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The Programme for Leaders in Administration (PLA) 2017-2018

The programme, consisting of five seminars, focuses on the Nordic university setting. The seminars are spread out over a period of two years, with each seminar hosted at a NUAS member university in each of the Nordic countries.

The programme is open to a maximum of 35 participants.

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  • Examine key issues facing administrative leaders in the changing university environment.
  • Increase participants’ insight into developments influencing administrative leadership in the Nordic higher education sector.
  • Provide time and guidance for participants to reflect on their leadership roles.
  • Create an arena for professional networking and knowledge sharing.


  • Each seminar will address a key issue that is currently relevant to our sector.
  • Individuals are given the opportunity to reflect on their personal leadership role and to look at what is special about being an administrative leader at a university.
  • Information exchange and experience sharing is a core element of the programme, so the seminar programmes are developed to encourage active participation.
  • Seminars are organized around lectures, discussions, and workshops—with networking and social activities included as important elements.
  • Participants receive some homework between seminars, which prepares them to share their own practice and experiences with others.

Seminar content may be adjusted to reflect developments and changes in the sector, with the aim of making sure that seminar content is as relevant as possible for participants.

PLA is open to experienced middle managers who have at least two years of management experience.

The programme fee for all five seminars is 40 000 NOK. This includes everything except for travel and lodging.
Apply for the programme here. The application deadline is 01 November 2016.

If you need more information, please contact Bente Hennie Strandh.

The 2015–2016 programme was a great success. The host institutions presented interesting and enriching seminars and the participants built stronger professional networks and benefited from the opportunity to exchange perspectives and experiences. See what some of the programme participants had to say:

Frida Gråsjö, Karlstad University Ilkka Virtanen, Tampere University of Technology
Lill Mardal, University of Olso Sæunn Stefánsdóttir, University of Iceland
FinlandPeter Lintrup, University of Copenhagen

Click on a seminar to see dates and an outline of the planned content

Country Institution Period
Norway University of Oslo March 2017
Denmark Roskilde University June 2017
Sweden Uppsala University October 2017
Finland Åbo Akademi University February 2018
Iceland University of Iceland May 2018

Administrative Leadership in a Nordic Higher Education Context
Oslo: 21–23 March, 2017

The seminar series will kick off at the University of Oslo and focus on the special role of the administrative leader in a higher education context. How do we support academic activities and goals in the best way? This seminar will provide different approaches to the theme, e.g.:

  • The development of the HE sector and how changes in governance, finance, and societal demands influence the university and our leadership.
  • Cases that shed light on different challenges in the administrative leadership role.
  • Similarities and differences in leadership in the Nordic countries.
  • Perspectives on what works in leadership, including time for participants to focus on their own leadership.
  • Effective management groups.

Leadership and Communication in the Nordic HE Sector
Roskilde: 20–22 June, 2017

At the Roskilde University seminar, different perspectives on leadership and communication will be illustrated and discussed:

  • Leadership and communication—how to communicate in economic crises, cut downs, and change.
  • Communication in a complex governance structure at universities—dealing with ambiguity and dilemmas, internal and external perspectives and pressures.
  • Communication tools—different leadership perspectives, different target groups.
  • Networking for participants and working on the participants’ own role as a leader.

Challenges and Changes in the University
Uppsala: 11–13 October, 2017

The Uppsala University seminar will focus on leadership in an organization facing changes and challenges:

  • Managing change in the cultural context of a university. What are the challenges of changes in this specific organizational culture?
  • Understanding and handling the HE organizational culture.
  • Dealing with these challenges in a creative way.
  • Building trust and making change possible.
  • How do you interpret your role?

A Workplace That Works
Åbo: 7–9 February, 2018

At the Åbo Akademi University seminar, we will discuss the rapid pace of change and increasing levels of stressful conflicts in the workplace, role clarity, role conflict, and work-related stress.

  • Leaders need to deal with conflicts that arise within the workplace. Mediation can be used as a tool to help people to reach an agreement in a conflict. When and how is it possible for leaders to play the role of a mediator?
  • Your own communication as a leader—working with different cases such as “the difficult conversation.”
  • Though change is the nature of work life, it can be very stressful. We need to learn how to flow with constant change. One method to do this and to cope is training your attention to remain in the present moment.
  • Experience/learn how to reach work-management through self-management.
  • Personal differences and their impact on leadership and cooperation.

Responsibility of the Leadership Role in Higher Education
Reykjavík: 22–25 May, 2018

The objective of the University of Iceland‘s seminar is to promote participants’ leadership success by providing them with tools to assist their understanding of the responsibility of the  leadership role in higher education.

  • Raising motivation and belief in the future.
  • Develop an understanding of characteristics affecting higher education leadership today and in the future.
  • The responsibility of leadership role in higher education.
  • To lead with conviction and in accordance with personal values.
  • Presence with your coworkers.

Being the last seminar in the programme, some of the content will be decided later with the aim to making it relevant to the previous seminars and developments in the sector.