Portraits of Academic Leadership in Brunei Tertiary Institutions: A Special Reference to Melayu Islam Beraja Philosophy
The tertiary education institutions (TEIs) are organized anarchies founded on traditional and cultural sentiments to offer quality education as well underpin a country’s national philosophy. However, over the last two decades, TEIs have experienced significant changes which require essential reformation and overhauling. This has enhanced the role of academic leaders (vice-chancellors) and their leadership to guide these universities to achieve a country’s educational goals and enable achieving long-term economic, social, and financial goals. This study aims to analyze the role of leadership in leading 21st century TEIs and explore whether national philosophies such as Melayu Islam Beraja (MIB) affect their academic leadership and hamper their progress to become outstanding leaders. The data was collected from vice-chancellors (VCs) of the universities in Brunei Darussalam to determine the portraits of leadership and explore the influence of MIB philosophy. The findings revealed that VCs skills and competencies have 76% relevance to academic leadership which is dominated and influenced by MIB. The findings have also confirmed the difference in leadership styles among VCs due to different factors such as strategic policies, cultural influence, and personal skills and competencies. This study contributes to the literature on academic leadership by understanding the influence of country-specific national philosophy (MIB) in guiding modern-day TEIs.
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