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UNIVERSITY OF BRIGHTON STRATEGIC PLAN 2012–2015


The University of Brighton is committed to conserving, generating, transmitting and sharing knowledge locally, globally and professionally, with focus on its application for social purpose. We offer a higher education that contributes critically to citizenship and to the public good. Our model of higher education is based on a spirit of enquiry and the active co-production of knowledge amongst staff and students, in learning, teaching and research. We want Brighton staff and students to be known for their commitment to impact, community and sustainability in their chosen field.


Strategic plan 2012–2015

Contents

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CONTENTS

SETTING THE AGENDA FOR 2020

02–03

THE UNIVERSITY IN 2012

04–07

OUR OBJECTIVES

08–09

CHAPTER ONE: LEARNING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

10–17

• Growth and numbers 12 • Curriculum 12 • Learning and teaching 14 • External engagement: employability and citizenship 15 • Access 15 • Internationalisation 16 • Environment 17 • Engagement and the Students’ Union 17 • CPD and work-based learning 17

CHAPTER TWO: DEVELOPING WEALTH; PROMOTING WELFARE • Higher expectations and standards • Broadening the base: expectations of staff • Critical mass • Research themes and organisation • Economic and social engagement

CHAPTER THREE: LOCAL ROOTS; GLOBAL PRESENCE

18–23 20 21 21 21 23

24–29

• International 26 • Partnerships with further education 26 • Regional presence: Brighton & Hove, Hastings and the Gatwick Diamond 28 • Professional partnerships 28 • Health 28 • Education 29

CHAPTER FOUR: SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES

30–36

• Staffing 32 • Sustainability 34 • Digital/ICT 34 • Estates and infrastructure 34 • Structures, process and innovation 36 • Governance and finance 36

ABBREVIATIONS

37


Strategic plan 2012–2015

Setting the agenda for 2020

Over the next 20 years the university will take a leading role in delivering higher education in a transformed landscape. We have chosen a high quality, research-led path to be delivered in a global context supported by technology.

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Strategic plan 2012–2015

Setting the agenda for 2020

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SETTING THE AGENDA FOR 2020 In 2013 the University of Brighton celebrates 20 years of university status. The growth and success of those 20 years is founded on well over 100 years of institutional development. Over the next 20 years the university will take a leading role in delivering higher education in a changing environment. This plan sets out how we will do so, in an ambitious programme for research, learning and engagement. The pace of change in our environment is formidable. Global higher education is growing and evolving at a dramatic rate, impacted upon by economic development and recession, demographic shifts and the radical opportunities presented by technological innovation and open source learning. In the UK the impact of the changed fees and funding landscape, alongside increasing competition from public and private providers across the world, is only beginning to make itself felt. There is huge pressure on institutions to diversify and identify their place in an increasingly stratified fees and research hierarchy. The University of Brighton has chosen a high quality, research-strong trajectory, to be delivered in a global context with transformed technological capacity. At the core of the strategic plan is the intention to: • deliver a transformational student experience founded on research-informed learning communities of staff and students • expand the volume and quality of high impact research • underpin both strategies with sector-leading digital technology. This plan elaborates on that ambition and sets out the conditions for its delivery. It articulates a series of high level expectations around all core activity, bound together by the importance of impact, engagement and social purpose.

The University of Brighton is committed to conserving, generating, transmitting and sharing knowledge locally, globally and professionally, with a focus on its application for social purpose. We offer higher education that contributes critically to citizenship and to the public good. Our model of higher education is based on a spirit of enquiry and the active co-production of knowledge amongst staff and students, in learning, teaching and research. We want Brighton staff and students to be known for their commitment to impact, community and sustainability in their chosen field. Extensive consultation amongst the university’s staff, students, alumni and partners has yielded a consistent message – a strong sense of community and shared values and an ambition to improve and excel in our core activities of research, learning and engagement. The message is one of continuity and of change: building on our strengths and making choices about the future.


Strategic plan 2012–2015

The university in 2012

The university has five distinctive campuses in Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings and its strong growth in student numbers and research capacity over the last two decades has been supported by rigorous governance and management, and enviable financial stability.

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Strategic plan 2012–2015

The university in 2012

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THE UNIVERSITY IN 2012

In 2012 the University of Brighton has over 21,000 students studying on programmes from foundation degrees to doctoral research programmes, with 2,600 academic, professional and support staff. Our research activity is growing with knowledge exchange and other forms of economic engagement flowing directly from research and teaching programmes in the arts and humanities, physical and life sciences, education, medicine, health and the social sciences. Our courses span a wide range of academic and professional disciplines with the majority of students on courses accredited by professional and statutory bodies. We work with a range of partners to deliver educational opportunities to the broadest possible constituency, not least via our joint medical school and a broad range of courses delivered in our partner colleges.

Our commitment to social and community engagement is taken forward through a strong widening participation team and the internationally renowned Community University Partnership Programme (Cupp), supporting activity in teams and schools. The university has five distinctive campuses in Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings. Its strong growth in student numbers and research capacity over the last two decades has been supported by rigorous governance and management, and enviable financial stability. This plan sets out a programme for development and change on a sustainable financial basis, that is rooted in our current strengths.

