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University of Gloucestershire Strategic Plan 2022-27

Last updated: 25 May 2022


  1. Introduction
  2. Our Mission
  3. Our Vision
  4. Our Values
  5. Our Context and the 2017 – 2022 Strategic Plan
    Structure of the Plan 2022 – 2027
    Our Ambition for Growth
  6. Our Goals for 2022 – 2027
    Goal 1: Education  –  to support our students, in the UK and overseas, to learn well by providing an outstanding education
    Goal 2: Student Life  –  to support our students to thrive and flourish
    Goal 3: Student Outcomes  –  to support our students to achieve their full potential in their careers and their lives
    Goal 4: Research, Innovation and Enterprise – to undertake excellent research and encourage innovation and enterprise for students, staff and partners
    Goal 5: Civic Role – to promote the wellbeing and advancement of our community
  7. Our Thematic Ambitions 2022 – 2027
  8. Our Pillars of Delivery 2022  –  2027
    IT and Systems


  1. This document sets out the University of Gloucestershire’s Strategic Plan for the period 2022 – 2027.  It has been developed through wide consultation with staff, students and our community.  It sets out our mission, goals and values and identifies the main actions we propose to take in order to achieve our goals. 
  2. It is not a blueprint specifying everything we will do and every outcome we will achieve for the next five years.  In an uncertain and turbulent environment that would not be realistic.  We need to remain agile and flexible in responding to new opportunities and risks as they arise.  Instead, this plan aims to give our community and our partners a sense of broad direction in terms of our purpose and the goals we will pursue over time.  It gives a framework of priorities which will guide our decision making, so that each step we take is consistently aligned with the ambitions and values we have.

Our Mission

  1. Our mission is: “Founded on values, centred on students, focused on learning”.
  2. This statement, last revised a decade ago, summarises our enduring purpose as an organisation.  It reflects that our faith-based origins, dating back 175 years and including the foundation of the Christian Cheltenham Training College, continue to shape our values today.  It encapsulates our central focus on promoting the flourishing of our students.  We achieve that through our primary activity of supporting students’ learning through our teaching, research and knowledge exchange.

Our Vision

  1. Our vision for the period of this strategic plan is:
    Changing your world, so you can change ours.
    • We transform the lives of our students so they are ready to be a force for good in the world.
    • We make our community and our world a better place.
    • We are leaders and pioneers for sustainability.

Our Values

  1. Our five values are:

Our Context and the 2017 – 2022 Strategic Plan

  1. We are among the newer Universities in the UK, having been awarded the university title in 2001, although our roots go back some 175 years. Our predecessor organisations include a range of specialist colleges and providers of professional training, including the Christian Cheltenham Training College. That inheritance continues to shape us today, in our focus on providing high quality education that equips our students for successful professional careers, in our values, and in our commitment to promote the wellbeing of our community in Gloucestershire. We see ourselves as an institution deeply embedded in our place, working for the long-term good of society, devoted to supporting our students, staff and community to flourish and achieve their full potential.
  1. We pursue this mission in a contemporary context of considerable challenge. Our operating environment in the higher education sector emphasises competition, particularly for student recruitment and funds. There is an imperative to manage our affairs in a business-like and commercially astute way, with a focus on efficiency and cost-reduction given tight Government controls on student fees. Changing social and political expectations place increasing demands on universities to extend the scope of our responsibilities towards students well beyond formal teaching, to encompass wellbeing, mental health, safeguarding, employment outcomes, and more. At the same time the perceived value and purpose of higher education is increasingly instrumental, being focused on what graduates earn when they take up employment and diminishing previous understandings of the broader purposes of a university education in promoting human flourishing, and the broader role of universities in promoting a just, tolerant, civilised society.
  2. In devising our next strategic plan, the University must understand the risks and opportunities of this wider environment. We must engage constructively and imaginatively with it, in order to adapt, manage our affairs successfully, and continue to perform well. We must be agile and innovative in taking opportunities to realise our mission and goals in new ways.
  3. Our next strategic plan builds on a track record of recent success for the University. We are proud of the progress we have made in achieving the goals of our previous strategic plan for the period 2017 – 2022. View a summary of the key achievements over that time.
  4. Throughout that period, we have successfully delivered our core purpose, which is to educate our students.  Over the past five years, we have enrolled almost 19,000 students on programmes at different levels from Certificate of Higher Education (Level 4), through BA and BSc first degrees, to doctoral study for PhDs and professional doctorates.  73% of the students who left a first or higher degree course within this five-year period did so having successfully achieved their qualifications and graduated with first and higher degrees.
  5. Although annual applications and enrolments have fluctuated over the five year period, reflecting demographic and demand trends and competitive pressures across the sector, we have seen recent growth in applications, and our conversion rate remains strong.
  6. These achievements in delivering the goals and targets of the 2017-2022 strategic plan, and our experience of operating successfully throughout the Covid pandemic, give us a strong foundation for looking ahead to determine our goals and priorities for the next strategic plan.  They give us the confidence to be ambitious in setting demanding targets for growth and success.

