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Issue 472, 5 November 2001

Consultation begins on Universityís future

The University is currently drawing up a strategic plan to determine its future development over the next five years. As part of a consultation process involving staff across the University, a number of open meetings are being held, laying out the current draft of the plan and giving staff the opportunity to comment, question, and make suggestions, before the plan is finalised.

Addressing the meeting on 31 October, the Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Alan Wilson said that there were substantial issues which needed to be faced and the current strategic plan included more changes than usual.

Stressing that academic development priorities were paramount, he said that the University also had to respond to the governmentís economic and social agenda.

While higher education was better funded than under previous governments, money was being targeted towards particular areas. General funding for core activities had reduced, and the University was also facing a freeze on funding from the current research assessment exercise.

The priorities under the strategic plan were identified as follows:

  • Learning and teaching, including student recruitment, the development of new programmes and moves towards a wider student base and electronic delivery;
  • Research, particularly developments made possible by SRIF, and the push by the University for a second round of similar capital funding;
  • Improvements to the student experience and issues of widening participation;
  • Staff development, including use of the money provided by the HEFCE for rewarding staff, removing barriers to career development and movement between areas, and issues of staff workload;
  • Restructuring in response to changes in student recruitment and opportunities for third arm activities.

After answering a number of questions, the Vice-Chancellor invited further comments either by email to him, the Pro-Vice-Chancellors or heads of departments.

A second meeting will be held at 5.15pm on 13 November in LT21 in the Roger Stevens Building. Please email if you wish to attend.

A copy of the draft plan, and the powerpoint slides which accompanied the Vice-Chancellorís address are available on campusweb.


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