Building on our strengths • A breadth of activity and portfolio in which the academic and the professional decisively shape and inform one another. • A distinctive geographic footprint in Sussex that celebrates the importance of place for our identity and activity. • Working through partnership and collaboration for mutual benefit. • Making a positive difference to our communities – locally, globally and professionally. • A culture of mutual respect and support for diversity.

Future development • A significant and strategic investment in high quality research. • Students at the centre of research-informed learning communities. • A sector-leading offer to students in forms of external engagement, employability and career development. • A step change in forms of digital learning to support interactive face-to-face learning and teaching. • An increase in international activity that grows communities of learning and research at home and overseas.


Strategic plan 2012–2015

The university in 2012

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Academic core and interfaces

All these elements overlap and add value to each other. In particular, our approaches to learning, research and external engagement are intended to be mutually reinforcing and integrated.

Research and knowledge exchange

Learning and teaching

External engagement

Cross-cutting themes

In the same way our ability to deliver on cross-cutting themes will require mutual interdependence. Our international strategy will rely on a significantly improved digital footprint and on the right choice of partnerships.

Partnerships

Digital footprint

International reach and impact

In setting out an agenda for change in learning, research and external engagement, the university intends to raise the quality of all three. Success will depend upon our capacity to enthuse, motivate and develop the whole university community in order to deliver this agenda – and measured by our future capacity to attract the highest calibre of staff, students and partners. At the heart of our delivery strategy will be an investment in development and training for staff, embedded in a new process of personal development planning and performance review. The University of Brighton is a multi-site and significantly devolved institution with a commitment to collegiality and consultation. Whilst we retain the values at the core of our current systems – mutual respect and a belief in the innovative capacity fostered by forms of devolution – we have decisions to make, and outcomes to deliver, whose pace will be driven hard by a series of external forces. A sense of urgency is critical. It is clear that the university community recognises the need for a clear sense of direction and more explicit expectations of staff and of the systems we all use. At the heart of this plan is an intention to review structures and processes in order to: • achieve greater consistency • make our processes more efficient and timely • remove unnecessary duplication of procedures • enable faster and more explicit decision-making • free up the capacity to innovate in the context of rigorous quality control • establish renewed internal communications systems that work for everybody.


Strategic plan 2012–2015

The university in 2012

We have decisions to make, and outcomes to deliver, whose pace will be driven hard by a series of external forces. A sense of urgency is critical.

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Strategic plan 2012–2015

Our objectives

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OUR OBJECTIVES

The ten headline objectives below express the key aspirations for the university over the next period. They are developed in more detail in the referenced chapters of the full plan. Delivering them depends on a range of enabling activities, and on changes in process and ways of working, also set out in the body of the plan. Each objective has two key performance indicators against which the Board of Governors will monitor progress. These will also be supported by detailed performance indicators in the body of the plan, and supporting sub-strategies. Objective

Key performance indicators

1

A transformational learning experience: Students at the university will value their learning as active participants in learning communities, engaged in the co-production of knowledge across a broad range of professional and academic disciplines. (See: Chapter 1 Learning to make a difference)

To improve our institutional score in the NSS for satisfaction with Teaching on the course, to 90 per cent by 2015. (Currently 86 per cent)

To reduce home noncontinuation to 9 per cent by 2015, achieving a position at or below our HESA benchmark. (Currently 12.2 per cent)

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Research ambition: The university’s research volume and quality will increase, focused on high-impact, translational research. (See: Chapter 2 Developing wealth; promoting welfare)

The university will be in the top 60 in the REF 2014 quality league tables.

The volume of REF-able staff will have increased to 40 per cent for the 2019 REF.

3

A learning university investing in staff: All staff will be expected and supported to develop their capacity and skills, in alignment with the university’s strategic priorities. (See: Chapter 4 Sustainable practices)

There will be an absolute improvement, to 78 per cent by 2015, in the staff satisfaction survey question on satisfaction with learning and development, maintaining position above benchmark. (2009: 72 per cent against sector benchmark of 68 per cent)

By 2015 all academic staff will have, or be working towards, a university teaching qualification or institutionally recognised equivalent, with an embedded digital literacy component. (Benchmark data from HESA – collected from summer 2013.)

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Engagement and impact: Our learning and research will be developed with partners and focused on social and economic benefit (See: Chapters 1 Learning to make a difference, 2 Developing wealth; promoting welfare and 3 Local roots; global presence)

All undergraduate courses will offer, as part of the curriculum, the opportunity for forms of external engagement such as work placements, community engagement or equivalent. (Baseline audit 2012. 100 per cent by 2014)

We will grow our REASE income by 10 per cent over the three years to 2014–15.


Strategic plan 2012–2015

Our objectives

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5

University of choice: We will attract high calibre students at all levels of study for whom Brighton is their university of choice. (See: Chapter 1 Learning to make a difference)

To move towards an average UCAS entry tariff score of 320 by 2015. (Currently 289)

To continue to meet our recruitment targets across our funder contracts.

6

Student success: Our students will be supported to achieve academic and career success regardless of background. (See: Chapter 1 Learning to make a difference)

To achieve a 92 per cent employment rate for first degree leavers in the 2015 DLHE tables, at or above sector average. (Currently 88.7 per cent and 90 per cent for sector)

To meet our Access Agreement targets for recruitment and retention.