Structure of the Plan 2022 – 2027

  1. We have structured our strategic plan around five core goals as the primary statement of the outcomes we are aiming to achieve, supported by four ambitions.  These ambitions are not outcomes in themselves, but are thematic characteristics we will pursue across all our activities and which together make up the distinctive identity and character of the University.  We have also identified five pillars, which are the resources, techniques and methods we will deploy in order to achieve our goals.

Strategy Overview

Strategy overview of strategic plan 2022-2027 including our mission, vision, values, purpose, goals, pillars, thematic ambitions and growth ambition.

Our Ambition for Growth

  1. In drawing up our strategic plan, we have considered not only what type of organisation we wish to be, but also what size.  We have set ourselves an ambition to grow our student enrolments significantly over the next decade.  Participation in higher education is increasing as demographic trends rise and as Government policy focusses on supporting people of all ages to get good jobs and develop their careers.  We are the University of and for Gloucestershire, and we need to grow in order to more fully meet the needs of our community and enable our students and staff to flourish and achieve their full potential.  We have the opportunity to deliver our mission to educate on a larger scale for more students, and we should take it.  Through growth in student numbers we can create more headroom to invest in innovation and new development, by reducing our fixed overheads as a proportion of total costs, and making us more resilient and sustainable.
  2. We have reviewed carefully the scope for growth, taking account of trends in demography and participation in higher education; demand from applicants for the subjects and courses we offer and new ones we could offer; labour market trends and the growth of different professional pathways; and our competitive position in the market.   From this analysis, we have set ourselves an ambition to grow by 65% over the next decade, and by 30% during our strategic plan period to 2027.   Given the competitive pressures in higher education, this is a challenging ambition, but it is the core aim at the heart of our strategic plan.
  3. In March 2021 the University announced that we had purchased the former Debenhams Department Store in Gloucester, in order to turn it into a new City centre campus. The building is some 20,000 square metres on five floors, which should be sufficient to accommodate our growth plans.  The building will be repurposed in two main phases over the next decade.  In phase 1, we will relocate the School of Health and Social Care from the Oxstalls Campus and develop space for a new public library in collaboration with Gloucester City Council, and in phase 2 the School of Education and Humanities will relocate from the Francis Close Hall Campus.  The relocations will also provide space for our other Schools to expand on the existing campuses in line with the growth plan.

Our Goals for 2022 – 2027

  1. We have defined our goals as broad outcomes that map onto significant areas of University activity.  They are described below.  We recognise that the first three all relate to the broader experience that we want our students to have.  They separate the three broad domains of education, wellbeing, and graduate outcomes, because each one requires its own targeted activity.  But the three must also reinforce each other, to create a well-integrated experience for students, which achieves our over-arching purpose of enabling all our students to flourish and achieve their full potential. We mean by this nurturing growth in our students, as they make the learning and personal journey their University education will offer.  We aim to build not just their knowledge, skills and capabilities, but also their confidence, resilience and agency.  So that when they graduate they are well placed to succeed in whatever ambitions they have for their lives and careers.

Goal 1: Education – to support our students, in the UK and overseas, to learn well by providing an outstanding education

