The University of Waikato - Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato
Professional & Organisational Development Unit
Home Waikato Home > POD > Leadership > PGCert Staff + Student Login

PGCert - Leadership in Higher Education


Postgraduate Certificate with specialisation


Developed by the Faculties of Education and Management with the support of the School of Māori and Pacific Development, the programme is designed to develop the skills required to lead and manage strategy and operations with diverse groups or teams within a University, Polytechnic or Wānanga. The emphasis of the programme is on leadership knowledge and ability and people and management skills in the higher education context. Changes and challenges in the higher education context will inform each module. The course covers knowledge of the higher education context, academic leadership, responsibilities under the Treaty of Waitangi/Te Tiriti o Waitangi, coaching and mentoring, negotiation and conflict resolution, team building, change management, and leadership. The programme also recognises that effective financial management skills are required of leaders and managers in higher education.

A significant aspect of the programme will be the opportunity to deliver specific outcomes that will be of strategic and operational importance to the institution and participants, including specific research activities, networking and access to a range of practical resources. There are currently no other formal programmes of study at the University of Waikato which focus solely on leadership in higher education.


On successful completion participants will earn either a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCert(Ed)) or a Postgraduate Certificate in Management Studies (PGCert(MgtSt)), with a specialisation in Leadership in Higher Education. For those who intend to work towards a higher level qualification, papers taken for this programme will be able to be credited to a Postgraduate Diploma or Master of Educational Leadership (PGDip(EdLeadership) or MEdLeadership), or a Postgraduate Diploma in Management (PGDip(Mgt) or Master of Business Administration (MBA)). Responsibility for the programme will reside with the Faculty where students are enrolled (Education for the PGCert(Ed) and Management for the PGCert(Mgt)).

The proposed specialisation will be comprised of four 15 point papers. The papers will be delivered over ten three-hour classroom sessions on Wednesdays from 4.00 to 7.00 during each teaching semester. This format allows one paper to be completed within each semester, over a total of four consecutive semesters (excluding Summer Schools). The tuition costs of this programme are met from the University's staff fees concession arrangements, which extend to participants from our partner institutions. The classroom setting is an important part of the discursive nature of the programme, working together as a cohort.

Target Group

The programme is to be aimed at University of Waikato academic staff at Senior Lecturer or higher and general staff in leadership roles. For partner tertiary institutions the target group are equivalent middle or senior manager roles with a staff and other significant management component. The programme draws from participant experience and some assignments need to be completed in a management context so the current role is an important factor.

It is expected that a cohort of sixteen candidates from the University will be funded to participate in the programme commencing Semester A 2015, finishing at the end of Semester B 2016. Up to three participants from each of our partner tertiary institutions (Waikato Institute of Technology, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi) will be offered funded places in the programme. There must be at least 12 confirmed participants before the programme can proceed.

Any direct costs associated with the programme for University participants will be met from the Leadership and Management Development budget.

A further cohort may commence in 2017 (or sooner if there is sufficient demand).


Admission and Selection

To be admitted to the programme participants will have to satisfy the academic requirements for admission to the programme as outlined in the University of Waikato Calendar. Decisions made under Clause 2(b) and 2(c) of the regulations will be made by the Faculty in whose PGCert the participant is enrolling.

Deans, Directors, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Pro Vice-Chancellors and Heads (or HR Managers and equivalents in partner tertiary institutions) will be invited to nominate suitable staff to participate in the programme and staff will be invited to self-nominate. If there are more nominations than places available then participants will be selected by the Assistant Vice-Chancellor Operations in consultation with senior managers based on the relevance and value of participation to the individual and the University. Those selected to participate will have to satisfy the requirements for admission outlined above.

If you would like further information or advice about the programme please contact Mike Bell,, ext 8894, in the first instance. Previous participants of the programme are also available to discuss their experience and provide information and advice.



Presenters will be drawn from academic staff within the Faculties of Education and Management, with guest presentations from the School of Māori and Pacific Development to ensure the University’s commitment to Māori informs the total programme. Relevant staff will also be called on to provide specialist content such as application of the Treaty of Waitangi, equity, managing diversity and working with disadvantaged groups.