7

Digital transformation: All our courses will be supported by innovative and creative use of technology for learning, teaching and research with a focus on the use of mobile technologies, embedded in high quality university-wide IT systems. (See: Chapters 1 Learning to make a difference and 2 Developing wealth; promoting welfare)

By 2015 the university will win a sector award for excellence in the use of digital technology for learning and teaching (THE Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Technology or equivalent).

To achieve 90 per cent satisfaction score in NSS Q 17 – I have been able to access general IT resources when I needed to. (Currently 85 per cent)

8

Internationalisation: We will grow our international student numbers in the context of an increasingly internationalised learning and research experience for all staff and students. (See: Chapters 1 Learning to make a difference, 2 Developing wealth; promoting welfare and 3 Local roots; global presence)

Numbers of students from outside the EU will increase to 12 per cent of the total student population by 2015.

International student noncontinuation will be improved to be in line with the current home non-continuation rate.

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Sustainable campuses: We will pursue our ambitious carbon management targets and maintain our leading reputation for an embedded, system-wide commitment to sustainable practice. (See: Chapter 4 Sustainable practices)

We will achieve our target in The university will sustain its our Carbon Management Plan position in the Green League to cut carbon emissions by 50 top 10. per cent by 2015 (baseline year 2009–10).

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Financial stability and the conditions for growth: We will maintain financial security and ensure the mechanisms are in place for growth. (See: Chapter 4 Sustainable practices)

We will ensure that the average historical cost surplus (over three years) is maintained between 4–6 per cent of total income.

We will aim to maintain liquidity between 90–120 days of expenditure.

All objectives will be developed to be sustainable and with the capacity to foster innovation. Key performance indicators will be regularly monitored by the Board of Governors and Academic Board against annual targets and supported by detailed objectives and targets in university-wide sub-strategies, departmental and local academic plans.


Strategic plan 2012–2015

XX: XX

CHAPTER ONE

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Strategic plan 2012–2015

XX XX

011

Our students will be part of a learning community in which the physical and digital environment will support high value face-to-face learning with academic staff, student peers, and external practitioners and partners.


Strategic plan 2012–2015

Chapter 1: Learning to make a difference

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LEARNING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

The University of Brighton’s offer to students

The University of Brighton welcomes a diverse mix of students from a wide range of backgrounds, nationalities, ages and previous educational experience. What all members of the university have in common is a desire to make a difference; through our learning, research and professional practice and our engagement with a global network of social and economic partners. Our students will be part of a learning community in which the physical and digital environment will support high value face-to-face learning with academic staff, student peers, and external practitioners and partners. This chapter sets out the nature of our offer to students and the quality of the student experience.

Growth and numbers

Over the next three years the university will sustain its current student numbers at around 21,000, with the balance changing to reflect greater proportions of international and postgraduate students. In the medium term we will look to secure growth to a maximum of 25,000 based on our current estate, with any further expansion dependent on opportunities to develop additional regional campuses and a more comprehensive international college offering.

Curriculum

The university will continue to offer a broad range of courses with professional and academic focuses, drawn together in subject groupings to ensure that professional practice and intellectual enquiry are mutually engaged. The taught portfolio will be innovative, flexible and research informed. There will be an increase in the role of sustainable development across the curriculums, as academically appropriate. The university intends to develop a new set of relationships with its further education partners (see Chapter 3 Local roots: global presence, chapter on partnerships). Subject to national policy constraints on funding and numbers we will support them in developing their sub-degree and vocational provision and a range of progression pathways to university courses.

The university’s own portfolio will focus on first degree and postgraduate provision; full-time foundation degrees will be phased out, with a limited number of part-time work-based foundation degrees retained as part of our professional formation and CPD portfolio. Our curriculum will be regularly reviewed against an agreed set of indicators and refreshed to reflect success in these and opportunities for the future. Indicators will include: student achievement, graduate destinations, retention, links to research, capacity to recruit students with high entry qualifications, capacity to recruit international students and professional body standing. • By 2015, 20–25% of the current curriculum will have been replaced as a result of regular review against the indicators above. • All undergraduate courses will recruit a number of students with ABB at A-level or equivalent. • The balance of numbers between different courses and subject areas will be adjusted to take account of patterns of highly qualified demand and synergy with research strengths. • Subject to HMG policies on non-EU students the proportion of postgraduate students (PGR and PGT) will rise to 20%.


Strategic plan 2012–2015

Chapter 1: Learning to make a difference

The transformation of the learning experience for our students will be informed by three main elements: research, the interactive learning community and a new balance in the use of academic technologies and blended learning.

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Strategic plan 2012–2015

Chapter 1: Learning to make a difference

Learning and teaching

The transformation of the learning experience for our students will be informed by three main elements: research, the interactive learning community and a new balance in the use of academic technologies and blended learning. The relationship between research, learning and teaching will be of increasing significance as the level and quality of our research is expanded. The intention is to make current practices explicit and consistent across all course provision, with a focus on: • ensuring a research-based curriculum • utilising current staff research in the curriculum • using pedagogic research to inform teaching methods • developing students as researchers. Over the next three years there will be a structured move towards defining our pedagogy in terms of the processes of student learning rather than by the detail of teaching inputs. Face-to-face engagement will be of the highest importance and will be primarily interactive, with the more straightforward transmission of knowledge increasingly delivered and supported by academic technologies. Students will be part of learning communities in which they will interact directly with academic staff, their student peers and a range of professional and external partners, and will learn how to generate and critique knowledge and professional formation.

