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Strategy consultation now open

Strategy consultation

Message from Vice-Chancellor Robert Van de Noort

Dear colleagues,

Consultation on the development of a new University strategy opens today, 29 April. I have written recently on the Staff Portal about the importance of getting input from as many colleagues, students and external partners as possible, so I’m writing to encourage you to get involved and share your views on the future priorities for our community.

One way in which you can do so is through an online survey. It seeks your views on four principles that I believe should underpin our new strategy: community, excellence, sustainability and being an engaged university. I’ve been speaking in some detail about these principles at the briefings last week, and I was very pleased that so many of you were able to join me for these sessions. 

For those who haven’t been able to get to one of these briefings, I thought it might be helpful if I set out why I think each of these principles is important:

  • Community: the University does not function without people – both colleagues and students. People are also at the heart of our ability to implement a new strategy and so it is critical that is based on a shared set of beliefs.
  • Excellence: while excellence may seem an obvious principle for a University of our age and reputation, I am concerned that our focus has slipped in different ways. However, recommitting ourselves to this principle will involve some difficult decisions.
  • Sustainability: clearly, our ability to function now and for the decades to come means we need to behave responsibly with our finances. But money is not the only way to measure sustainability, and it we must continue to live and breathe our commitment to environmental wellbeing.
  • Engaged University: while we make great contributions locally, we are not as well connected to our local communities as we should be. We need to continue to operate globally, but we also need to ensure that more of our work returns benefits to our own back yard.

The survey takes around 15-20 minutes to complete and will close at 5pm on Friday 31 May. In completing the survey, I would ask that you think about how the principles apply to the University as a whole. There will be an opportunity for you to explore the issues from a more local perspective in your School or Function-level session. You can expect to hear from your Head of School or Function shortly with details about this.

If you have any questions or issues with completing the survey, please email If you cannot easily access the online version, there are also printed copies are available from

I hope you will take this opportunity to have your say.


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