“For advancement of learning and ennoblement of life…
the Victoria Building was raised by men of Liverpool”

Plaque upon the University of Liverpool Victoria Building

A global strategy for advancement of learning and ennoblement of life

Our Strategy 2026

encompasses three supporting strategies:

Research and Impact

Education

Professional services

All built upon our values and ethics

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2026

2026

By 2026, 145 years after its inception, the University of Liverpool will be a truly global institution – in its outlook, influence, impact and activity. We will be at the forefront of research, scholarship and knowledge leadership and will be among the top 100 universities in the world.

For 10 years we will have built upon our strengths to become world leaders in research and impact activities, with more highly ranked research disciplines and leaders than ever before carrying out research that genuinely changes lives for the better.

Our students will come from diverse backgrounds and will be highly employable global citizens. Half of them will take up the exceptional opportunities to study and work abroad that Liverpool offers, while the University will rank within the top 50 for International Outlook.

Liverpool will be recognised as being an exceptionally well-run University, and will sit within the upper quartile overall in the UK, and in terms of Research Performance, Student Satisfaction and Graduate Prospects.

This is an inspiring vision of our future. Now, how can we get there?

2016

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Janet Beer

Our vision is to be a connected, global University at the forefront of knowledge leadership.

Our strategy places our global activities as central to our distinctive vision for the future.

Our plan will lead to transformation as we seek to build on our existing strengths and those aspects of our University that are truly unique.”

University of Liverpool Vice-Chancellor, Professor Janet Beer, introduces Our Strategy 2026.

The University of Liverpool has, since 1881, worked for the advancement of learning and ennoblement of life. This remains our mission today and will give focus to all our efforts in the coming years as we strive to achieve our ambitions and aspirations, tackle the grand challenges of the age and make our vision a reality. We have laid down this explicit challenge of where we want to be in 10 years' time, and now we must be just as clear on how we will get there.

We start from a position of strength. As a connected, global University with multiple physical and virtual campuses – Liverpool, London, Suzhou, Singapore and online – our worldwide influence and impact is unrivalled in higher education. Over the next decade we will build on our internationally recognised strengths in research and scholarship and increase collaborative and inter-disciplinary working. We will continue to develop a high-quality environment in which to educate well-rounded, enquiring global citizens who connect and engage – through their learning, research, civic engagement and inter-cultural understanding – with the world’s most pressing problems. We will integrate teaching and research to ensure that we derive the maximum benefit from our rich environment of intellectual enquiry and challenge.

The University values diversity; we are an inclusive institution, committed to the provision of opportunity for those with the capacity to benefit as individuals but also as members of a wider community dedicated to a sustainable and just society. We will be guided by strong ethical principles and ensure that our values are embedded in our plans and actions.

Flight simulator

We will commit to a culture of continuous improvement and collaborative working, ensuring that we encourage and value the contributions of staff and students to decision-making, and foster good governance through a culture of openness and transparency.  We respect difference, but will look for consistency and sharing of good practice to ensure that fairness and equality of opportunity inform our organisational structures and processes.

We will be confident and ambitious as we face future challenges, nurturing all our staff and supporting their personal and professional development in an environment of constant change.  We will acknowledge and reward contributions to the achievement of the highest possible standards in every aspect of our work.

Our educational offer and world-leading research will be recognised regionally, nationally and internationally as distinctively collaborative. We place the utmost value on partnership working and we will continue to shape a robust network of education and industry alliances, forging productive relationships worldwide, building capacity and advancing knowledge.

This is how we can achieve all of this.

Our Mission For advancement of learning and ennoblement of life since 1881

Our Strategy

Our Vision is to be a connected, global University at the forefront of knowledge leadership, recognised by being in the top 100 worldwide

Our Strategy places our global activities at the centre of our distinctive vision for the future. With campuses in Liverpool, London, Suzhou and Singapore, and as Europe’s largest provider of wholly online postgraduate degrees, we have an excellent starting point. We will transform our University by building on our existing strengths and those aspects of our University that are truly unique.

Liverpool in London

The University of Liverpool in London is one of the latest developments in our growing global network of campuses.

We aim to be world-leading in specific research areas and globally recognised in all our research and impact activities. We will raise the profile nationally and internationally of our established knowledge leadership in Advanced Materials, Infectious Disease and Personalised Health. We will make clear the synergy between teaching and research and the benefits to our students of studying a research-connected curriculum. By embedding internationalisation in our teaching and extracurricular activities and creating exceptional connections to allow our students to study and work abroad we will give them the opportunity to be global citizens. We will adapt and respond quickly to the future challenges and opportunities that are presented by an ever more competitive external environment. Leadership, empowered decision-making and collegiality will be at the heart of our organisation, driving a culture of innovation as we seek to develop sector-leading services consistently across our multiple physical and virtual campuses. All of this can be achieved by delivering on the specific aims of our three supporting strategies.

