Western Caspian University

University

Strategic Development Plan 2020-2025

STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT PLAN 2020-2025

 

WESTERN CASPIAN UNIVERSITY STRATEGIC PLAN 2020-2025

Our strategic goals are quality education, comprehensive research, and excellence in innovation.

                omprehensive research, and excellence in innovate

STRATEGIC GOAL

 

                                            QUALITY EDUCATION

 

This goal encompasses the quality, breadth and relevance of the learning and teaching of our undergraduate and postgraduate students.

We stimulate our students with lifelong knowledge and learning and also encourage them to participate in innovative and independent attitude in order to achieve success within and beyond the University.

Objectives

To meet our aim we will:

  • use our globally leading strengths in research to underpin and inform our teaching
  • guide and support our students through university degree programmes
  • develop each student’s capacity to learn by enquiry, through the in-depth study they undertake, particularly

at honors and postgraduate level

  • foster a climate in which teaching is highly valued
  • embed graduate attributes and employability in all our curricula, and equip our students to compete in the global marketplace
  • facilitate flexible learner
Strategies

We will achieve our objectives by:

  • using our new Personal tutor approach to guide each student’s academic plan and educational progress, supporting them to take ownership of their learning and development and to plan for their future career
  • motivating and preparing our students to gain an experience abroad as part of their degree, through vacation

work or volunteering, or to undertake national or international work-based learning, recognizing the benefits this brings to their educational, personal and career development

  • enabling our undergraduate and taught postgraduate students to engage with cutting-edge research and the processes of discovery, knowledge generation and knowledge exchange
  • working with employers, professional bodies, alumni and other stakeholders to ensure our degree programmes are

responsive to need, producing graduates with socially and economically valuable attributes and expertise

  • expanding and enhancing our distance education provision
  • enabling our staff to embrace new technologies as part of enhancing the learning experience, and to deliver prompt and effective
Targets
  • Increase student satisfaction with academic and pastoral support
  • Increase student satisfaction with the opportunities and support for developing their graduate attributes and employability

STRATEGIC GOAL


 COMPREHENSIVE RESEARCH

This goal encompasses the breadth and quality of our research and includes postgraduate research students. Further detail on knowledge exchange, public engagement, global impact and collaboration is provided in the sections Excellence in innovation, Lifelong community, Global impact and Partnerships.

goal encompass

We foster a vibrant, successful and interactive research community that generates ideas and discoveries, creates new fields of knowledge and makes a difference to the societal, cultural, environmental, health and wealth development of the country and global communities.

Objectives

To meet our aim we will:

  • pioneer new and emerging areas of research across the boundaries of traditional disciplines
  • provide leadership on, and make advances in solving, key global research challenges
  • realize the full potential of the breadth and volume of our research base
  • generate a cohort of future research

Strategies

We will achieve our objectives by:

  • shaping and securing strategic partnerships with research funders
  • combining our proven research excellence with demonstrable economic, environmental, health and social impact
  • driving increased high-impact knowledge exchange and public engagement
  • positioning ourselves to compete successfully for foreign funding, and supporting our staff to be successful consortium leaders
  • generating scholarships and fellowships
  • driving forward sustainable use of equipment, and efficiency in other research costs
  • raising the profile of our research activity and expertise, both internally and
Targets
  • Increase our average number of PhD students per member of academic staff to at least 5
  • Increase our score (relative to the highest scoring institution) for the citations-based measure in the Times Higher education (THE) World university rankings to at least 94/100

      STRATEGIC GOAL

     EXCELLENCE IN INNOVATION

Our well-established routes for knowledge exchange include publications arising from research and the knowledge and skills our graduates take with them when they move into employment.

We ensure our knowledge, ideas, skills and expertise are transformed into advice and opinion, innovation, intellectual property, enterprise and wealth, thereby realizing national and international objectives and enriching society.

