ENGAGE: ISSUE 24 | WINTER 2010 - 11
HE Leadership Summit 2011: Leading Internationalisation: raising our game
The Leadership Foundation’s annual summit
( Thursday 10 February) will be returning to the
the theme of internationalisation, which it first
explored in 2006. Circumstances are of course
radically different, the message is now more
than ever that we should raise our game beyond
immediate economic concerns to embrace
approaches to international engagement
and collaboration that reap reciprocal and
sustainable benefits. Exploring the topics of
Global challenges through research; The quality
and range of the student experience; Reciprocal
community engagement; and Sustainable
stakeholder and business partnership, Leading
internationalisation: raising our game
offers an opportunity to explore just how far UK
higher education is doing that, and to learn from
leading practice in the UK and beyond.
Contributors include John Sexton, President,
New York University, Suranjan Das, Vice-chancellor,
University of Calcutta, Richard Hill, of Rolls
Royce plc. E
All the details of the Leadership Summit are
Starter for Ten
David Pilsbury took up the position as Pro Vice Chancellor, International for Coventry University in September 2008 with
responsibility for the university’s international strategy including overseas partnerships, internationalisation of the curriculum,
mobility and exchanges as well as its new London Campus. Coventry University has an ambitious development agenda to
become a Global Enterprising University.
David was previously the founding Chief Executive of the Worldwide Universities Network. Under his leadership WUN became
recognised as the leading global research alliance. Prior to this he was Head of Research Policy for Hefce - where he oversaw a
fundamental reappraisal of research policy and the creation of the creation of the UK’s main funding organisation for the arts and
humanities - the Arts and Humanities Research Council. He came to this role having formerly been Assistant Director of Research
and Development at Cambridge University Hospital. David spent a number of years in strategic consultancy and investment
banking after completing a D. Phil and postdoctoral research at the University of Oxford. David is an alumnus of TMP 18.
What is the best piece of management/
leadership advice you have ever been given?
Lead by example - this is especially important in
higher education. Most people will engage with
someone who is passionate and committed and
can articulate a compelling vision.
Who would you most like to have worked
The late Sir Gareth Roberts - a truly exceptional
individual with great vision who was the most
networked person I have ever met.
What is the biggest change you have seen in
The move away from management as science to
management as art exempli;ed by the role of
leader as ‘story-teller’ and growing recognition
of the power of narrative.
Who has inspired you most in your
John Wiley, previously Chancellor of the
University of Wisconsin, Madison. A man of
fantastic intellect, who does what he thinks is
right and treats all people the same.
What was the best professional move you
made and why?
Moving into higher education - you spend a
lot of hours at work so you need to be doing
something you love.
Which six leaders, past or present, would
you invite to a dinner party and why?
Bill Clinton - because he is a man of such
incredible gifts, but also clearly ;awed like
the rest of us; Winston Churchill - a man of
such broad gifts but who was defeated in every
election until he became Prime Minister at the
age of 62. His speech “Never give in. Never give
in. Never, never, never, never - in nothing, great
or small, large or petty - never give in, except to
convictions of honour and good sense” always
resonates; Mohandas Gandhi - to inspire with
his commitment to a modest life and fostered
simple living and high thinking; Deng Xiaoping
- to understand what made him the reformer
who led China towards a market economy;
Margaret Thatcher - to understand what drove
her; Eleanor Roosevelt - for her commitment to
social justice globally.
What will you remember most about TMP?
The quality of the facilitators - they really
stimulated my thinking in new ways.
Have you continued to meet/engage with
your TMP Fellows? If applicable
Some of my colleagues have been enormously
helpful on an informal basis but we were a
very disparate group, so two of us are taking
the ‘action set’ principle and forming a group
from peer institutions to share thoughts on
What piece of advice would you give to
someone starting off their career?
Find yourself a mentor whom you can trust and
who can guide your choices.
What’s been your biggest professional
challenge and how did you overcome it?
Conceiving and delivering our new London
campus - we went from a blank sheet of paper
to our ;rst intake in 18 months. Recruitment
has been fantastic but it was challenging across
multiple dimensions. I had a small group of
wonderful sta; that formed the core project
team and we recruited an excellent Director.
Who would you choose to be stranded on
a desert island with?
My wife - who has tolerated me for 20 years
with good humour and practical good sense.
Quentin Tarantino, Neil Jordan or
Scorcese every time - incredible versatility.
Tell us a secret about yourself?
I’ve kept it quiet for 40 years - but I can now
say with pride - I am a Manchester City fan.
What can’t you live without?
My Toshiba Portege - ;res up in seconds, lasts
all day, has all the ;les I need on it - and I can
read my inbox without squinting. Life is too
short to endlessly retype emails on a PDA.
Tess of the d’Urbervilles.
BBC - for news and radio when travelling
around the world. E