The stature, reputation and influence of a university are developed over the longer term and are ultimately assessed in global and national contexts. Stature and reputation are derived from the quality of all aspects of a university’s endeavours, including its research and enterprise, its learning and teaching, the experience it provides for its students and its economic, social and cultural impact. The academic quality of our staff and students, the achievements of our alumni and the partnerships we form all contribute to our stature and reputation.
Our growth will follow a clearly defined path and will support our desire for a step change in the University’s performance, underpinned by the excellence and sustainability agendas.
An investment-driven plan
Sustained growth in stature, reputation and influence requires simultaneous growth in our financial resources and revenue. It is only by making substantial strategic investments that we will be able to successfully achieve the sustainable step change in performance we desire. Our investment strategy is bold yet demanding with regard to the academic, performance and financial returns we will expect from our investments.
Achieving a step change in our performance
The rapidly changing environment in which we operate means that all universities must continually adapt and improve in order to compete within the global arena. In an increasingly competitive sector where institutions are aspiring to improve at an ever faster rate, our aim must be not only to keep up but to leap ahead. It is evident that we must bring about a sustainable step change in performance to achieve this.
While incremental improvements – incrementally doing things a little bit better, faster and more efficiently – are important and essential, they will not be enough to achieve the step change in performance that we desire. The notion of ‘continuous improvement’ must be embedded in our organisational culture, and will encompass step change as well as incremental improvements.
Each innovative improvement contributes to our excellence agenda, and we must never cease in our efforts to seize every opportunity to become a better university. ‘Do nothing’ and complacency are not options when the opportunity for improvement exists. Innovation – specifically step change and radical innovation – is not risk free, but we must manage such risks and ensure that risk aversion does not hinder our progress.
A step change in performance requires a step change in the way we approach things. It is a transformative and disruptive activity, requiring one to leave the safe confines of old comfort zones. It requires a new mindset and a new way of getting things done. Step change is a venture into new territories where new solutions need to be developed, not merely attempting to improve existing practices in an incremental way. It is exciting and transformative but requires boldness, leadership, confidence, determination and persistence to contemplate, embark upon and succeed.
Our strategic intent is to compete on quality. Quality and excellence are inextricably linked, and our excellence agenda will seek to ensure that quality and excellence are characteristic hallmarks of the University of Hull. We cannot waver in striving towards excellence and there can be no excuse for not being excellent in what we ourselves choose to do and be.
Our excellence agenda means that we will prioritise our support and investment in those activities we consider to be, or which demonstrate the potential to be, excellent. Quality and the pursuit of excellence are characteristics of a high-performing organisational culture and will be embedded in our values as a manifestation of going beyond. We will pursue, benchmark and celebrate excellence in: