The three priorities are articulated through a number of objectives, which are to be achieved over the planning period and beyond.
Advancing excellence in our academic provision
Brunel is committed to consolidating its enhanced status as a research-intensive Higher Education Institution offering an excellent student experience. We are committed to sustaining a culture of high-quality research and will continue to promote our achievements and enhance our profile as a world-class institution by raising awareness of our research, and disseminating, communicating and celebrating it as widely as possible. We will continue to support areas of current research strength as well as national agendas, and will give priority to research projects across traditional academic boundaries.
Capitalising on our recent successes in improving the overall quality of our student experience, we will also commit ourselves to providing undergraduates, taught postgraduates and research students with a constantly improving provision that is fully attuned to the diverse needs and high expectations of people studying in a challenging higher education environment. We will aim to create innovative learning opportunities for all students, and invest in the design of support and guidance facilities that enable students to realise their full potential. At Brunel, students will not only benefit from a distinctive portfolio of courses and training programmes, but also from excellent course management, fair and transparent assessment and feedback methods, and dedicated support from all staff. In the medium to long-term, we will also establish stronger connections between our research and teaching missions, thus attracting well-qualified students to our distinctive educational provision in a competitive, high fee environment.
Crossing institutional boundaries on the basis of open innovation
Creating knowledge and advancing understanding are increasingly dependent on cross-disciplinary research and education, and we will position ourselves to meet the current and emerging needs of a global society.
In order to advance our academic profile and improve our institutional reputation, we will make our internal boundaries – between Schools, Research Institutes and Service Departments – more permeable, so that new synergies can be created and innovative educational and research projects can be initiated and delivered.
Opening up disciplinary and departmental boundaries allows for the development of new, distinctive and attractive courses, which can make our institution the university of choice for a new generation of students. We will also encourage and facilitate the creation and implementation of cross-disciplinary research programmes, which will put us in the best possible position to attract external funding, and which will enthuse both younger and more established academics to join our community.
To ensure that internal initiatives can benefit from external ideas, we will adopt the principle of open innovation and continue to work together with public and private partners locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. We will seek to strengthen our engagement with external partners through new educational and research collaborations with industry and other organisations, with the aim of exchanging new ideas and widening the overall reach and impact of our work. Enterprise, commercialisation and knowledge transfer will be focal points of attention, and will enable us to diversify our income streams.
In order to improve our position and reputation globally, we will actively pursue the development of mutually beneficial international links with Higher Education Institutions in the EU and further afield. Taking full advantage of the latest information and communication technologies, we will create new opportunities for our research and educational partners, including our international students, to work and study with us in a global context. All of these partnerships will be supported by robust, efficient and effective systems that will enable the development of collaborative initiatives and guarantee mutual rewards, in the realm of education as well as research.
Organising for success
To be successful we will structure and organise ourselves in such a way as to enhance the delivery of academic excellence through continuous improvement of core academic activities – learning and teaching, research and knowledge exchange.
It is important to recognise that a sense of community and belonging needs nurturing and protecting if it is to thrive. Collegiality, maintaining a commitment to a shared set of values, whilst improving the quality of life for our students and staff as well as the wider community will be key to our future success. As a large, multifaceted and culturally diverse Higher Education Institution, we are a significant organisation that interacts with and impacts upon the wider community. Effective and productive engagement with this wider community is important in terms of our strong presence in our local area and with a view to emphasising the future.
We are committed to being a responsible employer that not only meets legislative requirements, but continues to develop, operate and maintain its estate and infrastructure to provide a high-quality and flexible environment that is safe, secure, effective and efficient.
We will also continue to improve campus life for staff and students, building on the transformational work of the past decade, in the face of the pervasive need for demonstrable value for money, and within the growing requirements associated with environmental sustainability.
In order for us to remain competitive and to attract the highest quality students, future communication and marketing must include the provision of accurate, detailed and comprehensive information to prospective students, their families, our current staff and students, and other stakeholders. Recent successes in using new social media have demonstrated how ongoing enhancements of the Internet, Intranet and Virtual Learning Environment can result in a much more effective means to communicate with a targeted and diverse range of stakeholders. We will therefore continue to invest in the best information and communication technologies.
At the same time, given the major societal transformations brought about by rapidly developing IT, the campus infrastructure and operation must be both agile and sustainable in order to meet future challenges and ensure a platform for world-class research. Finally, it is important for us to foster mutually beneficial relationships with the wider community, bolstering and spreading our reputation.