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Professor John Davies

Policy Adviser
Connacht Ulster Alliance
John Davies

Professor Davies has a career which includes senior institutional management and international research, consultancy and teaching in the field of higher education policy and management. He is currently an international consultant in higher education, Visiting Professor of Higher Education Management at the International Centre for Higher Education Management at the University of Bath where he was the first Director of the doctoral programme in Higher Education Management, and an International Associate of the Leadership Foundation.  His previous positions have included Foundation Dean of the Anglia Business School, Dean of the Graduate School, Pro Vice-Chancellor at Anglia Ruskin University for Research and Enterprise and Pro Vice-Chancellor at La Trobe University, Australia for Quality Assurance and Organisation Development.  He is also a University Governor.  Since 1970 he has been one of the leading commentators on European higher education management and has been a principal consultant with the IMHE programme of OECD, the European Association of Universities (EUA) – formerly the European Rectors Conference, UNESCO, Soros Foundation, World Bank and the European Commission.

He has been a leader nationally and internationally in establishing higher education management as a field of study in universities in UK and Europe. He was Academic Director of the EUA/OECD programme for New Rectors since its inception (1979 – 2002); Director of the Southern Universities Management Programme (1977 – 1993); Director of the Australia Vice-Chancellors’ Committee Leadership Programme (1991 – 1995); Academic Director of the Latin American Rectors programme (1994 – 1998); Chair of the Faculty of the Russian Universities Project of the Salzburg Seminar (1997 – 2005); and Academic Director of various Leadership Foundation International Programmes (2005 – present), including Iraq, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Malaysia, and co-Director of the Global Programme for Rectors of Catholic Universities.

He has directed numerous strategic consultancy projects in higher education in 59 countries globally, and most recently in Ireland, Sweden, Canada, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Wales and Russia and for the Vatican, on themes as indicated below.

His principal interests at the present are concerned with the development and implementation of new technological universities, and he is Policy Adviser to the Connacht Ulster Alliance which is developing a T.U. for the north west of Ireland. He has held similar roles in Finland, Ireland and Sweden and with national governmental HE agencies.

He is sought after as a leader and team member of strategic reviews/audits especially the CRE/EUA Quality Audit project; the Salzburg Global Seminar’s Visiting Advisor Programme in Russia and Central/Eastern Europe; and by national Quality Agencies in Finland, Ireland, Australia, Lithuania and Bahrain. He has also led strategic reviews, and led country reviews of national systems of higher education for OECD. He is an international monitor on issues of academic freedom and institutional autonomy for the Magna Charta Observatory.

His main publications and research interests, and related consultancy activities for international, intergovernmental, national, government and HE organisations have been focused on

  • the concept and practice of entrepreneurialism in higher education
  • the internationalisation of the university
  • the management of financial reduction
  • university strategic planning and institutional transformation
  • institutional evaluation and quality enhancement
  • globalisation and higher education
  • university governance and organisation (also as a university governor)
  • university leadership and the operation of senior management teams
  • research policy and management
  • the regional role of the university
  • institutional mergers and larger entities
  • conceptualisation and design of technological universities
  • evolving doctorates
  • research strategy
  • the balance between public accountability and institutional autonomy and academic freedom and the design of relevant instruments to achieve this in specific settings

Speaker at the following sessions

8 September 2016
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