Papers in the Programme

In order to complete the specialisation in Leadership in Higher Education, candidates must complete the following four papers (note that by arrangement you can optionally also select single papers):

PROF560  Educational  Leadership in Higher Education

This paper explores critical understandings about the nature and practice of educational leadership in Higher Education. Particular emphasis will be given to leadership style, the situational nature of leadership, equity and diversity in educational contexts, the Treaty of Waitangi, and the priority of the organisational culture in educational organisations.

Learning Outcomes

  • Conceptualisations of educational leadership vis-à-vis leadership styles and approaches.
  • An in-depth appreciation of the situational nature and contextual sensitivity of leadership in education.
  • The critical responsibility of educational leaders for the organisational culture and ongoing cultural formation of educational organisations.

EXED509-15P Financial and Managerial Accounting

Every manager must face the tasks of finding, interpreting and utilising accounting information. This paper explores the process of accounting for organisations from a management accounting perspective. Sessions will introduce participants to a range of accounting techniques and concepts.

The accounting systems provide information for decision-making and it is important to understand the strengths and limitations of the information.

Themes covered include: principals of financial accounting, short run decision making, as well as considerations of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and financial analysis. An introduction to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Stakeholder Management and Sustainability will be provided, and their influences on decision making discussed.

Throughout this paper topics will be introduced and illustrated with case examples and practical exercises to encourage discussion and debate. This approach of linking each theory to practice will ensure that any limitations or difficulties associated with the models and concepts are identified.

Learning Outcomes

  • The development of skills and experience required to analyse and interpret management accounting reports.
  • An understanding of short run decision making.
  • The development of an appreciation, of both the benefits and the limitations of the accounting techniques available to the decision maker.
  • An understanding of the operational and strategic significance of accounting information.
  • An understanding of how sustainability issues impact on contemporary corporate decision making.
  • The accounting system and financial statements
  • Analysing financial statements

PROF563 Coaching, Mentoring and Skilful Conversations in Higher Education

This paper critically examines theories and models of coaching, mentoring and skilful conversations. Participants will study the interpersonal skills and knowledge necessary for developing leaders and leadership, providing constructive feedback and mediating conflict. They will examine their current coaching, mentoring and relational practice in a higher education context and articulate developing understandings.

Learning Outcomes

  • Theoretical and personal conceptualisations of coaching, mentoring and skilful conversations;
  • Technical coaching, mentoring and conversational skills that enhance professional relationships, including reflective practice, goal setting, dialogue, and mediation;
  • Appreciation of the contextual, contested, fluid and often messy nature of coaching, mentoring and relational processes;
  • Insight into their own coaching, mentoring and relational style.

EXSP523-16P(HAM) Personnel and Human Resource Management

This paper deals with personnel and human resource management. It ensures that participants have a clear understanding of the nature of workplace relationships and the legal and social environments within which these relationships occur.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the paper, you will be able to:

  • Understand and use various recruitment, selection, and performance appraisal techniques;
  • Understand the legal and practical issues associated with health and safety and dismissal;
  • Understand and use various decision-making techniques to facilitate group meetings;
  • Understand and use various negotiating skills.

Each paper will be supported by 2 to 4 pieces of assessment and will include at least one Action Learning opportunity.


Programme Schedule











  1. Educational Leadership in Higher Education (PROF560), 15 points
  2. Financial and Managerial Accounting (EXED509), 15 Points
  3. Coaching and Mentoring in Higher Education (PROF563), 15 Points
  4. Personnel and Human Resource Management (EXSP523), 15 Points

Please note that it is possible to join the programme in the second year, but we are unable to guarantee that the keystone paper PROF560 will run in the following year as a minimum number of particpants is required.


Programme Coordinators

Faculty of Education
Russell Yates
Deputy Dean, Faculty of Education

Faculty of Management
Meshweyla Macdonald
Director of Operations, Corporate & Executive Education

Professional and Organisational Development Unit
Mike Bell
Professional and Organisational Development Manager

Go Mobile - Try it Now!

Go Mobile

Does your work at the University require you to be away from your desk? Check out how Go Mobile can help you with that.

This page has been reformatted for printing.