting with colleagues as a learner-centred higher education leader Part 3: WHAT does learner-centred higher education leadership focus on? 5. Conceptualising and renewing curriculum 6. Enhancing quality through policy and practice Part 4: HOW does the learner-centred leader lead? 7. Shaping learner-centred cultures in higher education institutions 8. Leading with integrity


    Kerri-Lee Krause (PhD) is Vice Chancellor and President of Avondale University, Australia. An experienced university executive leader, author, coach and mentor, she has led several successful university turnarounds to achieve learner-centred cultural renewal and provides national leadership in the field of HE quality and standards. A long-term HE policy research programme enriches her evidence-based approach to university leadership.

    ‘This is a book that will appeal to leaders in higher education institutions, as well as researchers, policymakers and students. It is a book that is needed at this time of transition away from the COVID-19 disruptions, as HE grapples with changing student expectations, technological change, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and government instrumentalism. There is a lot of wisdom in this book. It is based on the deep experience of the author and a range of good case studies. It notes that across the world, many of the issues faced by HE leaders are similar. Yet the approach is to encourage reflection and action based on the contexts and culture of each of our institutions, grounded in social constructivism. It is a book that guides us quietly but expertly and it is really about finding answers within ourselves. It is refreshing to read and so much better than a "blueprint" approach favoured by professional development workshops on leadership.’

    Professor David Sadler

    , Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), University of Western Australia, Australia.


    ‘Capturing what it means to be truly learner-centred, this is an invitation for leaders to step off the balcony and into the helicopter. To consider what it means to lead a university positively and sustainably in the new reality of supercomplexity. Drawing on her extensive higher education experience and lifelong commitment to research informed leadership, Kerri-Lee strikes a wonderful balance between evidence and lived experience. For those not lucky enough to have worked with Kerri-Lee, this book delivers practical tools from which to reflect on your own leadership and the role and impact of your leadership in creating a truly, learner centric university ecosystem. This resource will serve both emerging and seasoned leaders, who are seeking to embrace new approaches to curriculum, policy and practice so as to meet the needs of your university community now and into the future.’

    Professor Jessica Vanderlelie

    , Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students), La Trobe University, Australia.

    ‘Professor Kerri-Lee Krause synthesises her many years of experience in HE leadership with insights from theory and research, to bring us a practical and informative volume. It is refreshing to explore HE leadership through the lens of learner-centredness, thinking not just about student learning, but also about learning beyond the curriculum, lifelong learners, and importantly, leaders as learners. I welcome the emphasis on meaningful student involvement, collaboration, agency, and integrity throughout. Each chapter guides readers through core concepts of contemporary HE leadership. This valuable contribution will benefit aspiring and experienced leaders alike.’

    Professor Catherine Bovill

    , Professor of Student Engagement in Higher Education and Co-Director, Institute for Academic Development, University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

    ‘Kerri-Lee Krause, an acclaimed learner-centred leader in higher education, combines practical wisdom with theoretical and research-based insights to provide an inspirational and programmatic toolkit for leaders grappling with the complexity of creating resilient and sustainable HE institutions in a post-covid world. Through practical examples and case studies of real-world learner-centred leadership challenges, the book presents lessons, strategies, questions for reflection and tips to support growth as leaders and their understanding of the demands of the learning economy. This book is a trustworthy, practical manual for higher education leaders committed to values of educational wellbeing and enacting learner-centred leadership to help students, faculty and staff thrive in the post-covid learning economy.’

    Professor Lynn Bosetti

    , Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, University of British Columbia, Canada.

    Learner-centred Leadership in Higher Education—A Practical Guide is highly recommended for those who are or aspire to become leaders in higher education and want to make a difference in these uncertain times… Dr. Krause demystifies curriculum development and processes at all levels, keeping an eye on learner-centeredness. To this end, she explains curriculum through multiple lenses, including curriculum as a lever for engagement, renewal, enhancement, and change, while at the same time addressing challenges and risks to be mitigated such as competing priorities, resources, capability gaps, weak processes, and the perennial siloed cultures of higher education to name a few. 

    Jane E. Neapolitan, EdD, Teachers College Record