Vision and Strategy 2026
It is a privilege to be presenting City, University of London’s Vision & Strategy 2026 as we take the historic step of joining the University of London and embark on a path of quality, growth where possible and partnership.
Leading our great university through six years of transformation has been exhilarating. Much has changed but I am pleased to say that one thing which has and will remain constant is our fundamental purpose. What City does day in, day out, year in and year out is to:
- Transform the lives of our students;
- Create new knowledge;
- Support business and the professions;
- Contribute to the global good of society.
All of this is delivered by our dedicated academic and Professional Services staff who are guided by our five underlying values. Together, we are committed to being:
- Ambitious – a place where people seek new challenges and go the extra mile to achieve the strategic priorities set out in Vision & Strategy 2026 through the implementation of their School or Professional Service Strategic Plan;
- Collaborative – a place where successes are shared and problems are solved by working together for the common good;
- A Community – a place where people have pride in their institution, are respectful, know and are concerned for each other;
- Diverse & inclusive – a place where diversity is a strength and inclusiveness is promoted proactively, with an initial focus on gender equality as City’s most pressing challenge;
- Organisationally self-confident – a place that knows its strengths and is open about and strives to address its weaknesses.
During the next ten years we will maintain our traditional purpose and will both increase the quality of all we do and grow (i.e., become ‘better’ and ‘bigger’) in ways set out in this Vision & Strategy, while increasing our emphasis on people and partnership within and beyond City.
Working together, we will:
- Build on the quality (‘better’) focus of the Strategic Plan 2012 to 2016, maintaining City’s current upwards trajectory in research intensity, research quality, education quality and student experience;
- Achieve growth (‘bigger’) where possible in a way which maintains or increases quality. Over the next five years, growth will be achieved vertically where existing subjects have momentum and horizontally where City’s existing strengths can be leveraged through new and joint degrees and shared pathways. Growth in student numbers will be accompanied by growth in research and enterprise income, reflecting both the breadth and impact of our research;
- Leverage partnership working internationally, within London and through the University of London.
We began the development of this Vision & Strategy 2026 by engaging with staff, students and stakeholders back in mid-2015 and have revisited and thoroughly tested the underlying assumptions following the outcome of the EU referendum. Undoubtedly implementation of the Vision & Strategy 2026 will require even greater agility from City than it has shown over the past five years. City’s great internationalism and its London location will be enormous strengths during the uncertain times to come.
Looking back to 2011, when we set to work on the Strategic Plan 2012 to 2016, City aspired to be the only university in London both committed to academic excellence and focused on business and the professions. At that time, the need for change, the urgency of that change and fortunately, its direction were very clear. We defined where we were in terms of quantitative indicators, decided where we wanted to be and swiftly developed and implemented our Strategic Plan 2012 to 2016 to take us there. This involved investment in outstanding academic staff from around the world; revitalisation of our estate; renewal of our infrastructure; and changes to our ways of working.
Thanks to our academic and Professional Services staff who have made this difficult journey, the effects of these changes are now evident. The satisfaction of our undergraduate students and our research grant and contract income have never been higher. The quality of our estate has never been better: for example, in 2015 we opened the largest student sports facility in central London, hot on the heels of several refurbished buildings and six innovative underground lecture theatres.
Our most significant achievements have been doubling the proportion of our academic staff undertaking world-leading or internationally excellent research and increasing the satisfaction of our students by more than any other university in the country, while moving into financial surplus.
Looking ahead, City’s future is inextricably bound to the prospects for London as a great global City, whatever our future relationship with the EU at national level and the networking of London-based institutions offers great potential. The tremendous strength of London as a centre for higher education is not fully realised and City joining in partnership with the University of London marks a significant milestone in that continuing journey.
Following the outcome of the EU referendum we know the external environment will change over the next five to ten years far more rapidly than it has over the period of our Strategic Plan 2012 to 2016. City’s students, staff and stakeholders were more than equal to those challenges and I have every confidence that we will achieve even greater success over the coming decade.
Achieving the outcomes set out in this Vision & Strategy 2026 will position City well within the top 300 universities in the world and the top thirty in the country.
Professor Sir Paul Curran
City, University of London