  1. The growth ambition stated above will not be at the expense of quality.  On the contrary, we see it as an opportunity to further enhance the quality, breadth and depth of the educational experience we can offer our students. 
  2. We have significantly reshaped our course portfolio over the past five years, with a stronger professional orientation.  Our programmes in nursing and allied health have grown from 176 enrolments in 2016/17 to 909 registered students in 2020/21.  We have launched 19 higher and degree apprenticeship programmes, with apprentice student numbers rising from 35 to just over 700 over the five years since 2016.   More recently, we have introduced courses in new subject areas of Engineering; Architecture, Construction and Environment; and Biosciences. 
  3. Our Teaching Excellence Framework rating in 2017 was Silver, and we will be striving for a Gold award in the newly defined framework during the period of this strategic plan.  Over the past five years our annual National Student Survey results have shown many consistent areas of strength (assessment and feedback, academic support, learning resources, learning community, and student voice), although overall they have fluctuated too much and they have been too variable across domains.  We have a well-established cycle for setting annual priorities for enhancement of our teaching and learning, which we need to use to achieve more consistent and stable improvement in achieving upper quartile NSS performance.
  4. We will enhance our educational offer to take account of the varying learning needs of a more diverse student body and the emerging requirements of the future world of employment. That means extending and diversifying not simply the range of subjects and disciplines in which we offer courses, but more fundamentally the design, structure, and delivery methods of the education programmes we provide. Our students are entitled to the best experience we can offer them, and we will ensure that our staff, both academic and professional services, are supported and enabled to do this. Our systems and infrastructures for supporting learning must be flexible since we can be sure that the education of the future will itself require adaptability.
  5. We aim to educate fully all who come to us in ways appropriate to their individual needs as well as their commonalities across demographic groups.  We will design and deliver our courses in such a way that our students will feel intellectually and personally challenged and stretched, consistent with our values of Ambition and Curiosity.  By the time they graduate, they will be professionally ready, equipped to succeed in whatever professional path they choose, and with the skills and knowledge to make our community and our world a better place.
  6. The education we provide will be flexible and diverse, adapting to the ongoing evolution of each academic subject and its methods, to wider social, cultural, technological and economic trends, and to changes in students’ own expectations and priorities.  This will better equip our graduates themselves to be flexible in responding to future economic, social and cultural needs.  Our education will be focused on gaining knowledge and insight, not simply transmitting information.
  7. In order to deliver this nature of education, we must support our academic staff to be themselves confident, flexible, with a high level of professional skills as educators, adept in using technology, and able to engage students actively in their own learning. 
  8. Over many years we have invested in our technology platform and applications to enhance the learning resources available to students and to increase the diversity of learning formats.  We have partnered with JISC to pilot learning analytics.  The coronavirus pandemic accelerated the University’s rate of innovation in applying technology to create rich and engaging teaching materials.  We will build on these strong foundations in continuing to apply technology creatively to support student learning.
  9. To achieve this strategic goal we will take the following main actions:
  1. We will measure our progress and success using these indicators:
KPI2026/27 Target
National Student Survey: Teaching on my courseUpper middle quartile
National Student Survey: Assessment and FeedbackTop quartile

Goal 2: Student Life – to support our students to thrive and flourish

  1. Over the past five years there has been a marked increase in concern about student mental health, wellbeing and safety across the UK university sector.  The reported incidence of students experiencing harassment and abuse has risen, with increasing numbers reporting that they are affected by stress and anxiety. 
  2. Our students, at all levels and modes of study, must be supported so that they can learn effectively, achieve their full potential, and be their authentic selves.  This includes working with them to develop their own resilience and capacities, recognising that building confidence and agency are fundamental if students are both to succeed as learners and to set and achieve high ambitions for themselves in their careers and their lives. 
  3. Recognising our duties of care towards our students, the University has substantially extended the support services we offer for students, including counselling and mental health support and new systems for reporting cases of abuse and harassment.  At the same time, we want to put the primary focus on promoting positive wellbeing and life satisfaction, encouraging all members of our community to take due responsibility for their own welfare and wellbeing.  By promoting positive mental health, we encourage students’ self-development and their future employability, so that they can reap the greatest benefit from their education while at the University and throughout their lives. 
  4. We will enable every student to grow in confidence through being part of a vibrant student community that recognises and celebrates different cultures, promotes inclusivity, and broadens ambitions.  Their learning should be enjoyable, stimulating and rewarding.  All students need the opportunity to make friends and develop social skills, whatever their background and however they are learning.
  5. We will develop our campus services so that our students’ lives both in and outside the classroom are fulfilling and enable them to prosper.  The formative and developmental experiences that students have while at University extend well beyond the taught curriculum.   Students are our primary partners and at the heart of everything we do.  As we grow, we will create opportunities to enhance all aspects of the student experience.  In partnership with the Students’ Union, we will provide an inclusive student experience that provides opportunities for broader social engagement and building life skills.
  6. At the same time, students need to feel safe and included on campus and in the community, and have confidence in reporting any incidents of abuse or harassment.  Equality, diversity, and inclusion are embedded in our values and ambitions, supporting and enabling all students to live their lives in the way they choose, to express their thoughts freely, be respectful of each other, and to promote relationships, conversations and understanding between individuals with different world views, cultures and backgrounds.
  1. To achieve this strategic goal we will take the following main actions:
  1. We will measure our progress and success using these indicators:
KPI2026/27 Target
NSS: learning communityTop quartile
Proceed: projected completion of learning outcomes Upper middle quartile

Goal 3: Student Outcomes – to support our students to achieve their full potential in their careers and their lives

