Changing Internal Governance: Are Leadership Roles and Management Structures in United Kingdom Universities Fit for the Future?



This paper examines changes and developments in institutions' internal governance during the last decade, identifying points of continuity in the policy and political environment in the United Kingdom as well as points of difference. External drivers are discussed as part of the increasingly dynamic and volatile operating conditions for higher education. Institutions' internal governance arrangements are presented within a framework drawn from Clarke's studies of entrepreneurial universities. The final section of the article argues for a re-interpretation and strengthening of collegial forms of governance, using models and examples drawn from innovative private sector companies that can indicate useful directions for higher education institutions so that they are better fitted to meet 21st century challenges. While the analysis is focused on the UK, the lessons are more widely applicable.