Professor William Locke

William Locke

William is the Director of the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education. He was previously Reader in Higher Education Studies at the UCL Institute of Education, University College London, where he was Director of the Centre for Higher Education Studies (CHES) and Deputy Director of the Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE). 
William has published on topics such as higher education policy, management and governance of institutions and the changing academic profession. He has led the development of highly-regarded professional development programs for those working in the higher education sector, including the internationally-renowned MBA in Higher Education Management at the UCL Institute of Education.
He has held various positions across the higher education sector and is a member of the Publications Committee of the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) and founding Joint Editor of the SRHE journal, Policy Reviews in Higher Education.


William will be contributing to workshop session A delicate balance: Optimising individual aspirations and institutional missions in higher education on Tuesday 9 July with Dr Celia Whitchurch, Associate Professor, UCL Institute of Education.


The session will report on an ESRC/HEFCE funded research project entitled The implications of a diversifying workforce for higher education systems, institutions and individuals. This will include the outcomes of interviews that took place with 69 respondents in eight case study universities across the UK, and a survey questionnaire to academic staff in a subset of the case study institutions. It will demonstrate not only changing patterns of employment, but also ways in which individuals and institutions are managing academic careers in contemporary environments.
More specifically, the session will describe the emergence of three types of approaches to roles and careers on the part of individuals: 
  • Mainstream approaches, in which individuals lay emphasis on formal structures and timelines, focusing on activities deemed to be most valuable. 
  • Portfolio approaches, in which individuals cumulatively gather academic and associated experience, internal and external, with the aim of optimising future opportunities in higher education and adjacent fields.
  • Niche approaches, in which individuals prioritise personal values, interests and strengths in carrying out their roles, often with an emphasis on service to students and the community.
The session will also show how individuals and institutions navigate tensions around, for instance, market imperatives and ideals of service, policy requirements and creative endeavour, and the competing demands of teaching, research and related activities. We conclude that informal opportunities, relationships and networks would appear to be an increasingly significant element in developing roles and careers.
This page was last updated on 8 May 2019