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The University’s Plan 2009-12 Leading UK university Strong international impact Inspiring student experience that prepares students for the future Innovative world-leading research Innovation, enterprise and creativity Effective, efficient, sustainable and professional


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Kent Institutional Plan 2009-12

www.kent.ac.uk

The University’s Plan for 2009-12 is based around six key messages The University of Kent – the UK’s European University – is: • a leading UK university Based in Canterbury, Medway and Brussels, the University of Kent is a leading UK university that makes a major economic, social, and cultural contribution: by providing excellent opportunities in Higher Education for the most able students regardless of social and educational disadvantage, by undertaking innovative world-leading research, and by leading innovation, enterprise and creative activities

• making a strong international impact The University has a strong international impact based on its external networks and partnerships with leading universities in Europe and around the world

• offering an inspiring student experience that prepares students for the future We offer an inspiring student experience that prepares students for the future based on excellent research-led teaching in a lively, stimulating and effective learning community, and supported by a broad range of extra-curricular opportunities

• producing innovative world-leading research Our academic staff produce innovative world-leading research forging new knowledge and creating change

• enabling and valuing innovation, enterprise and creativity We promote and value innovation, enterprise and creativity in all areas of our activity

• while operating in an effective, efficient, sustainable and professional manner We operate in an effective, efficient, sustainable and professional manner based on partnerships between staff and students in academic schools, staff in professional service departments and the Kent Union

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Kent Institutional Plan 2009-12

www.kent.ac.uk

Context The period of the last plan – 2006-9 – saw an increasingly competitive period in the history of universities in the UK, and indeed the global higher education system. The competition manifested itself in student and staff recruitment, in attracting increasingly scarce public and private funding, and in a need for agile responses in an increasingly turbulent economic and political environment. It was also one of the most successful periods in the University’s recent history, during which the University: • attracted increasing numbers of good students (who then, through the National Student Survey, declared Kent the top university in London and the South East for student satisfaction), • achieved a strong performance in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, • won the 2007 Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education, • opened a new College – the first in 35 years – specifically for postgraduate students, and • maintained its sound financial position with annual surpluses all of which established the University firmly as one of the UK’s leading universities. 2009 therefore sees an increasingly buoyant and confident University of Kent operating in an economic climate that is increasingly volatile and depressed – perhaps even in crisis.

The word “crisis” – at least for the Chinese – represents “dangerous opportunity”. The present economic climate does indeed present dangers for the University. Students and their parents may have less disposable income, or think more cautiously before committing it. This could be particularly true for students from overseas. Public funds are being allocated to stimulating the economy (or bailing out sectors in difficulty) and other sectors may assert a greater claim to these funds than the higher education sector. Many sectors of the economy will be operating more cautiously, with a possible impact on the University. There are also some clear opportunities, particularly for recruiting students, especially postgraduates, who wish to weather the economic storm by improving their qualifications. Those students could also take a much more serious approach to their studies as a result, though may still be demanding of our services and facilities. The University’s plan for 2009-12 maintains its commitment to quality (whether in teaching & learning, in research or in our wider partnerships). It also aims to balance the pragmatic reality of needing to generate sufficient income to sustain the University’s long-term future with an ambition to continue the outstanding successes of recent years. It therefore aims to steer a careful course between the dangers and the opportunities, while preparing the University for the return of more stable, and perhaps leaner, economic times.

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Kent Institutional Plan 2009-12

www.kent.ac.uk

Leading UK university Based in Canterbury, Medway and Brussels, the University of Kent is a leading UK university that makes a major economic, social, and cultural contribution: by providing excellent opportunities in Higher Education for the most able students regardless of social and educational disadvantage, by undertaking innovative world-leading research, and by leading innovation, enterprise and creative activities. Since 2006 we have

Over the next three years, we will

• been ranked consistently as the top university in London and the South East in the National Survey of Student Satisfaction • confirmed our reputation as a research-intensive university with a performance in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise that ranked Kent 24th (of 159 institutions) for world-leading research • won the 2007 Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education for the work of the Kent Law Clinic • developed our Medway campus with the opening of the Pilkington, Gillingham and Rochester buildings, with new residences available from September 2009 • increased student numbers by 12.5%, and our annual turnover by 24% between 2006/7 and 2008/9

