University governance and academic leadership: Perceptions of European and Chinese university staff and perceived need for capacity building

The main purpose of this study is to explore Chinese and European university staff members’ perceptions about the challenges and capacity building needs in terms of academic leadership and university governance. A survey questionnaire with open-ended questions was administered to 58 staff members from 7 Chinese universities and 31 staff members from 8 European universities. The results showed that in addition to the competitive challenges universities encounter, developing leadership and managerial skills for Chinese and leadership, managerial, and interpersonal skills for European participants are the major challenges for academic leaders and the most frequently cited areas potential for capacity building. Leadership skills and practices of academic leaders were highlighted by both groups most to learn from each other while change adaptation skills of Chinese academic leaders and personal capabilities of European academic leaders are the specific aspects of academic leadership referred most for experience sharing between these two contexts.