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The creative use of a wide variety of technologies for active learning will become an integral part of curriculum planning and delivery, including exploiting the full potential of technology to deliver and enhance assessment and going beyond information delivery towards synchronous and asynchronous communication and collaboration across learning communities. The high quality of our learning and teaching experience will be supported in the following ways. • Student contact time and face-to-face engagement with staff and other students, will be interactive, and focus on the active co-production of knowledge and on fostering a spirit of enquiry. • All academic staff will have, or be working towards, a university teaching qualification or institutionally recognised equivalent. • All academic staff will be supported in the acquisition and updating of skills to ensure effective use of technology. • All course delivery will include the use of academic technologies and be supported by accessible, interactive digital resources. • Our estates will be developed to facilitate a shift towards learner-centred environments with an emphasis on the flexible use of space and enabling digital infrastructure.


Strategic plan 2012–2015

Chapter 1: Learning to make a difference

External engagement: employability and citizenship

External engagement is a core value of the University of Brighton. We define it broadly to encompass the economic and social, to include in the notion of community, overlapping circles of local, regional, national and international partnerships. These will be based around knowledge exchange, professional formation, mutual benefit and the public good. All our students will have the opportunity to engage outside the academy during their time at the university and for our undergraduate students this will be a guaranteed offer as part of their curriculum. Students will be able to participate in ways that will develop their skills, help them to translate and apply what they have learned and prepare them not only for immediate employment but ongoing career development and socially purposeful citizenship. These opportunities will include professional placements, volunteering and mentoring, community participation, and entrepreneurial and economic engagement. The university will continue to develop its rapidly growing alumni association. We will ensure both that career development and support continue beyond graduation and that the community of Brighton alumni becomes a major source of that support. • All undergraduate courses will offer, as part of the curriculum, the opportunity for forms of external engagement such as work placements, community engagement or equivalent. • The university will achieve significantly improved graduate destinations but will also register student success through broader measures that track medium term employment history and encompass self-employment, creative endeavour and diverse forms of professional practice.

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Access

The university intends to remain an accessible and diverse institution. We will continue to set out explicit commitments to widening participation and diversity in our Access Agreement and our Widening Participation Strategic Assessment. We intend to ensure that our strategy to increase the overall level of entry qualifications will be an inclusive one, and that our local outreach activity will include work with schools and colleges to raise attainment and help students from non-traditional backgrounds to access the most selective courses, including medicine.

Internationalisation

The university will develop for the benefit of all students, as an international community of learning, with its cultural values and curriculum reflecting a global perspective. The university will set a growth strategy for international student numbers in the context of an overall increase in internationalisation: a more diverse mix of staff and students working across international boundaries in relation to research, scholarship and professional communities. We will recruit international students for a successful UK experience, placing a high value on preparation and in-course support, not least through growth in our international college. At the same time we will expand the opportunities for our home students to experience interaction with staff and students from other countries, through virtual and physical networks and exchange.


Strategic plan 2012–2015

Chapter XX: 1: Learning XX to make a difference

The university will develop for the benefit of all students, as an international community of learning, with its cultural values and curriculum reflecting a global perspective.

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Strategic plan 2012–2015

Chapter 1: Learning to make a difference

Environment

The core of the student experience is the experience of learning in a rich, interactive and research-informed community, supported by inspirational, engaged and committed staff. However, our students will rightly expect high quality resources, sport and leisure facilities, digital infrastructure, estate and physical environments. These issues are developed in chapter 4 Sustainable Practices.

Engagement and the Students’ Union

The university has a strong working relationship with its Students’ Union. During the period of this plan we will work to ensure visibility and delivery of our new Student Charter. We will ensure that we listen to the student voice through a variety of mechanisms, making us well placed to meet our mutual responsibilities for the effective engagement and representation of students. This includes working with students and their representatives in ways which promote participation and collaboration in university governance at all levels, and the joint development and scrutiny of a variety of feedback instruments. We will work in partnership with the union to develop the external engagement agenda set out in External engagement: Employability and citizenship (see page 16). In doing so we will foster an environment in which students can challenge and redefine a university experience for themselves, taking empowered ownership of their time with us.

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Continuing professional development (CPD) and work-based learning The university serves a wide constituency. Increasingly, people wish to access higher education throughout their lives and their careers, not always through a return to full-time study. We intend to consolidate and make more visible and accessible our already extensive continuing professional development offer and increase our provision of work-based learning at undergraduate and postgraduate levels as part of workforce development strategies agreed with key regional and national partners.

• The university will establish a central CPD unit to coordinate and publicise a broad range of part-time and work-based provision. Detailed strategies and supporting documents for implementation • Learning and Teaching Strategy • Digital and e/blended Learning Strategy • Employability and Career Development Plan • Access Agreement and Widening Participation Strategic Assessment • Student Charter • Recruitment Strategy • Marketing Strategy


CHAPTER TWO


We became a leading post-92 university in the quality rankings in the last Research Assessment Exercise. We now intend to take that success to the next level.


