Managing Professional Competencies of Teaching Staff in the University: Views of Finnish University Leaders
Academic Leadership - Online Journal,
Vol. 5 No. 1 (2004): Vol-5-Issue-1-January-2004
In the changing environment of higher education institutions, characterized by competitive global
educational market, the importance of staff development has been recognized as essential to support
new approaches to learning and teaching and the changing needs of institutions (Blandford, 2001). In
this changing environment, one of the obligations of university leadership is to choose to grow its staff
professionally so as to support learning and improve student performance (Bank and Mayes, 2001).
This improvement in the professional competencies of academic staff in the university helps to develop
knowledge and skills of the staff in support of current role, or prepare a staff for future role (see Fullan,
1992). Jocelyn Butler defines competencies as knowledge, skills, attributes and behaviour traits
required for individual and organizational success (Butler, 2006). As the ultimate outcomes of the
educational process must be student progress, development and achievement, a crucial contributor to
student learning is teacher learning. When teachers are professionally fulfilled, demonstrate job
satisfaction, skills and knowledge, and have a strong feeling of efficacy around their practice, they are
more likely to motivate students to want to learn (Stoll and Fink, 1996).