  1. This goal recognises that our responsibilities to our students extend well beyond the time they spend at University.  As expressed in Goals 1 and 2, we want all our students to learn well, gain new knowledge and skills, achieve good qualifications, and have a rewarding, stimulating and enjoyable experience with us.  But we also want their time at University to prepare them well for the rest of their lives, particularly in progressing to successful careers which enable them to achieve their professional ambitions.
  2. Since 2015 the University has built an effective programme (“Your Future Plan”) to promote employability for all our students.  The University’s YFP team agrees with each School an annual employability action plan setting out the actions the School will take, both within and beyond the taught curriculum, to promote the skills and experiences that will best help students pursue their career ambitions.  The employment rate for our graduates has remained strong throughout the period, as evidenced by the annual DLHE, Graduate Outcomes, and LEO datasets.  We have not yet achieved our target of upper quartile results for graduate level job outcomes, and we are committed to improving our performance on that measure.
  3. Over the next five years, we will build on this progress, particularly to help more students secure the type of initial employment which represents the best first step towards their professional ambitions.  Well-educated, confident, and prepared for their next steps in life, our students will be able to convey their professionalism and readiness for future employment.  We will support them to reflect on, and to articulate, the skills, capabilities and insights they have gained that enable them to contribute as graduates in the workplace. Our students will be committed to lifelong learning, with the knowledge and experience to successfully navigate this process, so that they have the skills to successfully manage their future careers. 
  4. Building on the rapid growth of our higher and degree apprenticeships portfolio since 2016, we will further expand apprenticeships as a significant part of our growth plan.  We believe that apprenticeships are a particularly effective way of enabling students to apply their learning while studying, and to gain the skills that employers value.
  1. To achieve this strategic goal we will take the following main actions:
  2. We will give all students a wide variety of opportunities to build their employability.  That will include skills embedded into the curriculum and assessment, co-curricular activities such as field trips, internships and work placements, and extra-curricular activities such as volunteering and leading student societies and clubs.
  3. We will  develop a focussed Employability Action Plan for each School, as part of annual business planning, setting out the actions which the School and the YFP team will take together to promote student employability.  That will include raising students’ awareness of the types of careers which their subject of study can lead to, and raise their aspirations in applying for jobs.
  4. We will give every student the opportunity to:
  1. We will enable students to work on interdisciplinary projects with students on other courses and in collaborative partners to aid development of employability skills and attributes such as team working, problem solving and understanding of other cultures.
  2. We will reinforce the support we provide for new graduates in the first two years after graduation to enable them to secure the right first job, including a free employment skills and job search programme for new graduates.
  3. We will measure our progress and success using these indicators:
KPI2026/27 Target
Graduate Outcomes: Highly skilled employmentUpper middle quartile
Graduate Outcomes : Employment or further studyTop quartile

Goal 4: Research, Innovation and Enterprise – to undertake excellent research and encourage innovation and enterprise for students, staff and partners

  1. The creation and application of new knowledge is important to the purpose of any University, and in the UK environment it powerfully affects both the career development of academic staff and institutional reputation and profile.
  2. We have made excellent progress over the past five years towards our strategic goal to undertake excellent research and innovative professional practice. We have built up our research capability to the point where we were able to submit to the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF) double the number of research active staff in double the number of units of assessment compared with REF 2014. That was achieved through the creation of a new, dedicated research leadership structure working through six thematic Research Priority Areas. Whilst research funding remains a small proportion of our total income, we have nearly tripled the number of PhD completions over the same period
  3. Over the period to 2027 we aim to sustain that momentum and progress. On the assumption that there will be another REF exercise around 2027, and on broadly the same rules, we intend to achieve further step-change growth in the number of research-engaged staff, the number of units of assessment in which we are research active, and the quality ratings we achieve.
  4. We have published our research strategy for the next period, setting out how we will further strengthen our research programme with a focus on practical research with positive social impact. Working through six re-scoped Research Priority Areas, we will promote an active research culture, providing better support for early career researchers, more opportunities for doctoral students, and early identification of the impacts of our research.
  5. A core feature of our education is to promote the search for new knowledge about, and better understanding of, complex contemporary challenges, as a basis for designing solutions to those challenges and to be a force for good in the world. Our research seeks to have a positive impact on professional practice. Our students are able to get involved in research. This helps them understand how discovery functions in their discipline, leading to new knowledge, innovations in professional practice, and application to new services and products.
  6. Within this goal, we will promote more opportunities for students and staff to develop their interests and skills in innovation and enterprise. To improve our educational offer, extend our collaboration and partnerships with regional businesses, and achieve our ambition to grow, we must develop and support an innovation and enterprise outlook that flavours our research pursuits, is aligned to our education strategy and is framed through practical and applied activity. The University’s Growth Hub, co-located in the Business School, provides excellent opportunities for networking and for students and staff to work with businesses. Innovation and enterprise will remain core services of the Growth Hub.
  7. To achieve this strategic goal we will take the following main actions:
  8. We will implement the University’s new Research Strategy, developing the quality, scale and breadth of our research activities throughout the next REF period and ensuring the University has a reputation for high quality and impactful research in our selected priority areas.
  9. We will look for new opportunities for research funding, following the UK’s withdrawal from previous EU funding programmes, so that we can increase our range of funded contract research. We will expand the range of our research undertaken jointly with partners.
  10. We will enrich learning for all students by giving them access to relevant research, in order to gain an understanding of how new knowledge and professional practice is created in their field.
  11. We will provide all students with opportunities to innovate and engage with enterprise, including support for start-up and incubation.
  12. We will develop a sustainable future business model for the Growth Hub, to the extent that future public funding allows, to ensure it can continue to work with businesses in Gloucestershire to promote innovation, enterprise and business success.
  13. We will measure our progress and success using these indicators:
KPI2026/27 Target
Research Excellence Framework: research outputs submitted to UOG research repositoryOn track to achieve 50% growth in research outputs submitted in more Units of Assessment by REF 2027
Research funding contracts won15% year on year increase in research contract income secured

