The Programme for Leaders in Administration (PLA) 2019-2020

Participant pages

The 2019–2020 programme is titled “Administrative Leadership in a Changing Nordic Higher Education Context” and consists of five seminars, focusing on leadership in the Nordic university setting. Each seminar is hosted at a NUAS member university in each of the Nordic countries.

Apply for the programme here. The application deadline is 01 February 2019.


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


The programme is designed around the roles and functions of administrative leaders in an academic setting. Each of the five host institutions is responsible for preparing the theme for their seminar, so the programme content as a whole is a result of a cooperation between the host institutions.

  • Participants learn about different Nordic HE institutions and gain insight in similarities and differences between organisational structures, institutions, and countries.
  • The programme covers a broad spectrum of themes related to the role that administrative leaders play in modern higher education.
  • Some themes are directly related to the role of the administrative leader at an academic institution, while others are related to the development in societal or financial demands that influence universities. Additional themes may concern internal changes in structures, policies, or in administrative processes to support academic activity—for instance, the need for digitalisation or streamlining.
  • There will be case presentations on administrative development projects and processes within the administration in HE institutions.
  • A more detailed overview of the seminars will be published in January.


  • Information exchange and experience sharing is a core element of the programme.
  • Seminar programmes are developed to encourage active participation.
  • Seminars are organized with lectures, discussions, and workshops; networking and social activities are important elements.
  • A portion of each seminar is reserved for participants to reflect upon, and work with, their own leadership role. The themes follow a progression and are related to the understanding of one’s own role and goals, working with communication and positive influence, motivation, increasing self-awareness, handling relationships with co-workers, and handling dilemmas in leadership.
  • Participants get insight into methods and tools, and have the opportunity to participate in peer-to-peer counseling with their Nordic colleagues.
  • Participants receive some homework between seminars, to try out exercises in practice and prepare them for sharing their experiences with others.

The programme is open to 35 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 30 000 NOK. This includes everything except for travel and lodging.
Apply for the programme here. The application deadline is 01 February, 2019.

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

Recommendations from the class of 2018

Minna Koutaniemi Head of International Exchange Services, Teaching and Learning Services University of Helsinki

Sigdís Ágústsdóttir Project Manager, Student Service – School of Engineering and Natural Sciences, School of Engineering and Natural Sciences University of Iceland

Håkon Solberg Director of academic affairs Norwegian School of Sport Sciences


Norway University of Oslo April 24–26, 2019
Denmark Roskilde University September 4–6, 2019
Sweden Linkjöping University October 28–30, 2019
Finland Helsinki University February 26–28, 2020
Iceland University of Iceland June 10–12, 2020

Administrative Leadership in a Changing Nordic Higher Education Context
Oslo: April 24–26, 2019

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: September 4–6, 2019

  • Strategizing communication in, with and about universities – dealing with change and dilemmas
  • Leadership and communication – different perspectives ex. top management and middelmanagement and your own communication and leadership role
  • Communication tools – leadership rhetoric, speeches, and positive power and influence

Collective Intelligence
Linkjöping: October 28–30, 2019

  • University administration; mission, organization and prerequisites, the role and how to support in and be part of constant change
  • Team development, culture and leadership (compassionate leadership as a part of transformational leadership)
  • Organizational change and facing resistance

Helsinki: February 26–28, 2020

Information for the Helsinki seminar will be posted as it is finalized.

Responsibility of the Leadership Role in Higher Education
Reykjavík: June 10–12, 2020

Information for the Reykjavík seminar will be posted as it is finalized.

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.