19-21 September 2018 Darwin, Northern Territory.

Healthcare leaders-intrepid explorers of new frontiers

SHORT PAPER- Concurrent Session Oral Paper

Innovations in Postgraduate Distance Education for Leaders in Health & Human Services in Australia and beyond; The Benefits of an Arranged Marriage”

Wendy Quinn

Course Coordinator

Master of Leadership (Health & Human Services); College of Health and Medicine / UTAS


Sometimes; ‘Necessity acts as the Mother of Invention’. Sometimes, surprising, unexpected, and even synergistic partnerships arise from arranged marriages, or at the very least marriages of convenience.

I would like to share with you a Tasmanian story, involving these ingredients. The story of the development of postgraduate education for leaders/managers in the health and human service areas through the University of Tasmania’s College of Health & Medicine over the last five years. This story will include the development of an innovative partnership between the Leadership and Public Health programs. It will also include a brief exploration of some of the results of our multi-stage research into the benefits of postgraduate education.

My brief presentation will conclude with some comments about the next stage of our research and finish with a vignette of videoed comments from two recent graduates from the Master of Leadership (Health & Human Services).

Who benefits? What benefits? Part-time
postgraduate study in health and human services

Elizabeth Ann Shannon, Sue Pearson, Wendy Quinn & Kate Macintyre


Part-time postgraduate students make up a significant proportion of the student population, yet their experience remains poorly understood. In this article, a multi-phase, explanatory mixed method study conducted within Tasmanian health and human services provides some answers. Students reported improved job performance, self-esteem and increased motivation to learn as primary outcomes. Other benefits of significance included an increased ability to manage change and increased job satisfaction. At the other end of the scale, fewer than half of all respondents agreed that part-time postgraduate study led to increased pay or remuneration, and only one-quarter of respondents believed their study led to improvements in personal relationships. There were significant associations between organisational placement and perceptions of benefit. The managers of those who were studying were less likely to perceive either increased job satisfaction or improved job performance in their subordinates. Amongst postgraduate, mature-age, part-time student respondents, their prior experience in higher education, professional background, seniority in the organisation, age and gender were also associated with differing perceptions of the benefits of higher education. These results add to the body of knowledge around the human, social and identity capital benefits associated with lifelong learning, and this study provides guidance for students, employers and universities.