The European e-Leadership Initiative (www.eskills-guide.eu) aims to support communication about e-leadership educational programmes, that is, programmes delivering learning outcomes contributing to e-leadership skills. The support provided is to enable expected future e-leadership skills requirements to be defined with the input of employers as well as researchers. A key instrument of the approach is the e-leadership curriculum profile. Key stakeholders agree on appropriate sets of learning outcomes clustered in one or more validated curriculum profile specification document which is made available to all stakeholders. Business schools and universities in Europe are then being invited to use the self-assessment instruments to map relevant programmes they offer in the market to one of the curriculum profiles developed which will allow to present their higher (executive) education offers to the interested public in a comparable and transparent way. In the preliminary governance rules for the initiative, it has been decided that all higher (executive) education offers are to provide a thorough self-assessment, using a standard template, and that educational institutions can apply for external quality assessment.
A set of e-leadership curriculum profiles, the template and tool for documenting the key e-leadership features of the business school’s and university’s programmes and the catalogue of quality criteria for e-Leadership education have been developed and applied by different higher and executive education institutions throughout Europe following a number of steps. Typically the submissions originate directly from the person responsible for the educational offer. Provided the origin of the template can be verified, a match with a curriculum profile is presented, the person responsible for the programme has been duly informed, it is intended to include the educational offer in the published list of e-leadership programmes.
The successful use of the self-assessment tool and mapping of existing courses onto one of the e-leadership curriculum profiles will result in the educational programme to be included in the register of e-leadership programmes in Europe, to be published on a dedicated web site for the e-Leadership initiative soon.
So far 18 business schools and universities from 11 European countries have used the self-assessment tool and carried out a mapping of their programmes to a curriculum profile. In several cases this has helped responsible actors in identifying areas where further development may be required to reach a fully-fledged e-leadership programme defined by the existing e-leadership curriculum profiles. Besides using the guidelines and self-assessment tool for future programme development it has in one case resulted in the development of a completely new e-leadership programme (Information Security Management launched by TIAS and Antwerp School of Management) for more details see above) which will be started with a first cohort of students on 22 January 2015. In other cases programme revisions have been carried out already and resulted in the development and launch of adapted and further developed course like for instance at IE Business School in Madrid to be taught from November 2014 onwards or the revised Business Enterprise Architecture e-leadership programme currently (October 2014) being taught with a further cohort of students by Henley Business School (UK), TIAS (NL), Technical University Munich (DE).
At a later stage in the lifetime of the European e-Leadership Initiative online feedback options will be offered through which the public, including interested students, employers and other stakeholders, will also be enabled to read, review and comment on the standard programme description in the submitted format/template.
In addition interested business schools and universities may apply for cost-effective, peer-based quality assessment of programmes against the quality criteria, including in particular assessment of conformance to the selected e-leadership curriculum profile. The costs for quality assessment can be reduced where relevant existing national or international accreditation and certification can be taken into account.