Objectives

To meet our aim we will:

  • stimulate innovation and seek out novel applications, benefiting the local economy and increasing our international profile
  • identify the best means of turning ideas from students and staff

into commercial reality

  • consolidate our reputation as a partner of choice for commercialization and as a leader in new company creation
  • maximize financial and wider benefits arising from knowledge exchange and open practices
  • increase our impact on culture, health and

Strategies

We will achieve our objectives by:

  • inspiring students and staff to acquire and use their entrepreneurial and management skills
  • stimulating students and staff to engage with the public and relevant stakeholders in industry, policy and practice as part of their research, with a focus on impacts and identifying future research requirements
  • We strengthen the exchange of information in the academic fields of the University by expanding the facilities of incubation and science park;
  • engaging in a professional, ethical and coordinated way with both commercial and non-commercial partners
  • improving the supply of funding to our leading spin-out and fostering innovative staff exchange with industry, cultural institutions and public service providers start-up companies through our investment arm
  • extending our range of continuing personal and professional development programmes
  • fostering links with the business and financial community to support innovation and our commercialization activities
Targets
  • Achieve at least 200 public policy impacts per annum
  • Increase our economic impact, measured by Gross Value Added (GVA), by at least 8

ENABLERS

The realization of our strategic goals is enabled by exceptional people, high-quality infrastructure and financial sustainability.

  ENABLER

  PEOPLE

We value, support, develop and utilize the full potential of our staff, working with each other across our community to make the University a stimulating and successful place to work.

Objectives

To meet our aim we will:

  • attract, reward and retain the best people, accessing talent from around the world
  • develop the knowledge, capabilities and skills of our people
  • maintain a sustainable staffing profile which meets our evolving needs
  • be inclusive, supportive and collegial in our approach, which is underpinned by principles of dignity and respect, equality and diversity, health, safety and

Strategical  

We will achieve our objectives by:

  • promoting the attractiveness of the university as a globally significant institution, and supporting new staff to enable them to become effective
  • rewarding excellence and success in a variety of ways
  • motivating our staff to be part of our world-changing aspirations by clearly linking individuals’ objectives to those of their school/support department and university through annual reviews
  • investing strategically in our staff in order to inspire and equip them to deploy a range of skills to shape, influence and lead, and supporting professional and career development, planning and advancement
  • fostering a culture of high aspiration and performance, drawing on excellent leadership, effective management and employee engagement
  • promoting flexible interdisciplinary and team working, job exchanges, and a healthy work-life balance
  • providing safe and accessible working environments
  • fostering our ethos of collegiality, tolerance, compassion and strong ethics, through effective employee engagement and empowerment, transparency

and excellent communications

  • continuing to develop constructive partnership working and effective consultation/negotiation with

our recognized trade unions.

Targets
  • Achieve the institutional awards
  • Increase our number of international applications for academic posts

 

   INFRASTRUCTURE

We provide a modern, efficient and stimulating working and learning environment to sustain world-class academic and support activities.

Objectives

To meet our aim we will:

  • pursue consistency and continuity in quality and experience across all

elements of our physical, information technology and library infrastructures

  • challenge the scale and sustainability of our estate, whilst protecting our important assets, including iconic buildings which form a key part of our heritage
  • achieve greater integration of information technology infrastructure and major equipment procurement within our overall estate planning process
  • ensure that we have the information we need to support learning, teaching, research and effective decision-making.

Strategies

We will achieve our objectives by:

  • adapting our infrastructure to meet the changing needs, approaches and

working patterns of our diverse population of staff and students and the wider community we serve to best support

our world-class academic activity

  • demonstrating agility in our approach to planning and delivery of estates projects, pursuing consolidation

and reconfiguration opportunities where required and critically challenging project briefs

  • putting in place information and communications technology with the power and resilience to provide easy access to resources, and to support individual and group study and working, both on-campus and mobile
  • developing and maintaining our rich and varied assets in the university’s libraries and collections, ensuring the widest access to them
  • identifying future technological developments and positioning ourselves to rapidly and flexibly respond to these
  • taking a systematic approach to acquiring, creating, capturing, storing, presenting and managing our information
Target
  • Increase student satisfaction with learning resources (library, information technology, study space and equipment) to at least 85%

        FINANCE

To maintain and enhance our overall financial strength in order to deliver our strategic goals and enhance the University’s competitive position.

