Education is central to human advancement. Those engaged in shaping and delivering a meaningful education face a multiplicity of challenges not least in regards to pedagogy and andragogy, but also due to the demand on resources at every level. The importance of higher education to a country's future in a global economy has become increasingly a topic of debate and discussion. As a consequence, those in leadership roles in higher education (HE) are faced with often conflicting demands from various stakeholders. The pressures for those in management roles in higher education are considerable and this is equally true of those who work assiduously to ensure that education is relevant and fit for purpose. Globalisation has placed very particular demands on the education sector, yet for all the apparent pressures there are exciting opportunities, especially in regard to the use of new technology and distance learning. The constant quest for excellence and academic rigor has resulted in reviews, bench marking and the rationalisation of precious resources all with an aim of ensuring education that has impact, not just for the world of work, but for life.
Those in successful leadership roles are expected to manage resources in a skilful and efficient manner, whilst at the same times being cognizant of the myriad elements that shape teaching and learning. Whilst occasionally there are conflicting pressures, it must not be forgotten that those in leadership, management and administrative positions are there to compliment and enhance the roles of those who at the forefront of delivering education.
This International Conference recognises that Institutional Leadership and Learning and Teaching should not be viewed as incompatible. It affords an opportunity to highlight current trends as well as examples of innovation and enlightened thought leadership. Governance, funding, human resources and stakeholder engagement are as pertinent as curricula development, assessment and work-life balance. Teaching & Learning, Research and Knowledge Formation, Institutional Leadership and Institutions, the Community and the Economics of Education are all elements that are at the very essence of why this conference is of particular value. ILLT 2017 is a significant platform for these issues to be discussed in a constructive manner. This conference affords an opportunity to share insights and experiences, gain new perspectives and promote ideas to policy makers, practitioners and those committed to ensuring that education is positive and purposeful and takes place in environments that are enlightened and exude a transformative attitude.