• build on our established and growing reputation as one of the UK’s leading universities, particularly in postgraduate education and in research • enhance our position, visibility and impact as an internationally significant university • act as a cultural and intellectual focus for Kent and Medway, through public lectures, other educational, artistic and sporting events • work with schools, colleges and councils in our region to raise aspirations and attainment so that all who are able might enter university • extend our Medway campus significantly

Key supporting documents Medway Strategy

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Kent Institutional Plan 2009-12

www.kent.ac.uk

Strong international impact The University has a strong international impact based on its external networks and partnerships with leading universities in Europe and around the world. Since 2006 we have • reinforced our reputation as the UK’s European University through partnerships with over 100 universities in mainland Europe, European double degrees, a strong community of students actively recruited from every EU country outside the UK, and many academic initiatives with a distinctive European focus. • developed academic programmes that have seen students undertaking placements or other academic activities in many countries including Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Japan, Kenya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Tanzania, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, USA, Vietnam • recruited students from over 130 countries, including every EU member state, reinforcing the University’s international reputation and cosmopolitan, multicultural flavour • established scholarships for international students and for all nationalities planning to study at Kent under our many undergraduate and postgraduate degrees including study abroad • developed exchange partnerships and collaborative agreements with over 30 universities worldwide, including from the USA, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Germany and Belgium

• celebrated the 10th anniversary of the University of Kent at Brussels, and launched the University of Kent at Paris • achieved a prestigious award from the European Commission, recognising the quality of our delivery of the European Diploma Supplement to all graduating students, one of only 3 UK HE institutions to hold the award

Over the next three years, we will • embed the University's Internationalisation Strategy at all levels within the University • strengthen our world-wide institutional network of leading international and European universities as strategic partners • develop University of Kent provision in Paris • increase international student recruitment year on year, against agreed institutional targets • strengthen our support for the international student experience while at the University of Kent

Key supporting documents Internationalisation Strategy, Kent Union International Students Engagement Strategy

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Kent Institutional Plan 2009-12

www.kent.ac.uk

Inspiring student experience that prepares students for the future We offer an inspiring student experience that prepares students for the future based on excellent research-led teaching in a lively, stimulating and effective learning community, and supported by a broad range of extra-curricular opportunities. Since 2006 we have

Over the next three years, we will

• been ranked consistently as the top university in London and the South East in the National Survey of Student Satisfaction • been awarded National Teaching Fellowships for Dr Dan Lloyd (Biosciences), Professor Michael Kölling and Janet Linington (Computing) • established new degree programmes, including those in Journalism (which is fully accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists), and graduated our first cohort of Pharmacy students • received awards and distinctions for academic staff, including: Environment Writer of the Year (Sarah Lonsdale – Journalism), Canterbury Laureate (Patricia Debney – English), Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (Sally Fincher – Computing) • achieved annually over 1000 students engaged in voluntary activities, including active participation in and leadership of sports clubs and societies, a fully comprehensive course representation system, outreach in schools and colleges via an ambassador scheme, fundraising, and a comprehensive range of community involvement

• challenge and support our students to realise their ambitions through active engagement with their studies and full participation in the academic community • enhance students’ employment prospects and promote lifelong learning through the provision of flexible and diverse learning opportunities • foster and reward excellence in research-led teaching, and enhance the professional development opportunities for staff • strengthen our learning and teaching infrastructure to respond to changes in learning and teaching practice and new technology • encourage participation by all who can benefit from the Kent student experience

Key supporting documents Learning and Teaching Enhancement Strategy, Participation Strategy, Information Services Strategy, E-learning Strategy Kent Union Strategy 2009-13

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Kent Institutional Plan 2009-12

www.kent.ac.uk

Innovative world-leading research Our academic staff produce innovative world-leading research forging new knowledge and creating change. Since 2006 we have

