Students' views regarding their participation in university governance: Implications for distributed leadership in higher education
AuthorEliophotou Menon, Maria
SourceTertiary Education and Management
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The paper examines the views of students regarding the extent of their participation in the management of their university and their satisfaction with the degree of this participation. After an examination of the literature on student participation in university governance, the author presents the results of a survey based on data collected from 135 students of the University of Cyprus in 2002. According to the findings, respondents believed that their involvement in the management of their institution was very limited. This applied to both high and low levels of decision making, even though respondents recognised that their input was greater in less important decisions. The perceived limited involvement resulted in feelings of frustration and dissatisfaction among students, with the majority of respondents demanding a higher level of participation for all three decision making situations considered in the study. The paper discusses the implications of the findings for the practice of distributed leadership at contemporary universities, with emphasis on the need to abandon outdated leadership models. Specifically, it proposes measures for increasing student participation in university governance in the framework of a distributed leadership approach designed to empower the key stakeholders of higher education. © Springer 2005.