Goal 5: Civic Role – to promote the wellbeing and advancement of our community

  1. We are proud to be the University of, and for, Gloucestershire. As an anchor HEI in the county we offer opportunities for study across the range of academic disciplines, and achieve high quality ratings for our broad-based research. We have been serving the community for nearly two centuries. We endeavour to be, and to be recognised as, a long-term force for good in our community, working with partners as an anchor institution to promote the well-being, vibrancy and advancement of Gloucestershire.
  2. The most profound impact we have in our locality is through enabling the people who live and work in Gloucestershire to gain the skills, experiences and qualifications that equip them for successful careers and rewarding lives. Through our focus on employability and by continuously evolving the portfolio of courses we offer in response to changing patterns of demand and labour market trends, we help the public and private organisations in Gloucestershire to recruit the staff they need for successful delivery of their activities. We contribute to social justice and social mobility by making higher education available to people from disadvantaged backgrounds and communities. Through making our specialist facilities and expertise available to the wider community, we enrich wellbeing in sports, arts, culture, and enterprise.
  3. The commitment to our community and our place does not mean that we become inward-looking and parochial. On the contrary, we can best serve our community by being highly connected, globally engaged, and international in outlook. By bringing talented people to come and study and work in Gloucestershire, we can significantly enhance the skills base and human capital of the area. By broadening the understanding of all our students on global issues and advanced research, we are boosting their long-term capability. By undertaking teaching and research with collaborative partners around the world, we can raise awareness of Gloucestershire, and give our students, business partners and the wider community access to new research, trends and insights internationally.
  4. The University’s most significant partnership to support growth and economic development over recent years has been the creation of the Growth Hub at Oxstalls, co-located with our Business School at the Oxstalls campus in Gloucester and providing support services to businesses across the county. A recent independent evaluation estimated that since its creation in 2014 the Growth Hub has supported Gloucestershire businesses to create an estimated 1,200 jobs, £398 million growth in turnover, and £155 million Gross Value Added.  
  5. All our apprenticeships and new professional programmes are designed and delivered in partnership with employers, to meet skills needs in both business and public services. We have partnered with New College Swindon to create the new Swindon and Wiltshire Institute of Technology. With our partners in the UK and overseas, we have grown the number of students enrolled on programmes leading to University of Gloucestershire qualifications to nearly 3,000 over the five-year period. The University led the public discussion to develop the Gloucestershire 2050 vision as a strategic ambition for county leaders to work together to improve the quality of life across the county.
  6. The Government’s Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) publishes each year data on our performance across a range of indicators for knowledge exchange, business support and community engagement. The data are clustered into groups of comparable universities, allowing us to benchmark our performance.
  7. To achieve this strategic goal we will take the following main actions:
  8. Through achievement of our growth plan, we will expand the range of high quality, locally available higher education opportunities for people in Gloucestershire. We will work with schools and colleges serving disadvantaged communities in Gloucestershire to broaden access to higher education.
  9. We will meet the skills and recruitment needs of businesses and public service employers in Gloucestershire and beyond by expanding the range of apprenticeships and professionally oriented programmes we offer.
  10. We will support economic development in the county through services provided by the Growth Hub for business growth, strategy, enterprise and innovation.
  11. We will support civic regeneration and the creation of a new economic future for Gloucester through the redevelopment of the Debenhams building to create the new City Campus. Through our School of Computing and Engineering, we will support the growth of cyber, computing and digital as a key economic growth sector for the County, including the Golden Valley Cyber development in Cheltenham.
  12. We will work with cultural and sports organisations across the county to enrich and expand the offer of arts, culture and sport, drawing on our specialist facilities and expertise.
  13. Building on our leadership of the Gloucestershire 2050 Vision exercise in 2018, we will support the development of a long-term strategy for the development of the county.
  14. We will measure our progress and success using these indicators:
KPI2026/27 Target
Knowledge Exchange Framework: Working with Business measure Top 20% of cluster
Knowledge Exchange Framework: Local growth and regeneration measureTop 20% of cluster