Over the next three years, we will

• confirmed our reputation as a research-intensive university: the Research Assessment Exercise 2008 found world-leading research in all departments submitted, demonstrating the breadth of our excellence; our submission was nearly a third bigger than in 2001 – demonstrating growth of excellence; six subjects (representing more than a third of our total submission) were deemed to be among the top 10 in their disciplines – demonstrating the depth of excellence in our strongest areas across all three faculties • received awards and distinctions for academic staff, including: Times Higher Education Supplement Young Researcher of the Year 2007 (Professor Jon Williamson – Philosophy); Association for Computing Machinery Distinguished Scientist (Richard Jones – Computing); Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (Sarah Spurgeon – Electronics); BBSRC Fellowships (Professor Darren Griffin and Professor Martin Warren – Biosciences) • increased our research grant and contract income by over 27% between the end of 2005/6 and the end of 2007/8 • formed a new Graduate School to enhance the academic and social experience of all postgraduates who study and research at the University • opened Woolf College – the University’s first new college for 35 years – and the first to be dedicated solely to postgraduate students

• increase the proportion of research active staff in all departments • increase the proportion of our research that is world-leading • increase external research income year on year against agreed institutional targets • increase the number of postgraduate research students year on year against agreed institutional targets • increase the number of outstanding interdisciplinary research centres

Key supporting documents Research Strategy Graduate School Strategy

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Kent Institutional Plan 2009-12

www.kent.ac.uk

Innovation, enterprise and creativity We promote and value innovation, enterprise and creativity in all areas of our activity. Since 2006 we have

Over the next three years, we will

• won the Times Higher Education Supplement Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community Award 2007 (Kent Law Clinic) • established the Kent IT clinic in Canterbury and Medway • launched a student radio station (CSR) – a joint venture between Kent Union and Canterbury Christ Church Students' Union – broadcasting across Canterbury, to provide students with the opportunity to make their voice heard in the city and catering for the needs of young students and individuals in the area • achieved a listing in the Sunday Times “100 Best Companies to work for” for Kent Union (2009) • launched an annual open-air festival of music and drama – ArtsFest – attracting many thousands of performers and visitors to its Canterbury campus • developed the Canterbury Innovation Centre on the University campus in partnership with the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) to provide high-tech incubation space and support for entrepreneurs

• embed a culture that confirms the University as a “creative campus”, enabling the knowledge, skills and innovative capacity of the University to flourish • exploit our research, skills, knowledge and facilities to support growth and innovation in the business community within Kent, and at a national and international level • use the knowledge and expertise of the University to the economic and social benefit of the UK, and provide proactive support to the Kent economy • support local businesses to adopt innovative and creative approaches within their organisation

Key supporting documents Innovation and Enterprise Strategy

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Kent Institutional Plan 2009-12

www.kent.ac.uk

Effective, efficient, sustainable and professional We operate in an effective, efficient, sustainable and professional manner based on partnerships between staff and students in academic schools, staff in professional service departments and the Kent Union. Since 2006 we have • commissioned new buildings: School of Arts; Innovation Centre; Woolf College; residences at the Medway campus • developed a new visual identity for the University • maintained regular financial surpluses year on year • conducted a Staff Engagement Survey in which 86% of staff declared that they felt proud to work at the University • achieved Carbon Trust Standard Accreditation, meaning that the University has measured its carbon footprint, met an absolute reduction in its CO2 emissions, and provided evidence that it is managing carbon in an appropriate manner through effective governance, accurate carbon accounting and carbon management programmes

Over the next three years, we will

• operate efficiently, proactively and with agility; streamline internal systems and processes; develop sustainable strategies that mitigate risks; build our internal capacity to be flexible • actively encourage collaborative activity, internally and externally, exploiting technology and using it to its full potential • promote the University as an effective and supportive community for both staff and students • continue to promote measures that maintain the University as a safe and healthy working environment that gives equality of opportunity to its staff and students

Key supporting documents Estates Strategy, Residential Strategy, Fund-raising Strategy, Financial Strategy, Human Resources Strategy, Health and Safety Policy

• recruit, develop and retain the highest quality staff, supporting the development of their full potential • continue to improve the physical infrastructure of our campuses for the benefit of our staff, students and the local community • increase and diversify the University’s income, maintaining our sound financial situation in a challenging HE environment, and seeking value for money in all our activities

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Kent Institutional Plan 2009-12

www.kent.ac.uk

Finally, but importantly Any plan of this type needs to strike a balance between maintaining a steady course (particularly one that has been successful) and doing new things. Almost any statement in the plan can imply “more of the same” (if the reader thinks that the statement refers to something that is already happening) or a “past omission” (if the reader thinks that the statement represents something that is new). Perversely, this can most often apply to the most important statements, which being so important do not really need to be said, but whose omission would be unthinkable. Amongst a wide range of such statements it is perhaps appropriate to select the following as particularly important at the present time.

