Four aspiring deans of health have been awarded scholarships, as part of a ground-breaking scheme to help develop future academic leaders in nursing and midwifery.
The scheme, which was announced in March this year, is aimed at people looking to lead university faculties with nursing, midwifery or allied health professional courses.
“We must do all we can to support a new generation of senior leaders”
Those winning places on the pilot scheme include Fiona Irvine, head of nursing at the University of Birmingham and Tracy Humphrey, professor of midwifery at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen.
Health higher education leadership scholarships were also awarded to Sally Hayes, head of the school of health and wellbeing at Leeds Beckett University, and Ian Beith, head of the school of rehabilitation sciences at Kingston University and St George’s, University of London.
The successful candidates will now benefit from a tailored programme of support that brings together both the health and higher education aspects of a dean’s role.
It is a joint initiative by the Florence Nightingale Foundation and Council of Deans of Health.
Council of Deans chair Dame Jessica Corner said she was delighted at the amount of interest in the scheme.
“Leading health higher education is a complex and challenging task and we must do all we can to support a new generation of senior leaders who will develop the strength and depth of our disciplines,” she said.
Elizabeth Robb, chief executive of the Florence Nightingale Foundation, said it was a challenging time for both the health and education sector.
“The quality of applications to this scheme demonstrates the huge potential of these awards to support educators and researchers develop their leadership capacity,” she said.
Recent challenges faced by the university sector include a shortfall in funding for nursing and midwifery courses, with the Council of Deans and higher education institutions fighting cuts proposed by Health Education England.