Our Thematic Ambitions 2022 – 2027

  1. The five goals set out above indicate the main outcomes we aim to deliver over the next five years, in terms of benefits for our students, staff and community.  In developing this strategic plan, we have also considered the way in which we want to pursue our goals.  We have therefore also identified our thematic ambitions that define the qualities that we wish to characterise how we operate as an institution.  Together, these ambitions express the University’s distinctive identity.  They will shape the way we deliver our strategic plan, so that we deliberately consider how we can apply each ambition as we pursue our goals and activities.


  1. We aspire to be a community which values positive human relationships in everything we do – supporting our students to belong, to thrive and to achieve their full potential, supporting our staff through rewarding jobs and valuing their professional contributions, and supporting the economic, social and cultural wellbeing of people in the diverse communities we serve. 
  2. We want all our students and staff to have a strong sense of belonging to the University.  We aim to be an academic community in which our students and staff are valued as people, not just treated as numbers.  We will promote an inclusive University culture where everyone is treated fairly and with respect; where it is safe to speak up and speak out; and where individuals feel able to grow, thrive and realise their full potential. 
  3. This ambition is particularly significant for the delivery of our goal on student life.  Students’ ability to settle in, make friends, thrive, learn well, and take an active part in their course and the wider University experience are all dependent on feeling that they belong and are welcome in our community.  Similarly, this ambition is significant for our HR and People strategy, for staff to feel a positive sense of engagement and association with the University as a place which values and respects them, and where they can successfully pursue their professional and personal goals.


  1. Across the range of our activities, we aim to be outward looking, externally engaged and connected, working with partners for mutual benefit.  Nothing we do will be done better by working in isolation.  We have a successful history of working in partnership with schools, colleges, businesses, public services, and community organisations.  By being connected through mutually beneficial partnerships we will encourage progression to higher education, provide opportunities for our students to gain new experiences, and give students and staff access to new and innovative resources.
  2. This ambition is particularly significant for the delivery of our goal on education.  By working closely with partners in the professional domains and economic sectors to which our courses relate, we can enrich the design and delivery of our courses and ensure that they give students a good preparation for subsequent careers.  In our research goal, we intend to undertake more of our research in partnership with like-minded research teams in the UK and around the world.  This ambition is also central to the goal on our civic role, which is all about connecting with partners in our local community for the common good.


  1. Higher education is an international activity, with extensive overseas student recruitment and global networks of teaching, research and knowledge exchange.  At the University of Gloucestershire, we aim to provide a welcoming and supportive community for our international students, who help to create a rich, diverse, globally-aware environment for all our students.  Our international recruitment has grown from 429 students in 2016/17 to 598 students in 2020/21.  Our growth plan looks to further expansion of international recruitment.  We have a variety of international partnerships for teaching around the world, and particularly in Germany, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Myanmar.  Student enrolments on programmes delivered by overseas partners leading to UOG awards have risen from 1943 in 2016/17 to 2369 in 2020/21.  Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, we undertook a wide range of overseas field trips and work placements, in order to give students opportunities to travel and experience other cultures.  We intend to reintroduce those activities as international travel restrictions are eased.
  2. This ambition is particularly significant for the delivery of our goal on education and student outcomes.   The education we provide should expand the horizons of all our students, introducing them to other cultures, knowledge systems and world views, and giving them opportunities to engage with people around the world.


  1. For many years, we have been a leading university in the UK for sustainability.  We have integrated sustainability across all aspects of our operations, including the curriculum and research, as well as management of our estate.  We were pioneers in integrating education for sustainability into the curriculum, and contributed significantly to the QAA’s national guidance on education for sustainability.  We have a strong track record on reducing our carbon emissions.  We published in late 2021 our strategy for achieving carbon net zero, with ambitious targets by 2030.  In 2019 we were ranked as the top university in the UK for sustainability in the People and Planet league, and we have won many awards for different aspects of our work.
  2. We see sustainability as an integral component of the education we should offer to all our students to equip them for the world that awaits them when they graduate.  Many of our students are keen to know about the global issues of climate change, environmental risk, and sustainability, and to understand how they can contribute.  We are committed to our students’ development as professionals and citizens with the capability to shape a fairer and more secure future for all.  We will extend sustainability within the curriculum across a wider range of courses, and work with the Students Union to encourage more students to engage.  We expect that awareness of sustainability will become increasingly important as an employability skill for future employers.  We will integrate sustainability both locally in our civic role, and globally with our teaching and research partners.  We will build on our successes to deliver a positive impact of mutual benefit for the University, our stakeholders and local communities, through sustainability practice, learning and collaboration.