Objectives

To meet our aim we will:

  • secure long-term viability
  • ensure short- and medium-term viability
  • ensure high standards of accountability, probity and financial control
  • deliver best value in all our activities
  • ensure good

Strategies

We will achieve our objectives by:

  • periodically reviewing and updating our financial strategy and undertaking an annual assessment of our financial sustainability
  • regularly updating our short- and long-term financial forecasts, and using these to guide decision-making
  • growing and diversifying our income from a wide range of financially sustainable academic and commercial activities which generate surpluses for re-investment
  • managing our costs and driving efficiencies in the delivery of all our activities, including through procurement
  • maintaining a comprehensive and effective risk management, internal audit and assurance framework and carefully managing major financial risks to the university
  • ensuring our ethical investment policy remains fit for purpose
  • further develop our governance framework to enhance decision- making and
Targets
  • Increase our total income per staff full-time equivalent year-on- year, aiming for an increase of at least 10% in real terms
  • Increase our return on Capital employed

  STRATEGIC THEMES      

Our approach to the achievement of our strategic goals is shaped by our six strategic themes. vement of our strategic goals is shaped by our              

STRATEGIC THEME

OUTSTANDING STUDENT EXPERIENCE

We create the opportunities for our students to have an exceptional and distinctive experience which prepares them for life beyond their studies and which is the beginning of a positive lifelong relationship with the University.

Objectives

To meet our aim we will:

  • combine our recognized teaching excellence with an outstanding student experience both on-campus and online
  • revitalize our academic and pastoral support framework
  • foster in our students and alumni a real sense of belonging to a community of learners
  • take a cohesive, inclusive and individualised approach to enhancing our student experience that encompasses all subjects, all modes of learning, all student services, and all parts of our estate
  • promote student health, wellbeing and safety

Strategies

We will achieve our objectives by:

  • ensuring staff have the skills and knowledge to respond effectively to the range of our students’ circumstances, experience, expectations and aptitudes
  • raising students’ awareness and take- up of curricular and co-curricular opportunities, such as studying abroad, learning a language or fulfilling student ambassador roles, and expanding provision of these opportunities
  • providing inclusive and extensive recreational and sports facilities and supporting our student societies and sports clubs
  • taking action in response to internal and external student feedback
  • brokering strategic partnerships between academics, industry, specialists and other institutions to enhance the development of graduate attributes in all students
  • creating lifelong links with alumni, and between the university and the wider community, which are mutually beneficial and which bring richness to our student experience.
Targets
  • Increase the level of overall satisfaction expressed in responses to the national student survey, Postgraduate taught experience survey) and Postgraduate research experience survey to at least 88%
  • Create at least 800 new opportunities for our students to gain an international experience as part of their degree

STRATEGIC THEME

GLOBAL IMPACT

To be global in our aspirations, impact and dimensions, to the benefit of the University community and society as a whole.

Objectives

To meet our aim we will:

  • build integrated responses to complex global issues
  • promote global

Strategies

We will achieve our objectives by:

  • incorporating internationalization in all areas of university activity, including by developing a globally relevant curriculum, promoting global citizenship and collaborating on teaching, research and knowledge exchange with international partners
  • positioning ourselves at the forefront of understanding of trends in regions with the greatest pace of economic and social change, and using this knowledge to mitigate the risks and maximize the opportunities of working internationally
  • advancing our support for our global alumni community and networks
  • expanding the availability, and optimizing the impact, of our international scholarships
Targets
  • Increase our headcount of international students by at least 2,000
  • Obtain our research grant income from overseas sources
  • Increase our number of masters students on programmes by at least 500

STRATEGIC THEME

LIFELONG COMMUNITY

This strategic theme sets the University’s activities in the context of our wider community. External teaching and research collaborations and knowledge exchange are addressed in our strategic goals. Other related sections include Social responsibility and Global impact.

To make a positive intellectual, educational, economic, scientific and cultural contribution to society and to promote understanding of, and support for, the University and its work.

Objectives

To meet our aim we will:

  • build on our enlightenment principles to enhance public engagement with our  work, influence policy- makers, and bring about change
  • make our resources and expertise widely available
  • be a responsible and influential employer and adviser
  • build an informed, engaged and supportive international community of alumni and associate friends, through a lifetime of contact

Strategies

We will achieve our objectives by:

  • welcoming local residents and members of our wider community into our buildings to participate in lectures, conferences and wide-ranging festival, cultural and sporting events, to enjoy our galleries, collections and other facilities, and to take up lifelong learning opportunities
  • engaging positively with local councils and other key partners over a range of issues, including strategic and local planning, transport and the relations between student and permanent communities
  • demonstrating our view that public engagement is a key element of our purpose, linked to research impact, by promoting, recognizing and celebrating success in this area
  • encouraging individuals and teams of staff and students to participate in sporting events and competitions and to undertake volunteering activities
  • recognizing the contribution of our former students, and increasing the extent and depth of the engagement of our alumni and associate friends in the current and future life of the university
  • promoting the university achievements, both locally and

 Target

  • Increase the number of active alumni engagements with the university via the Alumni services website, social media and e-newsletters

STRATEGIC THEME

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

In this strategic theme we set out our approach to embedding the principles of social responsibility and sustainability across the University.

