Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management

For a Special Issue on

Indigenous leadership in higher education: Baya, Eiseni, Rangatiratanga (Voice, agency, sovereignty*)

Manuscript deadline
01 March 2024

Cover image - Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management

Special Issue Editor(s)

Professor Susan Page, Director of Indigenous Learning & Teaching, Western Sydney University, Australia
[email protected]

Associate Professor Meegan Hall, Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Mātauranga Māori), Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
[email protected]

Dr Sereana Naepi, Lecturer, University of Auckland, New Zealand
[email protected]

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Indigenous leadership in higher education: Baya, Eiseni, Rangatiratanga (Voice, agency, sovereignty*)

Indigenous** peoples have been focused on change in universities for decades, opening previously closed doors, forging programs that build qualifications beyond initial degrees and penetrating the upper echelons of institutions through talent and determination. There is now an established Indigenous research methodology literature, a growing body of First Nations led scholarship in teaching and learning, and Indigenous scholars have been calling for change in many disciplines. Many universities now have senior Indigenous leaders driving strategic agendas designed to address equity and to create more just institutions and societies. Moreover, global endeavours to widen participation have increased the numbers of Indigenous people gaining degrees and working in universities. However, more is needed. Universities are built on Indigenous lands, requiring institutional responses that are appropriate to place. So, how can Indigenous people and Knowledge reshape policy, practices and approaches to tertiary education management and leadership?

We are interested in papers about how Indigenous voices are magnified and heard in universities, how Indigenous agency is enacted to enable change and what it means to be sovereign in the context of largely Western institutions, in the presence or absence of treaties and nation building.  This Special Issue of the Journal provides an opportunity for authors and readers to reflect on ways in which Indigenous Knowledges, theories and practices are influencing how tertiary education is enacted and the extent to which Indigenous voices are heard in organisational life. From formal recognition and the use of Indigenous protocols to much deeper institutional cultural change – and an understanding of the models used by Indigenous institutions – this Special Issue will challenge the Journal’s readership to reconsider the dominance of Western managerial models in tertiary education and envision enhanced approaches to working together.

Papers from Indigenous authors and co-authors are sought, that utilise Indigenous Knowledges, centre Indigenous voices and perspectives, and consider changes in universities wrought by Indigenous peoples. Also, since many universities remain places where Indigenous peoples must fit, rather than being fit spaces for Indigenous people, we seek papers that focus on what still needs to change in tertiary education if we are to find solutions to shared problems. We are interested in leadership, policy and management practice, theory, and empirical research in a range of areas, such as leadership development trajectories, research, and teaching and learning. Papers developing and applying theory, concepts, and values and exploring connections that can apply across institutional or national borders are also welcome.

We welcome proposals for papers that respond to the ideas outlined above. Other topics and questions to be considered include:

  • What does sovereignty mean in the context of universities? Can it be considered self-management, or autonomy and is it possible outside of Indigenous controlled institutions?
  • What does it mean, for institutional leadership and management, to be a university on Indigenous land? How are ideas of place borne out in universities?
  • What theories can be usefully applied in a range of Indigenous leadership and management contexts?
  • How can policy frameworks promote institutional cultures that recognise Indigenous agency in universities?
  • What is the role of Indigenous leaders in universities?
  • How can we build models of career development for Indigenous leaders that are not exploitative?
  • What is effective non-Indigenous leadership in universities?
  • How can and do Indigenous professional staff leaders influence change?
  • Universities have civic responsibilities to their communities. How do they respond to this responsibility in times of social change?
  • How can Indigenous knowledges inform responses to major social upheavals, such as the covid-19 pandemic, the threat of climate change and the financial uncertainties faced by many universities?
  • What is the role of Indigenous peoples who travel to other Indigenous lands in supporting a decolonial agenda within their university?
  • How do Indigenous international partnerships and collaborations influence agency and change in universities?

Use of terminology

We acknowledge that there are a range of terms in current use to describe Indigenous peoples. For the purposes of this Call for Papers, we use the capitalised term Indigenous. Some authors may prefer to use terms such as First Nations or more specific nation names. We expect there will be some variation in naming and use of capitalisation for terms such as Elders, Country or Indigenous Knowledges.

About the Special Issue Editors

Professor Susan Page is a national teaching award-winning Aboriginal educator, and Director of Indigenous Learning and Teaching at Western Sydney University. Susan’s research focuses on Indigenous Australian experiences of learning, academic work and leadership in higher education and student learning in Indigenous Studies. She has collaborated on multiple competitive research grants and is well published in Indigenous Higher Education. Susan has held several leadership positions including Associate Dean (Indigenous Leadership and Engagement), Centre Director and Head of the Department and is currently an appointed Indigenous representative for the Universities Australia Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic committee.

Associate Professor Meegan Hall (Ngāti Ranginui) is Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Mātauranga Māori) at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington in Aotearoa New Zealand. Her role is to provide strategic leadership to grow engagement with Māori knowledge and people in learning, teaching and research contexts, and support Māori staff and Māori student achievement. Meegan's research focuses on Māori in higher education, which combines her interest in learning and teaching with her disciplinary background in Māori studies. She is a member of the Research Leadership Team of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga—New Zealand’s Centre of Māori Research Excellence, and a Principal Fellow of Advance HE.

Dr Sereana Naepi is a Pacific scholar and emerging leader in critical university studies. A pouako, lecturer at Waipapa Taumata Rau, the University of Auckland, she produces research that pushes for space in academia for Indigenous voices and knowledge that challenge the way universities and research sectors are constructed. Since obtaining her PhD in Educational Studies from the University of British Columbia in 2018, Dr Naepi has launched herself even deeper into the very institutions she critiques. With an expert, inside view, she focuses on enhancing the Indigenous academy and creating opportunities for Indigenous researchers, whilst challenging the non-Indigenous research and higher education sector to serve Indigenous communities better.


*The title draws on Indigenous languages of the regions of the three guest editors: Dharug, Niuean and Māori.
**We acknowledge that there are a range of terms in current use to describe Indigenous peoples. For the purposes of this Call for Papers we use the capitalised term Indigenous.

Submission Instructions


Between five and eight manuscripts will be selected for publication in the special issue. Published papers are normally up to 5,000 words in length, excluding references, tables and appendices. Final acceptance of manuscripts will be subject to peer review.

There are two ways for manuscripts to be considered for publication in the special issue:

  • Authors are invited to submit a proposal for a paper. Please email your proposal as a PDF or Word document to [email protected] by 31 August 2023, including:
    • the name, institution and email address of the corresponding author (that is, the author who will be the main contact for the editorial team throughout the writing and editing process);
    • names and institutions of other authors;
    • a draft title for the article; and
    • a short outline of your proposed article, up to 500 words.
  • Authors of shortlisted proposals will be notified of acceptance no later than 30 September 2023. The guest editors will be available, as required, to provide support to shortlisted authors to develop their manuscript for the full paper submission deadline (see below).

Note: Acceptance of a proposal does not guarantee publication. Only full papers of publishable quality will be included in the special issue.

  • Authors are also invited to submit full papers, without going through the proposal process. Please email your full paper as a PDF or Word document to [email protected]
  • Submission of full papers for review: by 1 March 2024
  • Feedback from reviewers to be provided and author responses formulated.
  • Submission of final papers: by 31 August 2024
  • Likely publication of special issue online: December 2024

If you have any questions about the process for the special issue, please contact the Special Issues Editor, Dr Maddy McMaster, at [email protected] or Guest Editor, Prof Susan Page, at [email protected]

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article