Our Pillars of Delivery 2022 – 2027

  1. Successful delivery of this Strategic Plan relies on a number of critical organisational conditions, competencies and capabilities. We term these our Pillars of Delivery, each with its own aims and objectives:

• People
• Finance
• Estates
• IT and Systems
• Governance.


  1. We are a people-based organisation. The success of the University relies on the skills, professionalism and engagement of all our staff. It is essential that we can recruit, develop, manage, motivate and retain diverse and talented staff to enable us to achieve the University’s mission and goals.
  2. To achieve this, we must ensure that our staff feel valued, respected, and empowered; able to fulfil their professional and personal goals in an organisation that supports them to do their best work; and proud to belong to an organisation whose values and purposes they share and believe in.
  3. Our thematic ambition to promote a sense of belonging is key. That applies to all our staff, irrespective of background or protected characteristic. We aim to provide and foster an inclusive environment that actively welcomes diversity, which provides equal opportunities for all staff to become their best, most productive selves, and in which everyone can live true to their own identity, without fear of abuse or harassment.
  4. To achieve these aims we will pursue the following main actions.
  5. We will develop a learning and development framework which supports staff to develop their skills and capabilities as teachers and professionals in higher education, to pursue their career development goals, and to gain recognition through accreditation and qualification.
  6. We will implement programmes that enable the University’s managers and leaders to develop and mature in leadership skills and competencies.
  7. Building on our recent achievements, we will foster a culture of physical and psychological wellbeing which combats stigma and encourages overall health, resilience and mindfulness.
  8. Recognising the challenges of our operating environment, we will ensure that our staff resources are deployed efficiently and effectively, and that costs are managed as we grow, so that we can continue to offer secure and satisfying employment.
  9. We will measure our progress and success using these indicators:
KPI2026/27 Target
Staff Engagement Survey: positive engagement measureAt least 75% positive engagement
Academic staff with teaching qualification or professional accreditationAt least 75% qualified/accredited


  1. Our Finance Strategy aims to ensure the long-term viability of the University, ensuring that we deploy our resources well, and that we generate sufficient surpluses to enable the University to invest in its people and infrastructure and to provide an excellent student experience. We are proud of our good track record of sound management of the University’s finances.
  2. Uncertainties owing to increased levels of competition and potential changes to the funding framework for Universities in England continue, and have been exacerbated by the impacts of the COVID pandemic. Our successful financial performance will enable adequate levels of investment to be maintained in delivery of current services and infrastructure and in delivery of growth, through a larger workforce and facilities. Our primary financial goals are:
  1. To achieve these aims we will pursue the following main actions:
  2. Through successive annual budget cycles, we will sustain and strengthen the University’s financial position, with robust and evidence-based financial projections and scenario planning.
  3. We will increase and diversify our income, taking opportunities to develop new revenue streams, particularly through the growth of student recruitment and contract funding.
  4. We will raise external funding for the redevelopment of the City Campus, supported by a credible Affordability Model.
  5. We will maintain a culture of cost awareness and efficiency, where staff understand the financial and operating position faced by the University, and challenge to existing processes is accepted and welcomed. We will strengthen value for money, including through effective procurement, transparent pricing, and ensuring our financial processes are fit for purpose.
  6. We will measure our progress and success using these indicators:
KPI2026/27 Target
Operating Surplus (pre-FRS102 pension charges)3-5% surplus
Cash generation from operating activities10%