Strategic plan 2012–2015

Chapter 2: Developing wealth; promoting welfare

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DEVELOPING WEALTH; PROMOTING WELFARE

University of Brighton research and knowledge exchange that makes an impact Over the period of our last Corporate Plan the university achieved significant success in its research, becoming a leading post-92 institution in the quality rankings in the last Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). We now intend to take that success to the next level, recognising that this requires strategic intervention. The university will be research active in all subject areas represented in the curriculum, and will be known for internationally recognised translational research that has a direct impact on lives and communities. Our economic and social engagement will flow directly from our research and teaching strengths and will focus on maximising impact on the student experience and the direct application of our research.

Higher expectations and standards

Arrangements to manage a successful submission for the REF in 2014 are in place. As part of this process we will be producing evidence of the impact of our research on the wider economy and society. REF 2014, like its predecessor, will be extremely competitive. The introduction of new criteria makes it more difficult to predict the overall outcome, nonetheless we are seeking to maintain the position we achieved in the RAE 2008. REF 2014 will then become a springboard from which we will build and realise our research ambition.

The university intends to raise the quality of its research outputs. This will be achieved through focused leadership, significant investment in staff and a strategic investment in research with a focus on the development of critical mass. It will also require new expectations of staff with clarity about required activity and new systems for accountability and review. There will be a dual strategy of broadening the base and phased, strategic investment to achieve high quality outcomes. Challenging thresholds of submission to the REF will be set for each unit of assessment. This trajectory will continue beyond the REF. • Following the REF 2014 the university will be in the top 60 institutions in the quality league tables for research. • The number of REF-able staff will have increased to 40 per cent for the 2019 REF.


Strategic plan 2012–2015

Chapter 2: Developing wealth; promoting welfare

Broadening the base: expectations of staff

The newly established Doctoral College will be a key mechanism to grow postgraduate researcher recruitment, with growth targets focused on full-time and international recruitment. Through the college we will ensure effective and consistent support for postgraduate researchers. At the same time we will implement a university-wide infrastructure for the systematic career development of all researchers. We will continue to support all academic staff to remain and become research active by allocating at least 20 per cent of their workload to research and scholarly activity. We expect that all staff will work to develop a portfolio of research outputs that, overall, is at least equal to an average quality threshold to be determined for each area of research in which the university is active. This expectation will take account of research careers that are in their early stages of development as well as disciplines where the co-production of knowledge with professional practitioners is an emerging process. Over the next three years we intend to introduce research performance review as part of annual workload planning and accountability and to ensure that expectations in relation to research and engagement are explicit. This will be done in a way that fosters a collective view of workload accountability, is a sensible use of strengths and expertise and that recognises the value of varied professional portfolios. • By 2019 we will achieve an institutional research degree qualification rate above our benchmark for our postgraduate research students: where benchmark is taken to mean the Sector Adjusted Average time to qualification and the data is taken from the HEFCE survey of research degree qualification rates. • We will introduce a new workload planning and performance review system to facilitate growth in the volume and quality of research activity.

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Critical mass

In order to achieve our longer term REF ambitions and to secure growth in quality-related research (QR) income, we will make a focused investment to create and nurture research areas with critical mass. These will encompass the life sciences, physical sciences, social sciences and arts and humanities. Investment will take place on a phased basis over the next five years with an intention that we shift the balance of income generation capacity; from small-scale project grants to develop significant programme grants in strategically identified areas. At the same time we will grow our overall capacity. A process that has begun with systematic investment in new research appointments for 2012–13 will be continued, with the university intending to ensure that all new academic appointments are either research specific or focused in areas where research-teaching synergy can be achieved (see Chapter 1 Learning to make a difference for more on research-informed teaching).

Research themes and organisation

One outcome of our review of structures and process (see Chapter 4 on Sustainable Practices) will be to better enable research collaboration across subject and disciplinary boundaries.


Strategic plan 2012–2015

Chapter 2: Developing wealth; promoting welfare

Economic and social engagement will continue to be core business for the university ... embedded in our approach to the student experience, to learning and research, and to partnerships.

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Strategic plan 2012–2015

Chapter 2: Developing wealth; promoting welfare

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Economic and social engagement

Economic and social engagement will continue to be core business for the university. However, as is reflected in the structure of this plan, it will no longer be treated separately as third stream activity but will be embedded in our approach to the student experience, to learning and research, and to partnerships. For this to be fully realised we need to understand and measure the impact of our engagement, and to ensure that our policies and processes incentivise and recognise the innovative behaviour from which much social and economic engagement flows.

Just as our learning and teaching is underpinned both by disciplinary and pedagogic research so our social and economic engagement will flow from our learning and research and also be informed by a critical engagement with the activity itself. The university is already internationally recognised via Cupp (the Community University Partnership Programme) for the quality of its work in social and community engagement and the theoretical underpinning of research and evaluation that supports it. Similarly, our economic engagement with a wide range of partners will be informed by a critical evaluation of benefit and impact.

Central to the relationship with our research strategy is the better understanding of how we make an impact and the systematic establishment of activity that connects our research to academic, public, community and economic networks and partnerships. Our economic engagement will be more focused to achieve this synergy and to operate for maximum return, both in terms of income generation and optimising our research strategy.

• Economic and social engagement will be focused on a direct relationship with research, learning and the curriculum. • The same quality standards will apply to our engagement activities as to research and taught provision. • Combined research and EASE income will grow by 10 per cent over the three years to 2014–15.

