Our objectives Our objectives

To achieve our Vision 2030 goals, we need to set out specific objectives. These objectives overlap and are interdependent, so require integrated approaches and shared responsibility, which is a key part of our collective Vision and ambition.  

Objective 1 – Investing in our campus

  1. A central pillar of the 2016–20 Plan will be the redevelopment of, and investment in, the campus to spearhead our commitment to modern and technologically enhanced teaching and state-of-the-art research and postgraduate research facilities. All campus development will be executed in a manner that recognises the imperative necessity for maintaining a strong student and staff experience during the construction work.  
  2. Around £150 million will be invested in the UEA campus on the NRP during the 2016–20 Plan, and a further £150 million over the course of the subsequent 2021–25 and 2025–30 plans. We will generate the revenue for this primarily through expansion of our student numbers, partnerships and fundraising. The development will be undertaken with an underlying low-carbon and access-for-all ethos.  
  3. Initially, we will invest ~£50 million in accommodation for growing disciplines in the Social Sciences and Arts and Humanities (2016–18). We will then begin a ~£150 million refurbishment programme on the Lasdun Wall to create world-class teaching and research spaces that will become available during the 2021–25 and 2025–30 planning periods.  
  4. In partnership with the Institute of Food Research, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, we will invest in an £80 million project to build The Centre for Food and Health (2016–18) and develop it as a world-renowned centre that will be an important part of the research strategy in our Medical- and Health-related research and innovation areas across a number of UEA’s schools of study. This will also contribute to student education in these areas.

Objective 2 – Growing on our campus and in our city 

  1. To provide a secure future and to enable our commitment to investment in our campus, we will undertake careful growth in our undergraduate and postgraduate student community. Taking advantage of a strong market position that has seen a ~15 per cent increase in home/EU undergraduate applications in the last two years, we will increase the total student number by around 1,500 by 2020–21, while maintaining entry standards to ensure that we uphold quality during growth. 
  2. Growth will initially be in the Social Sciences and Arts and Humanities discipline areas. We will also use the 2016–20 planning period to develop growth plans for Science, Medicine and Health, and will explore new subject areas that will underpin a further growth of 1,500 students in our 2021–25 Plan. Growth will also come from the new opportunities generated as we focus on the provision of the most relevant, future-facing needs of students and employers. 
  3. Around 10,000 of our students live off-campus in the city of Norwich. This will increase to 12,000 as we grow the university. We will work with partners to develop Norwich as an exemplar student city, planning our growth, extending the positive economic and cultural impact that our students have on the local community, and ensuring investment in student accommodation, facilities and services.

Objective 3 – Growing a student community with an excellent student experience

  1. We will provide excellent education for our students so that they can maximise their potential in their academic work and their preparation for graduate work or further study. Our quality and standing will be reflected in our Teaching Excellence Framework accreditation and in a top 20 position for the proportion of undergraduate students achieving good honours degrees.
  2. We will build on the investment in graduate outcomes support during the 2011–15 Plan by continuing to embed employability into the curriculum and encouraging innovation, enterprise and global perspectives – the key attributes that students and employers require. Success will be reflected by seeing an improvement in our rank position for graduate outcomes to bring it increasingly in line with our overall league table ranking.  
  3. We will maintain a strong focus on student satisfaction, reflected in our overall position in the top five for the National Student Survey, and will significantly improve our ranking for assessment and feedback.  
  4. We will develop the postgraduate experience for both taught and research students, taking full account of the Postgraduate Taught Experience and Postgraduate Research Experience surveys. We will provide a supportive environment that ensures successful outcomes for postgraduate students, including thesis submission within four years for students on PhD programmes.
  5. We will invest in wider student support and advisory services; in particular, addressing issues of mental health, diversity and access to facilities, working in partnership with our students to ensure that we deliver the strongest possible student experience that embraces both prevention and support.
  6. We will build a strong, rewarding partnership between students and staff at all levels, recognising that educational outcomes are co-produced with students and capturing the positive, powerful impact that students can have over the development of their education at UEA.

Objective 4 – Increasing our research power and impact

  1. We will seek to improve our reputation as a university that produces world-leading research commensurate with our current ranking in the top 50 in the world for research citations. 
  2. We will prioritise the development of world-leading research across all of our disciplines, but will identify and develop a small number of pan-university research priorities. 
  3. We will establish a coherent programme of strategic partnerships across the NRP, and with key industrial, governmental and non-governmental organisations nationally and internationally, to improve our research and to generate impact.  
  4. We will identify and invest in new areas and opportunities in which we can lead – notably those with key local, national and global impacts, and those who provide opportunities for driving economic growth.  
  5. We will seek to increase our research power through a focus on quality by increasing our research capacity and enhancing the size, quality and experience of the research postgraduate community.  
  6. We will target a submission of around 700 full-time equivalents (FTE) to REF2020 with the aim of returning around 95 per cent of eligible staff – equating to around 60 per cent of our academic staff body – while maintaining the institutional quality profile achieved in REF2014.  
  7. We will develop our relationships with partners in the NRP, the opportunities for world-leading, high-impact research, and will return greater numbers of their research staff to REF2020. 

