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Our Commitments

How we will act in delivering our Strategic Ambitions

We will only achieve our Vision through the talents of our staff and students, in partnership with others, and by ensuring we are financially sustainable. Building on this and in line with our values and behaviours, we are choosing to make five Commitments about how we will act while delivering our Strategic Ambitions and everything that we do.


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Students are at the heart of what we do and we are committed to delivering an outstanding student experience across our portfolio.

To enable strong graduate outcomes, we will drive teaching innovation, quality enhancement and student success. Our education and research will continue to be closely integrated to deliver research-enriched education across our curriculum, so that every student can articulate how our research has shaped their education and how they have worked with researchers and participated in research. An inclusive and supportive learning environment will mean that every programme is designed to meet students’ needs so that they can all achieve their potential.

We will build effective employer partnerships and embed employability, skills development, and student enterprise at the heart of our programmes, to produce adaptable, creative, and resilient graduates, ready to make the most of future employment opportunities and emerging job markets.

Working in partnership with the Students’ Union, there will be clear and strong student representation and we will embed wellbeing within our curriculum, so that our students feel part of a vibrant and supportive learning community.

We will continue to showcase and celebrate the work of our students and staff locally, nationally, and internationally, to inspire and encourage our students’ learning, outcomes, and future success.

We aim to attract, develop and retain the best talent. Our culture will be an attractor because people at Northumbria thrive, and we offer a sense of belonging by living and breathing the University’s Values and Behaviours.

We want new talent to make a conscious choice to join us and talented employees to choose to stay because they will undertake meaningful work in an environment which is challenging and supportive. Opportunities for career development and growth will be fair and transparent and we actively encourage all employees to reach their potential by offering a comprehensive approach to mentoring, development, and training. Beyond a competitive remuneration and benefit package, we will support the employee’s whole self with a clear approach to flexible working which aligns with being a part of our campus based community. Regular staff surveys will provide a university-level route for feedback on this Commitment.

It is important that Northumbria is a place where everyone feels they belong and can achieve their ambitions. By understanding the needs of individuals, we aim to remove any unnecessary barriers for staff and students, adopting an inclusive approach across all our activities.

This Commitment informs our approach to our people, including each stage of the staff and student journey from recruitment to retention, development, and progression. We aim to have a diverse workforce, including more colleagues from under-represented groups at middle and senior management levels.

Our Access and Participation Plan (APP), agreed with the Office for Students, sets out our ambitions for equity, diversity and inclusivity in the make-up of our student body and how we support them to complete and succeed in their studies, creating the conditions for success after they graduate.

In the North East, we will cement our position as an anchor institution, helping to drive economic inclusive growth and address the inequalities in the region. We will do that in close partnership with the North East Mayoral Combined Authority and its constituent local authorities, as well as with other influential regional organisations. Our Collaborative Newcastle Universities Agreement with Newcastle University will be a key vehicle for our role in the city.

In the business sphere we will connect our partners, in the North East and beyond, to the exceptional talent, skills and world leading research at Northumbria to help them prepare their organisations and workforce for future success.

Through our collaboration with QAHE, we will extend our reach by growing our London campus, which will help us play a stronger role in local communities and in supporting major business partners in the capital and internationally.

Our extensive international partnerships will be critical in extending our research, education and commercial strengths to the world stage. They will enable us to work with communities overseas, have a strong international student recruitment pipeline and further improve and expand our research footprint.


In 2023 we commissioned Biggar Economics to undertake an economic and social impact assessment of the University. The resulting report shows that in 2021/22, the University generated an economic impact worth £1.6 billion Gross Value Added (GVA)1 and 31,650 jobs in the UK. Of this, £1.0 billion GVA and 20,120 jobs were retained in the North East Mayoral Combined Authority region (Northumberland, Newcastle, Gateshead, North and South Tyneside, Sunderland and Durham). Our student impact generates £223.4m and supports 7,200 jobs in Newcastle and £566.5m GVA and 18,230 jobs across the UK. The University’s spin-outs and start-ups support 2,000 jobs in the North East and our graduate start-ups turnover of £102.5m, employing 1,191 FTE members of staff. The economic impact of knowledge exchange and commercialisation activities  is £181m GVA and 3,190 jobs in the UK of which £60m GVA and 1,300 jobs are in Newcastle.

These figures are significant and one way of measuring the impact of our role as an anchor institution. We have committed to measuring our impact in this way again at the Strategy mid and end points.

Click to view the Northumbria University Economic and Social Impact Assessment Report.

Sustainability is the biggest challenge facing humanity.

Through innovative research, education, and collaboration, we will strive to empower future leaders, contribute to the global transition towards a greener and more equitable future and create a sustainable campus. We will foster a culture of environmental responsibility and social impact. By demonstrating our own commitment to operating sustainably, we will look to influence those that we work with and work through.

Our commitment must therefore be deep-rooted. We are integrating sustainability into our taught curriculum, so that all Northumbria students learn about the sustainable development challenges that we face and can become sustainability leaders. We are investing in cutting-edge research to address pressing sustainability challenges and drive real-world impact, building on successes such as the Renewable Energy Northeast Universities Centre for Doctoral Training.

Through partnerships we will share knowledge and amplify our impact.

We will build on the successful implementation of our carbon management plan to date, which sets out our aim to halve our carbon emissions in Newcastle by 2030 on the way to achieving net zero by 2040. Our partner that operates our London campus, QA, is also committed to achieving net zero by 2040. We will work with them to ensure that developments at our London campus support this goal and with other partners to support their progress towards net zero.

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