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Building institutional capacity for peer leadership: informing strategic decision-making to enhance student leadership capabilities


Skalicky, J and Warr Pedersen, K and Fuglsang, S and Rogan, S and van der Meer, J and Pereira, R and Dawson, P and Nelson, R and Stewart, S, Building institutional capacity for peer leadership: informing strategic decision-making to enhance student leadership capabilities, Office of Learning and Teaching, Department of Education and Training, Australian Government, Australia, pp. 1-37. (2017) [Government or Industry Research]

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Universities have historically been seen to have an important role in developing the leaders of tomorrow, and leadership is increasingly regarded as a desirable graduate attribute in the competitive employability stakes (Lowden, et al., 2011; Osmani, et al., 2015). In recent years, the higher education sector has responded with a proliferation of student/peer leadership initiatives across university campuses.

While there is agreement that one of the core functions of universities is to prepare the leaders of tomorrow’s society (Astin & Astin, 2000), there is less consensus in the literature about how this is best accomplished. Student leadership development can be incorporated into the curriculum, ‘bolted on’, or exist outside of the curriculum entirely. Student leaders can receive course credit, remuneration, or simply be volunteers. Against this backdrop of diverse roles and experiences, student leadership development has been variously mandated, investigated and evaluated. This has occurred within a context of a paucity of resources to guide and support higher education institutions (HEIs) in this important endeavour. Moreover, this growth in programs has occurred as if there was a tacit, shared understanding of what the term ‘student leadership’ means. However, the sheer diversity of understandings of student leadership confirms that universities conceptualise and contribute towards developing leadership capabilities in students in a range of ways.

Rather than suggesting that a universal definition is called for, the Developing and Supporting Student Leadership (DaSSL) project proposes a new approach to developing and supporting student leadership development in a consistent manner. Through the development of an overarching and inclusive framework, the project sought to respond to an identified need in the sector. Without imposing a constraining definition, the DaSSL Framework accommodates the diversity of leadership conceptualisations, while at the same time providing principles and guidelines to support good practice and continuous improvement.

Item Details

Item Type:Government or Industry Research
Keywords:program evaluation, student leadership programs, framework
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Education systems
Research Field:Higher education
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Schools and learning environments
Objective Field:Policies and development
UTAS Author:Skalicky, J (Dr Jane Skalicky)
UTAS Author:Warr Pedersen, K (Ms Kristin Warr)
UTAS Author:Fuglsang, S (Ms Sally Fuglsang)
ID Code:129230
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:ED Student Life and Enrichment
Deposited On:2018-11-16
Last Modified:2018-11-23

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