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  1. 1. Strategic Plan to 2010 - Summary Foreword from the Vice Chancellor This document sets out a summary of Durham University’s Strategic Plan to 2010. Our strategy is the result of careful analysis of our operating environment, much thought and extensive discussion with staff and students across the University. It sets out the changes we need to make to continue to be successful within a challenging and ever-changing operating environment. But I hope it also communicates our pride in this wonderful institution, and our confidence in our ability to continue to develop in the years ahead. The full text of the Strategic Plan is available on the University’s website at Professor Sir Kenneth Calman Vice Chancellor and Warden Part One Purpose & Values Purpose Creating the future through internationally recognised research, scholarship and learning within a distinctive collegiate environment. Values In fulfilling its purpose, Durham University holds the following values: • We are committed to remaining a research-led institution, valuing knowledge and learning for their own sake as well as for the cultural, social and economic benefits they offer; • We are committed to the communication of knowledge and learning, through an environment in which leading academic staff teach and engage in dissemination of knowledge to a broader community; • We believe in creating an environment in which academic excellence can be combined with opportunities for personal development, so enabling individuals to create their own futures; • We are committed to remaining at the heart of and contributing to improvements in the quality of life of the people in the North East of England; • We seek to recruit and develop staff and students of the highest quality, recognising that people are our primary resource; • We respect the academic freedom of all staff and students that they might confidently engage in leading-edge and innovative knowledge creation and debate; • We are committed to promoting diversity and equality of opportunity for all staff and students; • We will ensure that our activities are carried out ethically and to the highest standards. Part Two Durham University Strategy: to 2010 Vision We will be internationally recognised as a world class research university. We will build the research strength necessary to become world leaders in selected subject areas. We will work to enhance the distinctive student experience we offer to all our students, while diversifying our student body. We will enhance our international profile, while remaining mindful of our important contribution to the North East region. We will achieve this in a sustainable manner which secures our future development.
  2. 2. By 2010 we will have secured Durham’s place in the top ten UK universities, be recognised as being among the top thirty universities in Europe, and the top one hundred in the world. Priorities to 2010 Underlying our strategy is a commitment to maintaining the high standards which we already demonstrate in many areas of activity, for example in our student experience, as demonstrated by our excellent completion rates. The following list of priorities highlights the key developments we intend to make over the next five years. • To achieve quality profiles which demonstrate significant international research excellence in all academic subject areas in RAE 2008. • To support and develop a number of research groupings recognised as world leading using, where appropriate, structures such as research institutes. • To continue to recruit, develop and retain staff of the highest quality. • To invest in our academic base by diversifying our sources of income and reducing our reliance on public funding. • To increase both the number and proportion of international students. • To increase both the number and proportion of postgraduate research students. • To develop and implement a sustainable infrastructure development programme across the University, including taking advantage of the development opportunity on the North Shore at Queen’s Campus. Aim 1 Research To produce research of international excellence in all our subjects while building the strengths necessary to be recognised as world leaders in selected areas. To fulfil the above aim there are three key strategic areas we plan to focus on: A Ensuring we maximise our performance in RAE 2008 RAE ratings have an increasingly important influence on global reputation and a direct impact on our ability to attract staff, students and research income. We want the significant majority of our research output to be graded 4*, 3* or 2* in the 2008 exercise. Preparation for RAE 2008 is therefore our top short term priority. B Building strength in selected subject areas It is increasingly the case that we must compete in research globally, for staff, research grants, and recognition. We believe that we can improve our international research standing, but we acknowledge that we do not yet have the capacity to be genuine world leaders across all disciplines. Our strategy is therefore to identify those subject areas in which we can realistically build on our current strength to support and develop research groupings which are recognised as world leading. C Improving our research culture and infrastructure As a research intensive institution, it is essential that we prioritise the development of our research culture and infrastructure by recruiting the right staff, securing more and higher value research grants and contracts and admitting a greater proportion of research postgraduate students. We also need to provide research facilities which are appropriate to a leading research university and protect staff research time. 2
  3. 3. Aim 2 Student Experience To provide an internationally distinctive learning experience that combines academic excellence with the personal development that comes from college life. We want all of our students to be able to develop both academically and personally within an environment that is attractive to and supportive of an increasingly diverse and international student population. There are three aspects to our strategy in this area: A Size and Diversity of the Student body We plan to increase the diversity of the student body while maintaining high entry standards for all our students. We will continue to build upon our progress in widening participation in the new context of variable tuition fees, and work to attract greater numbers of international and postgraduate research students. B Enhancing the role of the Colleges and the student experience We plan to expand our college accommodation so that more of our students, including postgraduates, can benefit. The colleges will continue to work to offer a core set of services to all students and to ensure that there is consistency in the quality of their delivery. We will also enhance the profile of the colleges through our marketing efforts. C Excellence in learning and teaching We are committed to providing high quality research-led teaching that introduces students to the latest findings in their subjects. This can only be sustained by active research engagement, and we will therefore