The establishment of conditions for successful innovation is highlighted in Chapter 4 on Sustainable Practices – the entrepreneurial and enterprising behaviours we associate with engagement need to be aligned with our commitment to student engagement and high impact research and the integration and sharing of knowledge as opposed to preserving the boundaries of existing disciplines and structure. Embedding engagement activity in this next phase of university strategy will require that we commit ourselves to a model of partnership and knowledge exchange underpinned by the principles of mutual benefit and the same rigour with respect to quality as we apply to our taught programmes and research.

Detailed strategies and supporting documents for implementation will include: • Research Strategy • Academic Workload Planning and Staff Strategy • Higher Education Innovation Funding 5 Strategy.


CHAPTER THREE


We will remain strongly rooted in our geographical locations, serving a civic and economic function as a leading regional institution, we will continue to extend our national and international reach, taking University of Brighton values around the globe.


Strategic plan 2012–2015

Chapter 3: Local roots; global presence

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LOCAL ROOTS; GLOBAL PRESENCE

University of Brighton partnerships

The University of Brighton is proud of its status as a valued and trusted partner. We will refresh and reinvigorate our key partnerships, and develop new ones, to deliver defined mutual benefit and address changing circumstances. We will remain strongly rooted in our geographical locations, serving a civic and economic function as a leading regional institution, but at the same time we will continue to extend our national and international reach, taking University of Brighton values around the globe. This chapter of the plan focuses on strategic partnership priorities.

International

Continuing growth in international student numbers will be set in a context of internationalisation throughout the university, impacting on the curriculum, staff and students. Through the establishment of selected partnerships with a small number of organisations and higher education (HE) providers, and with a number of selected partner countries, we will work to offer both higher education to students from overseas and greater mobility for our UK students and staff to work and study in other parts of the world. Our work with international partners will be targeted to offer courses at the appropriate level and discipline to meet country needs. We will grow our numbers of well-prepared international students through expanded capacity with our International College, and through selective relationships with a small number of countries – and institutions within them – in order to focus resources and ensure a detailed understanding of requirements and subject demand. Selected links with international academic departments will offer significant opportunities for student exchange, staff research, and knowledge exchange and mutual staff development. • By 2015 12 per cent of our students will come from outside the EU.

Partnerships with further education

The university has long standing relationships with partner further education (FE) colleges across Sussex and the South-east through which we have delivered a significant proportion of our HEFCE numbers, in order to promote access, diversity of provision and progression to further study. Our college partnerships will remain of fundamental importance but will change in character. Over the next three years the university will cease to support indirectly funded provision in most FE colleges. Instead we will complete the process of supporting colleges to bid for direct allocations and will work in a broad university-college network to increase our validation activity and develop appropriate college provision across the region. We will work with colleges to develop a flexible and enabling planning structure for HE in FE across the region to meet workforce development needs and prevent duplication. We continue to see college delivery of higher education as an important strand in promoting access and diversity, and in being responsive to employer need. We believe the new arrangements will provide an opportunity for greater clarity about the role that different institutions can play. The university will offer higher level progression opportunities in areas of curriculum strength and provide a range of services to colleges in developing their sub-degree provision, and distinctive work-based and location-specific top-up degrees.


Strategic plan 2012–2015

Chapter 3: Local roots; global presence

27

The University of Brighton is proud of its status as a valued and trusted partner. We will refresh and reinvigorate our key partnerships, and develop new ones, to deliver defined mutual benefit and address changing circumstances.


Strategic plan 2012–2015

Chapter 3: Local roots; global presence

Regional presence: Brighton & Hove, Hastings, and the Gatwick Diamond

The university has a significant number of important regional and civic partnerships, with the city of Brighton & Hove, with Eastbourne and Hastings, with local industries, employers and public services and with a complex web of community and social partnerships. This engagement is integral to the way we work, and is reflected in every strand of this strategic plan – our learning and teaching, our research and knowledge exchange and our professional services and delivery. We will ensure that partnership activity is focused to achieve the most impact and the greatest yield in terms of university objectives – economic, social and educational. There will be a particular focus on our work in Hastings, on the development of partnerships and provision in the Gatwick Diamond, and on opportunities for developing partnership in the digital economy and the cultural and creative industries. We will: • achieve further growth in our Hastings campus to 1,000 students by 2015. The campus will continue to serve the needs of the local community and economy and develop a distinctive academic identity that reflects local industries and cultural developments. It will remain at the heart of a holistic educational strategy for the area working with two academies that are sponsored, and closely supported, by the university, local schools and Sussex Coast College Hastings • expand our partnership activity in the Gatwick Diamond in order to promote greater participation in higher education and support the needs of the local economy, with a view to establishing a more significant and visible physical presence in the area. • By 2015 the number of students studying on our Hastings campus will have increased to 1,000. • We will expand our partnership activity in the Gatwick Diamond.

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Professional partnerships

The majority of undergraduate students at the university are on courses validated by professional, statutory and regulatory bodies. These professional relationships are critical for us – they help to assure the value and quality of much of what we offer our students, and our research and teaching engages with professional formation and development, contributing in a major way to the public interest and public good. In a period of disruption and change in the public sector there are two particularly significant professional arenas in which the university plays a major role and where we will develop new strategic partnerships: health and education.

