The full Glyndwr strategy document has been released, so we take a look inside…
On Wednesday we reported on the launch of the new five year plan, with the full document being made public yesterday. The headline figures was the expected £1.7million surplus this year and new ‘strategic direction’, however today we look into the document for more detail to what that means.
The main theme of the document is around growth and positioning the University as ‘the University of, and for, North East Wales’ with information on what changes will be made and target timeframes and performance measures.
As usual with these kinds of documents there is a range of vision statements and mentions of working with relevant stakeholders, however looking to the meat on the bones:
- Glyndwr wish to “substantially grow” undergraduate student numbers
- There will be a ‘long term investment plan that develops our estate’ and facilities.
- There will be new ‘robust and rigorous financial controls’ with authority and accountability responsibility given to to Heads of Academic Schools.
- Create and expand postgraduate programmes, with indications they will be offering unique courses and look to adapt courses to the current and future job market.
- Expansion of catchment to make courses more accessible regardless of age and backgrounds.
- Expansion of the course offering to enable further online learning.
- ‘Seamless’ transition from further education indicates stronger links built with providers such as Coleg Cambria.
- “Partner Universities” starting with Chester and Bangor, will enable ‘joint working’ and various efficiencies.
- The partnership with Chester will allow validation of research degrees, with a track record being built up so Glyndwr can do that themselves by 2020.
- Internal and external communications are being reviewed, with a revamped website on the cards by 2016/17.
- The current Students Guild will ‘transition to a fully independent Students Union by 2017’
The above is also translated into actual targets allowing comparison in a few years time, with the key ones highlighted below:
- Grow full-time UK/EU undergraduate student numbers to at least 5,400 by 2019/20
- An increase in annual turnover to £75M by 2019/20.
- Grow full-time international student numbers at Wrexham to at least 10% of
full-time student population by 2019/20.
- A sustained surplus of at least 6% of turnover pa for reinvestment in the development of the University from 2017/18 onwards
- A positive QAA Institutional Review Outcome in 2018 where the University meets expectations across all measures.
- The % of academic staff with professional teaching qualifications or accredited recognition to grow to 90% by 2020.
- The % of Glyndwr graduates who were employed, studying or both six months after leaving to reach 94% by 2020
- To have built a track record in supervision sufficient to submit a successful application for Research Awarding powers to QAA by 2020.
Glyndwr are perhaps most noticeable to the people of Wrexham due to their large campus on one of the main gateways to the town. This includes the Racecourse ground, and although there is no mention of the Football club nor the ground itself, the ties with the community and fabric of the town appear to come under the statement acknowledging they are “a major local employer, and a catalyst for economic and social and cultural development, we are committed to adding value to our community through our partnerships and relationships and the impact of our work.”
Clarity will likely come some time next year as there is an ‘Estates Strategy’ being developed and which will include ‘investment priorities’ being identified and acted upon, and if the above targets are met there will likely be a substantial pot of money available to be spent.
At a breakfast meeting on its Wrexham campus, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Graham Upton declared that the north east Wales institution is “a university of, and for the region” and “a family” which goes from strength to strength, he said: “’Working in partnership and putting students at the heart of the University are key to achieving Glyndŵr University’s ambitions to grow turnover to £75m and increase undergraduate numbers.
“One of the things that attracted me to this university and something we do so well is our focus on learners – people from many different backgrounds – giving them an opportunity and widening access for all.
“That’s so important, but it’s got to be about more than that; we need to have more input into the economy and meet the training needs of businesses out there across the country. We want our students to be skilled, to be job ready and to make a difference when they leave the Glyndŵr University family.”
Professor Upton added: “We are looking to embrace relationships with other colleges and universities and build them into our plans for the future.
“However, I am not content with just being important to the local region. We need to be nationally and internationally connected – we want to use our expertise to build relationships with the world.”
Professor Upton lauded the ESO project team at St Asaph for its achievements in polishing mirrors for the world’s largest telescope, but admitted there was a need to broaden the University’s research base.
He expressed how important links with industry and business are to the future of the University, citing not only the University’s intentions to grow its science, technology and engineering provision, reinforcing Glyndŵr’s reputation in advanced manufacturing and composites, but also the strong links being developed with the creative industries, with health sciences and the community and voluntary sectors.
“This framework is going to help turn these ambitions and proposals into a reality – so what are our key performance indicators?” he said.
“We have a plan to double undergraduate numbers. That is a big challenge but it is crucially important, and achievable.
“We also need to create a rich environment, a mix of students bringing different ideas; we are building up a good number of EU students but are limited to the number of international students we can take – 100 at present – and they are vital to us, so we want to grow this number to 10% of the student population by 2019/20.
“The University also vows to provide every undergraduate with the opportunity of accredited work-related experience linked to the curriculum, and will ensure that at least 94% of graduates are employed or undertaking further study six months after leaving.
“These are big targets, they are ambitious but we can do it if we work together and help build a new era for Glyndŵr University.”
You can download or view the full PDF document by clicking here.