I am delighted to introduce Brunel University London’s 2012-2017 Strategic Plan. This important document will help shape our activities during the next five years – a period which we approach with optimism and confidence. We do so, not least, because the last Plan covered a time of significant success for the University.
Our outstanding results in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise; a spectacular improvement in the student experience measures; major investments in buildings and facilities; the recruitment of top-flight academics; and an enhanced capacity to engage with stakeholders – all these factors have contributed to a remarkable record of progress.
We want to build on these successes and whilst we know there is much more for us to do if we are to reach where we want to be, we are also aware that Brunel is singularly well placed to continue this upward trajectory.
One immediate challenge is to ensure that more people are better appraised regarding the quality of our work. For too long we have been overly-modest about our achievements and have not been as successful as we should in ensuring that the different communities we serve know how good we really are.
Looking ahead, there are clearly themes that stand out as being of the utmost importance to us. Primary amongst these is research excellence. It is striking at Brunel the extent to which the central motivation for research is not career or material advancement but a deep desire to contribute to the amelioration of people’s lives, both here and abroad. This commitment to a value-driven approach is the guarantee that my colleagues will continuously strive for excellence and we can fulfil our economic, social and cultural mission.
We will also continue to ensure that our students have the best possible learning experience. We will provide the excellent research-led teaching, skills and enhanced learning opportunities our graduates need to realise their goals – in the workplace, as citizens and as individuals. We will also be reviewing our international profile and taking positive steps to build our links with the leading international research centres and ensure that, increasingly, we become the first choice for outstanding students from around the world.
In the course of the five years of this Plan we will reach our 50th birthday. I am in no doubt that when this anniversary arrives we will be able to assume that Isambard Kingdom Brunel would be very proud of all that we have achieved.
Professor Julia Buckingham
Vice-Chancellor and President