Health

The university is the lead provider of medical and health education in the region with an important role in medical education through the Brighton and Sussex Medical School. Changing structures in the NHS, new approaches to workforce development and the supply of education and training for the health professions all necessitate new agreements with commissioners at the national, regional and local levels. In an increasingly volatile and competitive environment the university will seek to develop new partnerships for health, encompassing medicine, nursing and the health professions and pharmacy and the biomedical sciences. At the strategic level our health partnerships will be based on shared, mutual concerns to optimise health and wellbeing through contributions to research, professional formation and critical practice. As far as possible the university will seek to work with partners to achieve an integrated approach to workforce planning, supply numbers for entry to the professions and postgraduate level continuing professional development. It will continue to enhance how clinical and non-clinical elements are combined with a view to creating innovative approaches in postgraduate education for integrated professional teams.


Strategic plan 2012–2015

Chapter 3: Local roots; global presence

Education

The university is recognised as an outstanding provider of teacher education. Shifts in the organisation, commissioning and funding of teacher education together with new expectations for the roles of schools and HE providers offer significant opportunities for the university. The university aims to be a recognised lead provider of consultancy and research, and first port of call for commissioning opportunities, working with schools, colleges and HEIs across the region. A new partnerships for education strategy will be developed by 2013. • The university aims to be a recognised lead provider of consultancy and research and first port of call for commissioning opportunities, working with schools, colleges and HEIs across the region. Detailed strategies and supporting documents for implementation will include: • International Strategy • Higher Education in Further Education Strategy • HEIF5 Strategy • UBH Strategic Review • Partnerships for Health • Partnerships for Education.

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CHAPTER FOUR

The university will remain established in a number of locations ... enabling a strong civic and regional presence and enriching its partnership and engagement activity with a sense of place and constituency.


Strategic plan 2012–2015

Chapter 4: Sustainable practices

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SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES

How the University of Brighton works

Sustainability is a core value of the university. It is critical to our ways of working and will inform our thinking about all aspects of activity including learning, research and partnerships. As well as being sustainable, the ways in which we deliver our core objectives will be efficient, timely, consistent and of high quality. Key to everything is our investment in our staff. Staffing

This strategic plan has at its heart a vision of the university as a series of learning communities. It is critical that all staff are part of this ethos and are given the support necessary to deliver the university’s strategic priorities. To this end the headline staffing indicator for this planning period is for a positive staff experience of learning, development and support. There will be an early impact analysis of the current Staff Development Review scheme to understand its effectiveness and fitness for purpose in supporting the delivery of this plan. The university will establish a process of personal development planning for all staff with the intention to invest further in support and development with a clear focus on university priorities (see Digital/ICT section on page 34). This will be a phased process, with the initial focus on academic staff in relation to both teaching and research. By 2015 all academic staff will have, or be working towards, a university teaching qualification or institutionally recognised equivalent. The university will develop its own award: an internally developed and accredited scheme with agreed equivalences, to take forward professional qualifications and CPD with recognition from the Higher Education Academy’s Professional Standards Framework. It will include requirements in relation to digital literacy as part of the initial qualification and in relation to professional updating and standards. Development and support for research and scholarship will be part of the core offer to academic staff. The effective delivery of this plan in the timescales necessary will also require different ways of working together across the university – greater consistency, greater collaboration across our school and departmental boundaries and the ability to make, communicate and deliver decisions to tight deadlines.

To achieve this, we will require a new communication and change strategy that engages all staff and clarifies expectations and changes in process. A process of performance review will be developed for all staff, alongside a consistent and transparent process for workload planning to ensure an effective balance of activity and responsibility across academic and professional units. Chapter 2 Developing wealth; promoting welfare identified some changes necessary in setting workload and performance expectations for academic staff. In addition our professional services staff will be asked to work to KPIs relating to the quality and efficiency of service delivery and customer feedback, and to provide regular reporting on these. The university has a high regard for staff wellbeing, health and safety, and will work with staff and their recognised trades unions to agree changes in practice, to optimise recognition and reward, and to sustain our culture of mutual respect. We will continue to work to promote equality and support for diversity. We will continue to run regular staff satisfaction surveys with the intention that we retain the already high levels of pride in working at the university and in our shared values. • The university will establish a process of personal development planning for all staff with the intention to invest further in support and development with a clear focus on university priorities. • By 2015 all academic staff will have, or be working towards, a university teaching qualification or institutionally recognised equivalent. • A process of performance review will be developed for all staff, alongside a consistent and transparent process for workload planning to ensure an effective balance of activity and responsibility across academic and professional units.


Strategic plan 2012–2015

Chapter 4: Sustainable practices

Key to everything is our investment in our staff. Success will be dependent on our capacity to enthuse, motivate and develop the whole university community in order to deliver our agenda.

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Strategic plan 2012–2015

Chapter 4: Sustainable practices

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Sustainability

Priority will be given to staff development and support to enable optimum use of technology in all aspects of university work but most particularly for learning, teaching and research. This will include pedagogical support and a network of learning technology advisers to work proactively with staff across all campuses.

In environmental terms we will work to deliver the ambitious targets set out in our Carbon Management Plan for 2015 and our new estates strategy will be strongly informed by sustainable thinking.

• The university will develop its IT infrastructure and use of academic technologies with an aspiration to become a sector leader in the use of mobile technologies to support research and learning by 2020.

