Introduction by Professor Wendy Thomson, Vice-Chancellor
The University of London is an inclusive and diverse federation of world leading educational establishments, reaching 48,000 students in over 190 countries. We collaborate with our Member Institutions to connect learners and researchers with an unrivalled range of talent and knowledge. We are continuously advancing ways to position digital technology to serve the human curiosity to learn and providing people with flexible and adaptive approaches to suit their different needs across the world.
Now is a time of opportunity and change, for these are dynamic times with many competing factors in play. Demand for higher education is at an all-time high and growing; yet access continues to elude many, generation after generation. Investment in research and development nationally is heading for a 40 per cent increase; requiring capacity at a time when partnerships are being disrupted by the pandemic, shifting diplomatic, security, and trade relationships. Participation rates in higher education have never been higher, and as more people gain qualifications so grows the importance of demonstrating value and impact. In such times, opportunity and risk are close companions. Charting a clear course has rarely been more important to securing our mission.
Our ambitious strategy addresses these new challenges by harnessing the strengths of our history and forging a path for a world class university in a modern, global community. Our three strategic objectives for 2020–2025 build on our mission and core values, leading the way for a positive future.
- At this unique point in time, where distance and digital learning, working and collaboration are in the spotlight, we will enhance and reinforce our position as the UK’s leading provider of distance learning and widen our offering, creating cutting-edge programmes and opportunities in new regions globally, removing geographic barriers to education. By offering increasingly flexible pathways through our programmes, we will meet the developing needs and expectations of the evolving, modern student. Enabling students to assemble degrees relevant to them, across disciplines, will equip them with the education and tools for the modern workplace. We will combine the world of advanced study with the world of work, empowering students to reskill at any point in their lives.
- The University endeavours to become the UK’s major provider of innovative intellectual exchange and effective public engagement, drawing on our expertise across the federation and through our National Centre for the Humanities. We will equip a new generation of researchers with cutting-edge training programmes and Centres of Excellence in key strategic areas and engage the public in effective and innovative new ways, connecting physical and virtual spaces.
- By continuously developing and adapting our organisation and capacity, we will continue to lead and innovate across the sector, to inform policy, advocate for positive change and provide thought leadership in strategic areas so that together we can transform lives through education and embody the university of the future.
We are a bold, pioneering, creative and inclusive University and together we will meet modern challenges head on and harness the strengths of our history to deliver a truly unique student experience.