Objective 5 – Investing in our technology-enhanced learning capacity

  1. We will develop a campus that supports technology-enhanced learning at all levels of the university, from courses that are wholly online to active learning classrooms with digital educational resources embedded in the curricula. 
  2. We will continue to expand the range of online provision across all faculties and encourage the integration of online or blended modules across all our taught programmes, with online resources available to support all modules. 
  3. Initial investment will be required to develop our online courses, but we will aim to deliver a positive revenue stream for these that will feed into the 2021–25 Plan.  

Objective 6 – Supporting and developing our staff

  1. We will ensure that we have processes in place to nurture and develop our talented academic and professional services staff at all stages of their careers and ensure equality of opportunity at all levels of the institution.
  2. We will create an environment in which all of our staff members are enabled to participate in CPD, with all academic staff encouraged and supported to apply for Higher Education Academy fellowship (or equivalent) status.  
  3. We will foster a culture of development, encouraging and creating opportunities for our staff to lead our plans for innovation and collaboration, while helping to recruit, retain and shape a shared-vision approach.  
  4. We will develop a strategy to embed a professional service-led focus across the university. This will include improving efficiency, adopting a more commercially astute mindset and developing new, stronger income streams, including those from research.  
  5. We will review our processes for supporting, promoting and rewarding staff, and embed leadership development programmes to incubate and grow talent. This will include completing the review of the ‘Green Book’ in 2016–17 and replacing it with a new process from 2017–18 that will be fully embedded by the end of this Plan.

Objective 7 – Growing our volume of staff

  1. To meet our growth targets, we will increase the number of academic staff by around 100 FTE by 2020, maintaining a staff/student ratio of around 15:1, and will put plans in place for a further increase of around 100 FTE during our 2021–25 Plan to support the second phase of student growth and a further increase in research power for the anticipated REF2026. 
  2. In embarking on our recruitment drive, we will ensure our recruitment and HR processes, and our offer to new staff, project UEA, the NRP and the region in a way that helps us to recruit the top academic talent.
  3. We will agree the balance between the types of posts in each school to ensure sufficient academic capacity to deliver our commitments on student academic experience and our aspirations for increased research power in REF2020.

Objective 8 – Developing an enterprising campus

  1. We will provide opportunities for student and staff enterprise that will strengthen links with the business community and strengthen financial sustainability through enterprise-linked returns being channelled into new investment in the 2030 Vision. This will include support for the development of greater numbers of spin-out companies on the NRP with the help of Norwich Research Partners LLP. 
  2. With our partners on the NRP and with the help of stakeholders, such as the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, the local authorities and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, we will re-finance the NRP Translation Fund to help develop enterprise from our innovative research.
  3. We will launch a new Enterprise Fund, contributed to by benefactors who will also give up their valuable time to mentor our students as they develop a business idea.

Objective 9 – A leader in regional economic and cultural development

  1. As we grow to 18,000 students and a turnover of ~£300 million, we will do so in close cooperation with our partners in local government, business and the community to ensure that both UEA and the region get maximum benefit from the cultural and economic impact of this growth. 
  2. We will work with partners in the region to develop and nurture student entrepreneurs in recognition of the increasing numbers of students who aspire to go on to establish their own businesses. This is particularly evident in, but not confined to, the digital creative sector.
  3. We will continue to develop our strong educational partnerships in East Anglia, and beyond, from our current position in which around 7,500 students are studying for UEA awards at partner institutions. We will actively encourage partners who enhance reputation, support international strategy, widen participation and enhance links with employers. We will continue to develop and support our joint venture, INTO UEA. 
  4. UEA will further develop its place as a driving force for innovation and business development in the region. We will continue to leverage funding for small to medium-sized enterprises through successor schemes to the Low Carbon Innovation Fund. We will provide access to consultancy services and facilities that offer a range of opportunities for companies to raise their profile among staff and students. We aspire to play an ever-greater role in the business community through partnerships with key business support networks. 
  5. We will continue to work with partners in the region to develop our cultural and sporting offers, and, where possible, will generate positive financial returns from these to be invested in our Vision. This will include our Sportspark, increasing the reach and profile of the world-class Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, and promoting student- and staff-produced drama, art and music, and our literary festivals, working with partners in the region where appropriate.

Objective 10 – Projecting our reputation: a world-leading university at the heart of local, national and global networks

  1. We aspire to enter the top 200 in the Times Higher Education World Rankings for teaching and research quality. Our current ranking between 200 and 300 in these indicators contrasts our strong performance in research metrics in which we have comfortably featured in the world top 100 for a number of years. The disparity reflects a relatively less successful performance in the reputation surveys.
  2. We will project our research quality and innovative teaching more effectively to a global audience through development of a smart marketing strategy for this important aspect of our activity. 
  3. We will develop more effective regional bases, for example in the USA, China, India, Japan and Southeast Asia, to engage alumni and regional partners to help promote our activities and achievements.
  4. We will create purposeful networks to which key stakeholders will want to join and contribute. These will include global networks for alumni, students and researchers, as well as more local networks to support our collaborative and interdisciplinary ambitions. Our relationships will enhance our global reputation, making new contacts and creating opportunities for scale, growth and new income. They will also benefit the reputation and economy of our region.