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University Strategy 2030

Some Words From Andy Long, our Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive

The Northumbria University Strategy 2030 is a bold and ambitious statement of our future. At its core is the impact that the University has in changing lives, by enabling people from all backgrounds to succeed and supporting businesses and communities to thrive in the North East, London and beyond. It builds on both our heritage and our transformation over the last fifteen years, focusing on three Strategic Ambitions that will be delivered through our world-leading research and transformative education.
Northumbria University has a long and proud heritage of making a difference to individuals and to society through high quality education for students from all backgrounds. Over the last fifteen years we have transformed to become a research-intensive university, ranked 23rd in the UK for research power in the last Research Excellence Framework. At the same time almost 40% of our students come from areas with low rates of participation in HE, the highest for a research-intensive university. And almost two thirds of our graduates go into employment in the North East.
This means we combine world-class research, that is addressing the global challenges of our age, with playing a pivotal role in social mobility and providing a pipeline of highly skilled graduates into the economy. Our distinctive position was recognised when we were named Times Higher Education University of the Year 2022. From this strong base, our new Strategy prioritises three equal and interconnected Strategic Ambitions over 2024-2030. These set out the key areas of challenge and change to achieve our vision to 2030, with parity between education and research running through them.
Through these Strategic Ambitions, we will continue to grow the world-leading research at Northumbria, addressing key challenges across the economy, society and the environment. As we do so, research-enriched education will empower our students to achieve their career and life ambitions beyond graduation. Our students will participate in research and be taught by academics making key contributions in their field. This combination of research and education will drive partnership working, and such partnerships will support experiential learning opportunities for all students. This will enable even more of them to move into highly skilled employment or further study, powering an inclusive economy. And this approach will particularly benefit students from low participation backgrounds, eliminating gaps in outcomes while ensuring that our University is widely accessible.
Our three Strategic Ambitions are outward facing and dynamic. They are about the impact Northumbria University will have as an anchor institution in the North East of England, London and beyond. They improve our connectivity to a diverse range of students, to civic institutions, businesses and communities, improving our ability to respond to their needs. They will help exploit the opportunities that come from the huge range of assets in the North East. And we recognise that we can only achieve this ambitious Strategy by working ever more closely with partners, striving to achieve our joint aims.  
Our Strategy was developed over the course of a year through a series of deep and wide conversations with staff, governors, students, alumni, civic partners and stakeholders. We received hugely important contributions from leading thinkers in industry, politics and government, education and funding bodies. I was delighted that more than 1800 staff took part in these conversations, contributing ideas and challenging the thinking, always looking at how Northumbria can build on its successes and improve further. And over 1000 students gave their views on what forms of experiential learning they would like as part of their degree. Building on the critical role our colleagues and students played in developing this Strategy, they will now be at the heart of its delivery.

On my appointment as Vice-Chancellor in 2022, I joined a University which had achieved a great deal over recent years. We are now at a moment in time for the North East, likely to see a period of significant opportunity, not least through the forthcoming devolution deal. Our new Strategy is designed to take our University even further and make an even greater contribution. The opportunity for Northumbria is to play a strong civic role, combined with global reach and impact for the quality of its research and education.

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