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We are entering a dramatically different era in the provision of Higher Education in the UK – an era of choice. Universities will no longer be constrained in their growth of student numbers, the sector will be open to new entrants, and the breadth of opportunities from which to choose will extend for the prospective student. We must rise to this challenge, build further on our existing qualities and success, and position ourselves as a University of choice for students, employers and partners.

“ We recognise and accept it is the service we give to our students and the communities we serve which will be crucial measures of success.”

This Corporate Plan sets out how we intend to do this; a ‘back to basics’ plan with a clear focus on delivering the core fundamentals required of a high quality, successful learning institution. It is also forward thinking and ambitious in our commitment to Inspiration, Innovation and Impact. We recognise and accept it is the service we give to our students and the communities we serve which will be crucial measures of success. The University of Derby is setting out its stall to be distinctively successful in this new arena and we shall be guided by the core principles in this plan, the assets we have at our disposal and the values we shall bring to everything we do. Upon those foundations we can look forward to a prosperous future, full of Inspiration, Innovation and Impact.

Great people, original thinking, inspiring individuals... changing lives

Strategic Ambition 1:

To INSPIRE our learners through an outstanding teaching and learning environment, ‘work-relevant’ ethos, and a ‘best in class’ experience Our academic and support services teams will work in partnership to provide an outstanding teaching and learning environment in which all our learners will thrive. We will be passionate about the success of our learners; challenging and supportive, and ensure we offer first class facilities and an enriching extra curricular life. The ‘workrelevant’ ethos at the heart of our approach will ensure our learners leave the University with a certificate and, more importantly, the practical skills and experience valued by employers. In the ever-increasingly competitive world of work, our learners will stand out from the crowd, enhance their career aspirations and achieve their goals. We will:  support our passionate academic staff to nurture the same passion within their learners and provide an outstanding teaching and learning environment across our entire portfolio  challenge and support our learners to create the opportunity to maximise their potential and realise their ambitions  provide our learners with the knowledge, skills and experience to succeed in the workplace through our ‘work-relevant’ ethos, placing employability and ‘real-world’ learning at the heart of our curriculum  establish a supportive and academically challenging environment in which all our learners have a strong voice, are treated as individuals, and benefit from a university willing and able to respond quickly to their needs  strengthen our commitment to extra curricula life and enhance our ‘learner community’  ensure our pedagogic practice is sector leading across our portfolio  work as a single team, continually improving, with academic and support services working closely together for the benefit of our learners

How:  through high quality recruitment, professional development, and engagement of inspirational and passionate academic staff, who will be rewarded for best pedagogic practice and high-quality teaching  through setting high standards of achievement in teaching and learning, and focused investment in an outstanding learning environment  through strong partnerships with employers to ensure our portfolio delivers the graduate skills and capabilities our learners need to succeed  through curriculum design, intuitive employability services, and our investment in ‘real-world’ learning opportunities for every learner, for example internships, placements, work experience or volunteering  through close partnership with University of Derby Students’ Union (UDSU) to offer our learners access to a wide range of sporting, social and cultural activities to enrich their university life  through providing responsive platforms from which our learners’ voices can be heard and which ensures improvements are made quickly and effectively Our measures of success:  achieve Top 50 University Ranking in Guardian League Table, raise our UCAS tariff points and increase the percentage of learners attaining higher degrees (1 and 2:1s)  reach top quartile National Student Survey (NSS) satisfaction in all subject areas for Teaching Quality and Student Experience and a year-on-year increase in overall satisfaction  destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey (DLHE) will report a year-on-year increase in the % of graduates employed in graduate level employment or further study  meet targets for high quality staff recruitment and professional development of academic staff. The University Staff Engagement Survey will report a year-on-year increase in staff engagement.

Strategic Ambition 2:

To INNOVATE through sector leading flexible and dynamic delivery methods and curricula We will anticipate the constantly changing needs of our learners and be at the forefront of an approach to education driven by flexible and dynamic delivery methods, innovative use of technology and forwardlooking curricula. We will focus on the needs of our learners and employers and set the trends that others will follow. Our willingness to ‘push the boundaries’ and desire for continuous improvement will establish us a stand-out proposition for all learners, however they wish to learn. We will take the University to our learners, whether they choose to study online, in the workplace, or on campus. We will:  develop flexible and dynamic modes of teaching, delivery, speed and style, with the ability for learners to easily and effectively switch between modes to suit their individual needs and circumstances  grow University of Derby Online Learning (UDOL) as a leading sector provider  provide innovative work-based learning solutions to complement the ongoing investment in campus-based facilities  innovate in our strong portfolio of programmes to meet the needs of today’s learners and employers  anticipate future regional, national and international market trends and demands  underpin our flexible approach with sector-leading use of technology, infrastructure and partner channels  deliver a high quality, simple and effective end to end learner experience which makes applying, enrolling and studying at the University a first class experience for learners irrespective of their location or mode of study

How:  through ensuring our processes facilitate the design of programmes which provide a truly flexible and dynamic blended learning experience  through developing our online capability to significantly increase our global presence and market penetration using a range of channels to market  through utilising flexible delivery and curricula to build employer partner channels to reach global opportunities  through establishing a strong, market-led research and development capability to identify new and attractive programme opportunities for learners and employers, and to manage the lifecycle of those programmes  through developing cutting-edge approaches to technologyenhanced learning that allow our students to best meet their learning outcomes irrespective of their location  through building increased levels of agility and flexibility into our core business processes to best enable swift decisions and action Our measures of success:  reach sustained growth above the sector average in programmes offering flexible delivery modes  achieve year-on-year growth in the number of learners taking advantage of multi-mode delivery channels  attain significant growth in the number of online learners to a position where UDOL is ranked in the top 3 in the UK  achieve year-on-year growth in the number of employers taking advantage of our corporate services and the number of our learners enrolled through University of Derby Corporate (UDC)

