Loughborough University: Leadership in a distinctive institution

Claim for distinctiveness: Commitment to excellence in all they do, influenced by sporting excellence and the extension of the behaviours and values of team spirit into every aspect of the experience of life at Loughborough.

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The VC’S view:

“Sport is everywhere at Loughborough. In the winter hardly a night goes by without the various areas being floodlit for matches or training – you can’t fail to be aware of sport.

One of the challenges for me was how to use the distinctiveness which comes with sporting excellence and a sporting ethos to raise the profile of the whole institution both in the UK and also internationally. Even those parts of the university which aren’t keen on being known for sport, have staff and students from their subject base who are successful sports people. Paula Radcliffe, for example, was a politics student – and got a first.

The sporting ethos contributes to the success of the university: the competitive spirit; the determination to train, train, train; not getting big-headed about your successes, not getting disturbed by your failures, but just getting up and training again. And the team spirit that goes with the sporting culture. Even in an individual event you only succeed at the highest level because of the coaches and the people around you. That has an impact on the identity of the institution.

For me it’s about helping everyone to recognise and make use of what sport brings to the institution to raise their own profile.”

In this case study discover:

  • How did they work towards their distinctive identity?
  • What did they learn?
  • How do they know it is working?

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Topics: Leadership, Case Studies, HE Case Studies.

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