The university understands sustainability in a broad sense, as intrinsically linked to other values such as partnership, collaboration and engagement. We are proud of our very high standing in the People and Planet Green League and will work to maintain that position.

The further embedding and spreading of our sustainability agenda are inextricably connected to ways of working and the extent to which staff are enabled to participate and innovate. We will continue to support informal networks of staff, and to develop effective and responsive communications. • We will work to maintain our high position in the People and Planet Green League.

Digital/ICT

The university will develop its IT infrastructure and use of academic technologies with an aspiration to become a sector leader in the use of mobile technologies to support research and learning by 2020. The underlying principles informing this development will be: accessibility; ease of use; consistency; clarity about responsibilities; personalised delivery; collaboration and information sharing across institutional boundaries. Students and staff can expect to have a high quality digital infrastructure that optimises the use of developing mobile technologies and allows better communication and access to information. The creative use of a wide variety of technologies for active learning will become an integral part of curriculum planning and delivery. This will include exploiting the full potential of technology to deliver and enhance assessment and moving beyond information delivery towards synchronous and asynchronous communication and collaboration across learning communities.

Estates and infrastructure

The university will remain established in a number of locations across Sussex, enabling a strong civic and regional presence and enriching its partnership and engagement activity with a sense of place and constituency. As outlined below, each campus in Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings – and any future campuses that are developed, particularly in the Gatwick Diamond – will have a distinct identity and relationship to physical context and community. In our three Brighton campuses these distinct identities will link together to form a strong city university presence with the individual campuses and communities sharing facilities, accommodation and accessible and sustainable transport links. A new estates strategy is under preparation, involving significant new campus and buildings developments. It will be informed by the requirements to: a. ensure each campus has a visible and distinct identity whilst offering a consistent quality of experience and service in every location; b. develop open flexible spaces that offer opportunities for engagement with a wide range of partners c. recognise the importance of flexible estates that include informal learning and social spaces d. relate the nature of the place to the activities that happen there e. ensure dedicated space for research and postgraduate study f. utilise sustainable technology and space planning g. increase student residential accommodation to be able to guarantee university controlled accommodation to all new first year undergraduates


Strategic plan 2012–2015

XX Chapter 4: XX Sustainable practices

Sustainability is a core value of the university. It is critical to our ways of working and will inform our thinking about all aspects of activity including learning, research and partnerships.

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Strategic plan 2012–2015

Chapter 4: Sustainable practices

Structures, process and innovation

Innovation and change can be hampered by cumbersome and repetitive structures and processes. The university will implement a rapid review of both by no later than summer 2013, with the intention to simplify and streamline both the academic and professional services infrastructure and to rethink and reshape the intermediary layer of academic activity currently delivered through faculties. This review of structures and processes will also create effective conditions for innovation. A strong central framework of consistent practice and process for core activity and quality assurance, supported by the development of IT systems and processes, will be implemented on the basis that it frees groups, networks and individuals to innovate in response to the demands of their subject areas and disciplinary practice. Innovation will be valued and rewarded and will include the option of failure – however it will also be supported on a selective and rigorous basis.

Governance and finance

The university will continue to be financially sustainable and to ensure that in all activities it achieves value for money. Financial health will be monitored against a series of KPIs that are consistent with the measures being piloted for the sector’s Annual Sustainability Assurance Report (ASSUR). In particular we will aim to maintain liquidity between 90 to 120 days of expenditure and achieve a three year rolling average of historical cost surplus of between 4–6 per cent of total income. This will ensure that there is sufficient financial resource available to maintain and develop the university’s infrastructure and to enhance the delivery of its educational services and related provision. Our governance and management will continue to be characterised by the utmost probity and capacity for selfreflection, review and criticism.

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Detailed strategies and supporting documents for implementation will include: • Staffing Strategy • Staff Engagement Strategy • Student Communications Strategy • Sustainable Development Strategy • Carbon Management Plan • Digital Strategy • Estates Strategy • Financial Strategy • Health, Safety and Wellbeing Strategy • Equality objectives.


Strategic plan 2012–2015

Abbreviations

ABBREVIATIONS

ASSUR CPD CUPP DLHE EU FE HE HEFCE HEI HESA HMG IT KPI NHS NSS PGR; PGT QR RAE REASE REF THE UCAS

ANNUAL SUSTAINABILITY ASSURANCE REPORT CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY-UNIVERSITY PARTNERSHIP PROGRAMME DESTINATION OF LEAVERS FROM HIGHER EDUCATION EUROPEAN UNION FURTHER EDUCATION HIGHER EDUCATION HIGHER EDUCATION FUNDING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTION HIGHER EDUCATION STATISTICS AGENCY HER MAJESTY’S GOVERNMENT; BRITISH GOVERNMENT INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATOR NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE THE NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH; POSTGRADUATE TAUGHT QUALITY-RELATED RESEARCH RESEARCH ASSESSMENT EXERCISE RESEARCH ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT RESEARCH EXCELLENCE FRAMEWORK TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES ADMISSIONS SERVICE

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University of Brighton Mithras House Lewes Road Brighton BN2 4AT 01273 600900 www.brighton.ac.uk

University of Brighton Strategic plan 2012–2015  

The University of Brighton’s Strategic Plan for 2012–15 sets out our ambitious programme for research, learning and engagement with our stud...

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