work to ensure an appropriate balance of staff time between research, teaching and administration. Aim 3 Internationalisation To further internationalise our staff and student communities, and enhance and promote our reputation internationally. Durham University has a strong national reputation for both research and teaching but we need to raise our international profile. Given our desire to attract the best staff and students in an increasingly globalised Higher Education market, we plan to do this in two ways: A The internationalisation of Durham University The development of high profile, world class research groupings attracting leading international staff is a key step towards a successful internationalisation strategy. We also plan to increase both the number and proportion of international students. B The raising of Durham’s international profile The establishment of world leading research groupings is an important aspect of this. In addition, the formation of alliances and partnerships will be important, both high profile institutional level alliances and departmental research links and collaboration. Our international marketing will also be enhanced. Aim 4 Regional impact To enhance our contribution to the economic, social, cultural and educational life of the North East through our position as an international research institution. As a leading research University, our activities impact positively on the local region. Our strategy is to ensure that our positive impact is maximised through a conscious and targeted programme of outreach and regional engagement. This has three aspects: A Supporting the knowledge-based economy We will support the development of the knowledge-based economy in the North East of England through our internationally recognised research, in partnership 3
  4. 4. with regional stakeholders. We will develop our relationships with research-based industries, and look to strengthen our research at Queen’s campus. B Social engagement and enhancing quality of life We will contribute to the quality of our local environment through a sensitive approach to developing our estate. We will continue to offer opportunities for both education and entertainment, through careful management of our buildings, facilities, cultural assets and events. Our work in outreach, volunteering and community engagement will continue. C Stakeholder engagement and communication We will support our strategy with a targeted approach for regional stakeholder engagement and communication aimed at opinion formers and decision makers, the media, stakeholders and regional communities. Aim 5 Sustainability To continue to be a sustainable institution, both as a well managed and governed organisation, and through our internationally excellent scholarship. Our autonomy and ability for self-direction is precious, and to sustain this for the future we must diversify our income streams, and ensure that we are well-led, managed and governed: A Ensuring we can invest in our academic base We need to ensure that we can invest in the people, intellectual resources and physical infrastructure that will establish and maintain a competitive advantage as a research-led University. As a priority, we will work to increase the financial resources available for investment. B Ensuring that we have the leadership, management and governance that we need We will ensure we have academic and support staff with the skills we need, streamline our governance and committee structures, and improve our management information and decision making processes. We will ensure effective communication and external relations and enhance the strong and positive relationship we enjoy with our alumni. 2006 How are we doing? section Research − RAE simulations were run during 2005 and 2006 and significant planning support is being focused on achieving the best possible result in RAE 2008. − Postgraduate Research Students now make up 8% of the total student population, with a growth of 24% in full-time numbers on the 2004/05 figure. − Over the last 4 years the University has increased research grants and contracts income at an average of 6% per annum. − There has been an overall increase of 1.3% in the success rate of research grant applications from all sources; from 46.2% in 2003/04 to 47.5% in 2004/05. − 49% of our Postgraduate Research students have external funding, four years ahead of schedule. − Over the last four years, the University has increased research grants and contracts income at an average of 6% per annum. Student Experience − Placed equal 5th in the National Students Survey, with a score of 4.2 out of 5. 4
  5. 5. − Graduate employment level and further study: Durham is ranked 18th in the English universities for graduate employment and further study, with an overall employability rate of 94% as measured by the Sunday Times. − 10th highest completion rate in England at 95.1%. − 9th among English universities for learning resources as measured by the National Student Survey. − 8th in the British Universities Sports Association rankings, with an 85% sport participation rate. Internationalisation − International student numbers have grown by 16.3% since 04/05, making up over 13% of the total student population. − Proportion of academic staff of non-UK origin is rising steadily. − Durham Business School is placed 10th in Europe for research output as measured by Financial Times. − The Durham MBA has moved up within the Economist rankings to take 57th place internationally and 21st place in Europe. − 2nd place within the UK for the number of citations per paper in the sciences. − Placed 54th within Europe in the 2006 THES World Rankings. Regional Impact − Over the last three years income from royalties has grown by an average of 22% per annum. − Durham students are heavily involved in voluntary activities in the community. The number of projects has grown significantly from 23 to 77 in the last 8 years and there are currently 730 students across both campuses involved as volunteers working on community projects. − Estimated turnover of the University’s spin-out companies rose from approximately £600,000 in 2003/04 to approximately £730,000 in 2004/05. Sustainability − £4.1 million worth of income was generated from alumni, corporate sponsors and other benefactors during 2005/06. This represents a significant growth from £2.7m in 2003/04. − The estimated value of Durham’s exposure from international, national and regional press coverage rose by 12% last year. − In 2005/06 the University invested £28 million in capital projects. − Durham’s reliance on public income is reducing at an average rate of 1.3% per annum. − A review of Council was completed in 2005 and work is continuing to enhance the profile of Council, its effectiveness and that of its members. − A review group is finalising proposals for the Senate’s sub-committee systems and to consider the operation and membership of Senate Queries about the Strategy should be directed to: Strategic Planning and Change Unit Durham University University Office Old Elvet, Durham DH1 3HP Tel: 0191 334 6884 The full University Strategy is available on our website: 5
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