Strategic Ambition 3:

To IMPACT significantly on the economic and social wellbeing of our region and its place in the global economy We will champion the continued prosperity of our city and region as well as its place in the global economy. Our priorities and strengths will be fully aligned with the region’s businesses, economic and social needs. The value of our applied research, enterprise and knowledge transfer and the reputation of our academics, learners and graduates, will make us a business partner of choice within our region, nationally and internationally. We will have a material impact on the social wellbeing of our community in health, education, sport and culture, and will support local employment needs. We will:  develop a sector-leading capability in professional engineering, education, health and the creative industries in partnership with our regional and global partners  further enhance our reputation as a responsive, employerfocused university and our position as a sector leader in work-based learning support  develop a portfolio of applied, multi-disciplinary research and knowledge transfer services driven by effective partnerships with our region’s employers, and our deep understanding of their global markets and needs  be seen as central to the health, educational, sporting and cultural ambitions of our city and region, and establish the University as a trusted and valued partner  build a strong partnership with the regional network of schools, colleges and employers that helps to cultivate our future generations’ capacity to bring value and impact to the region  produce industry-aware, enterprising and motivated graduates  be a leading resource for local entrepreneurs in the creation and development of new businesses

How:  through investment and development of key centres of excellence and innovation supporting professional engineering, education, health and the creative industries that bring University and employer expertise together and co-create knowledge and competitive advantage  through sustaining a depth and breadth of expertise to meet changing market needs, and aligning curriculum to strategic regional growth priorities  through growing our applied research capability to the priorities of targeted regional and global disciplines and markets  through establishing effective, mutually-beneficial partnerships with key regional employers in both the public and private sector  through championing the nurturing and retention of regional talent through the establishment of a clear supply chain from school or college to the University and on to regional employers Our measures of success:  achieve growth in the centres of academic and research excellence aligned to our region’s target markets  attain year-on-year growth in number of work-based learners  realise year-on-year increase in proactive engagement with the University from regional, national and international employers and industries  achieve year-on-year increase in the number of employed graduates within the region  reach year-on-year income growth from research and knowledge transfer activity

Providing the foundations for the achievement of these strategic ambitions is a set of core enablers: People


We want our staff to be motivated, pulling in the same direction and proud to work for the University. We shall recruit talented, motivated and inspirational staff. We will continue to invest in staff development across all levels and departments, and embed an effective performance management system which appropriately rewards excellence and addresses underperformance. Our staff engagement programme will ensure that our staff have a voice and an opportunity to input into the ongoing evolution of the University.

We will embed an intelligence-led approach to inform our decision making across the University. This will ensure we’re best placed to make the right decisions for the future growth and direction of the University, in line with the needs of our learners, city and region.

Environment We will continue to invest in our sites and facilities to create an inspirational environment in which our learners and staff will thrive, and which will help them to work to their full potential. It will strengthen our links with local and regional communities through the provision of enhanced services and benefits. Technology We will harness technology across the University to maximise the effectiveness of our engagement with learners, staff, partners and employers.

Finance We will look to facilitate the growth of our income streams to further build the financial sustainability of the University and enable continuous investment in its strategic priorities. Our governance and risk management systems will focus on, and be accountable for, value for money across all University spend. Processes We will build increased levels of agility and flexibility into our core business processes to better enable the swift decisions and actions required in the fast-moving world in which we operate. We will endeavour to minimise bureaucracy and establish an infrastructure which will improve crossUniversity working.

In striving to realise our strategic ambitions it is essential we meet our values which form the bedrock of our approach: Quality

Challenge & Innovation

We are committed to achieving the best we can in all we do. We take responsibility for setting and achieving high standards and are proud of what we are able to achieve. We value quality in others, seek to learn from our mistakes, transfer good experiences and strive to continuously improve. We deliver what we have committed to do. We meet our deadlines and keep those affected informed of our progress.

We create an environment which challenges all our participants to set high standards for themselves and others. We encourage and are stimulated by being challenged and challenging others in a constructive and positive fashion. We will actively support staff and students encouraging them to be innovative and enterprising whilst adopting an external business focus.

Valuing People

We are outwardly facing and accessible to the wider community in which we operate. We are passionate about extending the opportunities our University provides to a much larger audience. We are approachable and easy to deal with. We try to make complicated things easier to understand. We create a positive and rewarding environment for all who have contact with us. We promote an open environment for our teams and departments with honest two-way communication and a willingness to share.

We treat all people with courtesy and respect. We involve and listen to others and show consideration and empathy for their emotional and physical well-being. We value others for their contribution, irrespective of personal differences. We are honest, trustworthy and straightforward in our dealings and use time, money and resources wisely. We derive value through investing in our people, supporting their development and encouraging them to achieve their potential. Customer Focus By understanding our customers, we are able to anticipate and meet their needs and strive to exceed their expectations. We will put our students at the heart of everything we do. We are committed to providing a learning experience for our students that is flexible in its delivery, tailored to their requirements and high on perceived value. We want all our students and stakeholders to be delighted by their experience, proud of their achievements and become active promoters of the University.

Opportunity & Openness


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Great people, original thinking, inspiring individuals... changing lives

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