  1. The University’s estate is a major asset, with heritage buildings in attractive campus settings in some of England’s most beautiful countryside. Over the past decade, we have achieved dramatic improvements in the quality of our estate, with direct and partner investments totalling some £150 million. The proportion of our estate in the top two “condition” categories has risen to 92%. Major projects have included the construction of the new Business School, the Sports Arena and all-weather sports pitches, performing arts studios, specialist nursing and allied health facilities, over 1,000 new and refurbished student accommodations at the Pittville and Blackfriars student villages, and extensive remodelling and refurbishment across all campuses to create new facilities for computing, creative industries, engineering, design, arts, and natural sciences.
  2. To accommodate the next phase of our growth ambition, we have purchased the Debenhams Department store building in Gloucester which will be opened as our new City Campus in 2023. Repurposing and refurbishing the Debenhams building to provide 20,000 metres2 of excellent teaching, research, social learning, office, and shared public service facilities will be the major estates project of the 2022 – 2027 strategic plan.
  3. Across our estate, our aim is to develop and maintain physical environments and services that:
  1. To achieve these aims we will pursue the following main actions:
  2. We will deliver the City Campus refurbishment project to time, cost and programme targets.
  3. We will increase the efficiency of our space utilisation to support growth and provide appropriate accommodation for all subject communities as student numbers increase.
  4. In consultation with students, we will enhance provision of digitally enabled social learning spaces which are attractive (“sticky”) for students, as well as ensuring appropriate specialist facilities and equipment to support professional study and effective learning.
  5. We will deliver against the targets of the Carbon Net Zero strategy.
  6. We will measure our progress and success using these indicators:
KPI2026/27 Target
Percentage of non-residential buildings in condition A and BNot to fall below 81%  
Tonnes of CO2 emissions – Scope 120% reduction from 18/19 baseline of 1,025 tonnes by 2027

IT and Systems

  1. IT and supporting systems underpin education and research at the University. Academic colleagues rely upon digital systems to access course materials and as the platform for curating learning resources and delivering taught sessions in varied and engaging ways. Students use learning resources hosted on the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Physical library resources (such as books) are tracked using technology and increasingly journals and eBooks are available online. Blended delivery and agile working rely upon collaboration software. Research requires data storage and analysis platforms. To function effectively, the University requires accurate data and management information, as well as multiple platforms and applications to support a wide variety of processing activities and operating procedures.
  2. As technology, and the reliance on technology, advance, new security pressures arise from the risk of cyber-attacks which could compromise data and delivery of teaching, research and support functions.
  3. The business processes we follow must maximise the efficient use of our IT systems. Our aims are to:
  1. To achieve these aims we will pursue the following main actions:
  2. We will sustain investment in our IT infrastructure to enable a wider range of digitally enhanced teaching and learning approaches, and specialist activities, and support delivery of our education strategy.
  3. We will provide training and development to help all students and staff gain the skills and capabilities to be confident in applying technology creatively to support teaching, learning and research.
  4. We will foster a culture where students and staff can diagnose their digital strengths and weaknesses and be signposted to resources and advice to help them improve their skills and make best use of technology.
  5. We will develop improved Management Information on the profile of delivery and engagement in teaching and learning, and use AI modelling and reporting to develop actionable insights from data.
  6. We will streamline our digital systems and processes, so that they function reliably, seamlessly and efficiently, both individually and in combination, enabling the University to scale its provision effectively through promotion of our continuous improvement programme.
  7. We will measure our progress and success using these main indicators:
KPI2026/27 Target
National Student Survey: learning resourcesTop quartile 
Cyber essentials plusSecuring and maintaining accreditation


  1. We are committed to good governance, ensuring that our affairs are conducted in a sound, transparent way, fully consistent with the Nolan principles of public life. We want our decision making and business planning to be informed by sound processes and frameworks, based on good data and evidence.
  2. We have well established systems for business planning at University, School and Department level. We have strengthened our approach to the management of corporate projects and programmes to ensure successful, timely delivery of objectives. During the period of this strategic plan, we aim to continue to strengthen those systems to ensure well-managed, successful delivery of the University’s ambitious goals and targets.
  3. The overall aim of the governance pillar is to ensure the effective direction and control of the University through a framework of authority, accountability, and compliance mechanisms.
  4. To achieve these aims we will pursue the following main actions:
  5. We will undertake a periodic, external, formal review of our governance. We will also undertake an annual review of the effectiveness of Council and diversify the membership of Council through effective recruitment practices.
  6. We will pursue ongoing improvement in the operation and effective decision making of the University’s Council, Academic Board, the University Executive, and related committees.
  7. We will operate an effective, impactful cycle of strategic, operational and business planning and risk management. We will support informed decision making through good data and scenario planning. We will apply robust programme management to deliver our corporate programmes and projects.
  8. We will provide transparent accountability through regular reporting, both within the University and to relevant regulatory bodies, including the Office for Students.
  9. We will measure our progress and success using these indicators of our overall corporate performance and standing:
KPI2026/27 Target
Student recruitment30% growth in total registered student numbers over 5 years
Apprenticeship recruitment65% growth in apprenticeship numbers over 5 years
International student recruitment30% growth in registered overseas students
Postgraduate student recruitment36% growth in registered PGT students
15% growth in registered PGR students
Office for Students Proceed: ‘overall’ measureUpper middle quartile of HEIs
National Student Survey: overall student satisfactionTop quartile of HEIs
Teaching Excellence Framework quality ratingHighest rating
SustainabilityNet zero carbon emissions by 2030

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