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Strategic Plan 2012-2017



to the University of Wolverhampton’s Strategic Plan for 2012 to 2017.


The University of Wolverhampton has a long and cherished history dating back to the Mechanics Institute and the College of Art in the mid-1800s. Later, teacher training colleges and colleges of health were incorporated, all of which helped to develop our rich heritage and a tradition of academic excellence in vocational higher education. Indeed our coat of arms carries the motto: ‘Innovation and Opportunity’ - something which is as true today as when we were first established all those years ago. We are now a leading university and a major player in the UK higher education sector, contributing to knowledge transfer, economic development, wealth creation and social justice.

It sets out a vision in which we will continue to provide a broad range of educational opportunities focused on making a real difference to the lives of individuals, communities and businesses. We will strive to build ladders of progression and social mobility in order to improve individual life chances. We will provide an outstanding student experience, ensuring our students are fully supported to achieve academic success and are well equipped for the world of work. We will work with businesses to be more employer focused and to ensure that our research grows, informing our teaching and changing practices. Our plan is an ambitious one; we hope you enjoy reading it and ask for your support on our journey towards achieving it.

Times may have changed but our ethos has not; we remain a beacon for widening participation in education. This strategic plan has been developed at a challenging time within the UK and globally as we seek to come to terms with the impact of a new economic reality. The University has taken the opportunity to reflect on its role and to commit to a vision for the next five years. Like all universities in England we are faced with a radical shift in the funding environment in which the cost of higher education has been transferred more to the individual student, with significantly reduced state investment. The strategic plan outlines how we will face up to these challenges over the next five years, developing our own approach to economic regeneration, academic excellence, social inclusion and global engagement.

Professor Geoff Layer Vice-Chancellor


innovation enterprise







provide ladders





community Wolverhampton experience

University excellence enabling



staff goals academic






focused business


work skills

research partnership informed employer achievement scholarship progress investment


Our vision To be The Opportunity University – renowned for our creativity and innovation – developing students and staff who are entrepreneurial, eminently employable and wellconnected within a research and professionally informed environment.

Our mission To be an employer-focused university connected with our local, national and global communities delivering opportunity and academic excellence.

Our core values At the University of Wolverhampton we will be: • • • • • • • •

ethical respectful transparent inclusive and fair challenging confident collaborative professional.

These values guide the decisions we make and how we engage with our communities locally and globally.



Pursuing academic excellence and scholarship The University will provide the opportunity for staff to engage in scholarly activity and will invest in selected applied research for social and economic gain. Our curriculum, both undergraduate and postgraduate, will be demonstrably informed by research, taking into account sustainability to inform developments. To ensure scholastic excellence, we will proactively develop, retain and attract high quality staff, whilst providing relevant professional development opportunities. We will also seek to foster a research culture within the University by identifying areas of growth and ways to increase the number and completion of PhDs. Areas of research excellence will be nurtured, along with the promotion of knowledge transfer with employers. In pursuit of academic excellence, the University will continue to develop the learning and teaching agenda. Student attainment, retention and progression will be strengthened through embedding institutional graduate attributes of: • digital literacy • knowledge and enterprise • global citizenship. Continuing to develop the curriculum, we will create deeper learning opportunities whilst ensuring that blended learning (a combination of face-to-face and online learning) is integral to planning, delivery and assessment. We will have an institutional approach to developing a skills for learning support framework. The University will develop an infrastructure which enables and encourages: • continuing professional development (CPD) for teaching staff • increased research-informed teaching • regular sharing of good practice in learning and teaching.  



Enhancing the employability of our students In order to prepare our students for the world of work, we will: • develop a comprehensive enterprise and employability process that enables them to be professionally articulate • introduce them to the workplace through a range of opportunities both within the University and with our stakeholders • engage with employers to ensure the curriculum has practitioner input and that students have opportunities for assessed work experience. Students will also have the opportunity for selfemployment through the provision of incubation space, mentoring programmes and an infrastructure to support the practical application of skills acquired through study.



Be collaborative, innovative and enterprising As a University, we will be connected to our local, national and global communities – engaging in partnership through the development of an external engagement initiative. Staff are expected to connect with internal and external partnerships, employers, professional bodies and with our local and global communities. Through collaboration between our Schools, departments and our communities – including partner colleges within the UK and globally – we will develop a strong learning environment, becoming a university that is innovative and entrepreneurial in the design and delivery of its programmes. We will ensure we are connected with our professional communities through continued engagement with local authorities, schools, colleges, local enterprise partnerships, Sector Skills Councils and employers. Becoming more employer-focused, we will stimulate engagement by working in partnership to provide bespoke courses, including relevant training and CPD, as well as incompany degree programmes, professional consultancy and Knowledge Transfer Partnership opportunities. To ensure our courses are relevant, we will seek employers’ feedback through Business Advisory Boards. Our stakeholders will also be expected to provide work-based opportunities for students.


Goals Be internationally orientated

Our students will be global citizens and have opportunities for overseas placements and connections with global companies. We aim to provide scholarship and international crosscultural learning opportunities for our staff and students, and to increase our international student base in the UK and abroad. We will strengthen links with the global community and increase partnerships to provide two-way knowledge, opportunity and innovation exchange that will enhance and internationalise the curriculum.


Success We will achieve our goals by: • growing our student numbers and ensuring they are satisfied • enhancing student and staff academic success and prowess • increasing the number of graduates gaining employment, and their value in the marketplace • being a leading agent of economic and social regeneration – locally, nationally and internationally • becoming recognised as a key contributor to the skills and knowledge development for a global economy.

Making it work To achieve our mission we will be investing in our staff to lead not follow. Building, maintaining and rewarding high achievement, we will give our staff forums to challenge and debate our strategies and policies. We will ensure our staff are prepared to take managed and informed risks in the work that we do, and that they have the relevant skills and experience to interact successfully, flexibly and proactively with our students and communities. We will ensure that we are a sustainable university – both financially and environmentally – generating surplus income, controlling costs and diversifying the range of income streams. Our surplus income in the first year will focus entirely on the quality of our student experience. Our successful plan to cut carbon emissions will continue, extending it to include: procurement; construction and refurbishment; waste management; biodiversity; transport and travel; corporate social responsibility and the curriculum.  

Our Strategic Plan 2012-2017 Student Experience ‘The Wolverhampton Offer’

Learning, Teaching and Assessment

Enterprise and Employability



School Strategies 2012-2017

Departmental Strategies 2012-2017

Enabling Strategies 2012-2017

Campus Strategy

Finance and Investment Strategy

Sustainability Strategy

Business Improvement Strategy

People Strategy

Information Strategy

Recruitment and Reputation Strategy


Corporate Strategy and Governance Unit University of Wolverhampton Wulfruna Street, Wolverhampton West Midlands, WV1 1LY

Tel: 01902 322 752 Fax: 01902 322 632 Visit:

MAC1021 - Strategic Plan Brochure  

Strategic plan brochure for the University of Wolverhampton

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