Equality and diversity in general, and equal opportunity in particular An equal pay audit in 2007 showed that, grade by grade, there was little significant difference between the pay of men and women in the University’s staff. But a comparison across the University as a whole highlighted a much greater difference between the pay of men and women, indicating that women were generally not reaching the more highly paid roles in the University – an equal opportunity issue, not an equal pay issue. A meaningful comparison of pay by other potential divisions (ethnic origin, disability) was not possible owing to the relatively small number of staff in these groups. While the University is not out of line with other universities in this respect, it highlights the need to stress the University’s commitment to promoting equality and diversity amongst its staff and student bodies as a sign of a fully mature organisation. Many groups within the University community work to promote equality of opportunity in a wide range of areas including employment, and the curriculum: this work is important and will continue.

Health and safety The University needs a healthy (staff and student) community operating within a safe environment. For example, the University aims to lose no work days because of accidents within the workplace, so that if an accident occurs, its causes are investigated and some education is given to prevent the accident happening in the future. A balance has to be struck between protecting people so much that they are unable to do anything, and protecting them so little

that accidents are commonplace. A similar balance has to be struck in security – keeping the University community safe and comfortable, but being aware that very safe environments are not always very comfortable, nor very comfortable environments necessarily safe.

Sustainability In March 2009, the University was one of only 70 organisations within the UK (8 of which were universities) to have achieved accreditation to the Carbon Trust Standard at level 1. This means that the University has measured its carbon footprint, met an absolute reduction in its CO2 emissions, and provided evidence that we are managing carbon in an appropriate manner through effective governance, accurate carbon accounting and carbon management programmes. The University will endeavour to reduce its carbon footprint further by setting environmental objectives and targets for improvement in a number of areas including the use of energy and water, emissions and discharges, waste, and car travel for commuting and business use. The University is committed to managing and reducing impacts arising from these aspects. It will also manage the Estate in a manner that encourages biodiversity and will promote environmental awareness and responsibility amongst staff and students, in part through the joint appointment with the Kent Union of an Environmental Coordinator. The University will also continue to promote sustainability by supporting the local economy through the use of local suppliers and by supporting disadvantaged producers in the developing world through the Fairtrade initiative.

Finally if, in 2012, the University Plan for 2012-15 comments on the successes of the previous three years, it will be in large measure due to the initiative and hard work of the University’s staff, whose commitment to the University and its values, over many years, has resulted in a university with which so many feel proud to be associated. The sense of community that binds the University together, geographically and culturally, is one of the outstanding distinctive features of the University of Kent. If this Plan helps to deliver the University’s aims while maintaining and strengthening the University community, it will have done its job.

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URLs to key supporting documents and websites www.kent.ac.uk/ unless otherwise indicated E-learning Strategy

elearning/strategy.html

Estates

estates

Finance

finance/about/index.html

Graduate School Strategy

graduateschool

Health and Safety Policy

safety/h&spolicyindex.html

Human Resources Strategy

human-resources

Information Services Strategy

is/strategy/index.html

Innovation and Enterprise Strategy

enterprise/index.html

Internationalisation Strategy

international/international-strategy/index.html

Kent Union

http://www.kentunion.co.uk

Kent Union Strategy 2009-13

http://www.kentunion.co.uk/pages/yourunion/kent_union_strategy.html

Learning and Teaching Enhancement Strategy

uelt/staff-info.html

Participation Strategy

about/wpstrategy

Research Strategy

research

Residential Strategy

hospitality

DPC 108549 10/09

Medway Strategy

University Plan 2009-12  

Planning strategy for the period 2009-2012. Comprehensive plan, encompassing all the aspects of running a higher education institution.

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