Strategic Plan 2018-23
An introduction by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dominic Shellard
On its publication I commended DMU’s Strategic Plan 2015 – 2020 for its clarity and confidence. Both were qualities we would have to demonstrate if we were to realise our vision of becoming the definition of a 21st-century global university. I believe it is testament to just how strongly those qualities have pervaded our approach since then that, today, we are ready to renew and reframe the Strategic Plan, two years ahead of schedule.
This comes partly as a response to the rapidly changing political landscape shaped by a Brexit vote which, far from causing DMU to retreat, has instead taken us outwards and deepened our understanding of ourselves as citizens of the world, sharply defining our social and global responsibilities, particularly to the young.
The higher education environment too is evolving in ways that call for re-evaluation and re-appraisal. The birth of the Office for Students, the advent of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF), and an ever-greater scrutiny on the value for money represented by a higher education (HE) degree, have brought changes to the sector and will continue to do so, asking of us new questions and unsettling traditional assumptions.
A key determinant of a university’s success will be not only how it adapts to, but how it embraces, change as well as how it instils that approach in students and in the communities it supports. It is in that spirit that we have refreshed our Strategic Plan.
Achieving a Gold TEF ranking in 2017 elevated DMU’s standing in an HE environment finally alive to the things that students, staff, applicants, parents and industry partners are genuinely interested in, and which we know DMU delivers: employability, teaching that empowers and inspires, outstanding student support, real-world skills, a global understanding, and the transformative power of giving back to one’s community.
Nearly four out of five of our students are the first in their families to attend university; nearly one in six has declared a disability; more than half of our undergraduates are Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME). We are immensely proud of the rich and enriching diversity of our students and of the upward trajectory that, collaboratively, we are able to deliver for them, their careers and their lives.
We must continue to build on this and further strengthen our position in the new university hierarchy, by focusing on improvements that are driven by what our students want and deserve.
Our record of work for the public good, and belief that universities are uniquely placed to make a difference, now underpin our collaboration with the United Nations. This new Strategic Plan shows how we will use the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals as a prism through which we will explore new and exciting possibilities in our teaching, research and student support.
These global goals set clear targets for nations, peoples and institutions and will provide DMU with a clear framework for growth and improvement.
Our strong global identity is rooted in a commitment to our home city of Leicester. DMU Square Mile and #DMUlocal, strengthened and deepened through creative connections with our pioneering international programmes, Square Mile India and #DMUglobal, will continue to drive our vision of our students and alumni as active, committed global citizens. Harnessing all this with our new employability initiative, #DMUworks, offers almost limitless opportunities for the enhancement of the experience our students will enjoy.
We will instil in our students the belief that they can be ‘activist diplomats’, agents of change in a world which can all too often seem to ignore the voice of the young. In uncertain times, we will encourage, challenge and inspire our students to ‘be the change they want to see in the world’. Here, clearly and confidently, we show how we will do this.
Download a PDF version of the Strategic Plan.