We create the conditions under which our students, staff and the wider community are inspired and supported to engage with and contribute to social responsibility and sustainability across the University and beyond.

Objectives

To meet our aim we will:

  • minimize our environmental impact
  • maximize our contribution to society
  • have infrastructure which is developed and, where possible, operated to meet national and international environmental sustainability and social responsibility objectives
  • exhibit high ethical standards
  • balance our community’s desire for around-the-clock access to responsive infrastructure against the impact on our costs and carbon

Strategies

We will achieve our objectives by:

  • embedding our commitment to social responsibility and sustainability in our curricula, policies, strategies and procedures
  • motivating all members of the university community to become effective advocates who actively support best practice, innovation and leadership with regard to social responsibility and sustainability
  • offering every student opportunities to study the broader aspects of current global challenges, social responsibility and sustainability, and to explore in depth how their chosen subjects relate to them
  • demonstrating and reporting our main social, environmental and economic impacts
  • managing our physical infrastructure and the procurement of goods and services in ways that maximize efficiency and effectiveness while minimizing social, environmental and other impacts
  • applying sustainable development guidelines and adopting appropriate He BreeAM (Building research
  • establishment environmental Assessment Method for buildings) standards for environmental performance
  • improving our overall management of resources to reduce waste and maximize recycling
  • recognizing and sharing our current expertise, opportunities, activity and achievements relating to social responsibility, sustainability and the global challenges
Target
  • reduce absolute Co2 emissions by 29% by 2020, against a 2007 baseline (interim target of 20% savings by 2015)

STRATEGIC THEME

PARTNERSHIP

We develop long-term productive partnerships and collaborations that augment the local and international standing of the University.

Objectives

To meet our aim we will:

  • position ourselves to create and seize partnership opportunities at the frontiers of new knowledge
  • enhance our capacity and competitiveness
  • generate mutually beneficial sustainable outcomes
  • secure more efficient use of resources
  • contribute to international and national priorities for teaching and

Strategies

We will achieve our objectives by:

  • developing, and deriving benefits from, local and international strategic partnerships and collaborations with other leading universities, the commercial sector and governmental and civil society organizations, which are built on excellence and driven by shared academic interest
  • deepening our established relationships with associated institutions
  • hosting new, and developing existing, research centers and cutting-edge facilities of national and international significance
  • deriving maximum benefit from external expertise and participation in national and international networks
  • exploring opportunities to collaborate and share activities, services, systemsand facilities internally, across institutional boundaries, and with commercial partners, where mutual benefits can be realized.
Target
  • Increase our number of Phd students on programmes jointly awarded with international partners by at least 50%

STRATEGIC THEME

EQUALITY AND WIDENING PARTICIPATION

We create and maintain a diverse community of students and staff, thereby enriching the learning, working and social experience for all and demonstrating our commitment to social justice.

Objectives

To meet our aim we will:

  • admit the very best students from a wide range of backgrounds
  • embed equality, inclusion and diversity as fundamental principles throughout our community
  • foster a culture which permits freedom of thought and expression within a framework of mutual respect
  • strive to ensure that no student is deterred from entering the university by financial barriers
  • enable students from under-represented groups to fully embrace their university experience, successfully complete their programme of study and expand their ambitions and employment

Strategies

We will achieve our objectives by:

  • ensuring staff have appropriate training and information in equality areas to prevent discrimination, make reasonable adjustments and promote equality of opportunity
  • ensuring staff and students with particular needs have access to appropriate facilities and support
  • raising engagement and aspirations in individuals from under- represented groups
  • taking context and individual circumstances into account when identifying students with the best potential to succeed, through our fair, clear and transparent admissions policy
  • fully supporting our students in their learning and career planning, and in their living environment within the university, so that they achieve a good outcome from their studies and then progress successfully on to further study or high-quality employment
  • providing, and raising awareness of, our access bursaries and making fundraising for scholarships a high priority for philanthropic giving
Targets
  • Converge on our participation benchmarks for under- represented groups
  • Increase the proportion of female academic staff appointed and promoted to lecturer, senior lecturer, reader and professor levels, and reduce the gender pay gap for university staff

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