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  • Strengths

    What are our core priorities and objectives?

    • Being a connected University with a global network of campuses
    • The city of Liverpool, its heritage, culture and pioneering spirit
    • A broad subject mix of nimble and adaptable scale, and established international research excellence in disciplines across our University, with real strength in specific thematic areas
    • Professionally focused academic programmes producing highly employable graduates
    • An approach that recognises research, education and professional services as mutually dependent

    What can set us apart in the future?

    • Being the go-to place for established and aspiring research leaders and partners to carry out impact intensive work
    • Providing the opportunity for all our students to become active and confident global citizens educated through our growing global network of campuses and partnerships, and benefiting from innovative curricula and approaches to the student experience
    • Connected by more campuses and partnerships around the world. We recognise that scale is important to much of our activity and we continue to monitor opportunities for UK and international partnerships.
    • A growing reputation and brand profile, both nationally and internationally
  • Goals

    What are our core priorities and objectives?

    • Global Knowledge Leadership: increase the proportion of highly ranked research disciplines and leaders, and increase the proportion of research leading to tangible public benefit
    • Graduate Prospects: support social mobility and make our graduates more employable and able to create and leverage social and economic capital
    • Educational Experience: promote a transformative learning and teaching agenda ‘for advancement of learning and ennoblement of life’
    • Business Excellence: lead the sector in our approach to managing the University and supporting its activities
    • Partnerships: extend our global reach and performance, through national and international developments and collaborations
    • National and International Profile: enhance the reputation and brand of our University and the city of Liverpool with key stakeholders through our international presence, increased profile and world-leading activities
  • Approach

    How will we achieve our objectives?

    • With a constantly shifting external environment and finite resources we will need to make shrewd investment decisions and choices. We will target support on areas prioritised by current performance and potential to contribute to our strategic objectives. We will build on our existing strengths and those aspects of our University that are truly distinctive, such as our overseas campuses and online degrees.
    • The core objectives and priorities of our Strategy will be delivered through three supporting strategies:

      1. Research and Impact: To be world-leading in specific research areas and globally recognised in all our research and impact activities
      2. Education: To support our students as they become creative and culturally rich graduates, with the capacity to find employment that will enable them to be agents for change in a connected world
      3. Professional Services: To advance our University, and its staff and students, through our people, place and culture of leadership, innovation and empowerment

      These three supporting strategies are interconnected and mutually dependent, and their successful delivery will be critical to the overall success of Our Strategy 2026.

    Staff intranet
  • Results

    How will we measure progress and know we have succeeded?

    We will be recognised as a world-leading institution through our global standing and the impact of our worldwide network of campuses and partner activities.

    The measure of success will be:

    • Global Standing: Achieving a top 100 worldwide ranking in a recognised international league table by 2026
    • National Standing: Consistently achieving an upper quartile sector position by 2026
    • Reputation and Brand: A new brand tracking project will enable us to better monitor and evaluate activities aimed at enhancing our reputation and brand
    • Globally Connected: Being a University connected across the world as measured by International Outlook (based on THE combined measure of international staff, students and research), achieving a top 50 position by 2026
    Staff intranet

Our Values and Ethics

  • We will put ethics and integrity at the heart of our decision-making
  • We will work in partnership with our students to ensure their interests and aspirations inform our activities
  • We will deploy our resources creatively and with care, to maximise our positive impact locally, nationally and internationally
  • We will develop a staff framework that sets out clearly the employment offer and expectations for all our employees
  • We will work in partnership with our collaborators to ensure their interests and aspirations inform our activities

Research and Impact Strategy
2016–2021

Our Research and Impact Vision is to be world-leading in specific research areas and globally recognised in all our research and impact activities

The Research and Impact Strategy is first and foremost about our people; creating the right environment and supporting our researchers at every career stage whilst we continue to build on our strong record of international collaborations and co-authorship. We will partner with businesses, cultural organisations and a wide range of collaborators to carry out research with impact and public benefit. We will ensure student engagement in our research activities, to both inform and deliver our research-connected learning and teaching.

Materials Innovation Factory

Opening in 2017, the Materials Innovation Factory brings together research excellence, peerless facilities and innovative approaches to partnership.

To achieve our strategic goals we will enhance the environment so that all researchers can achieve research success and prioritise support to areas with the greatest potential to become world-leading in research and impact outcomes. We will start by building the profile and recognition of research areas where we have established knowledge leadership, for example in Advanced Materials, Infectious Disease and Personalised Health, which will enhance the reputation of research across the whole University.

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  • Strengths

    What sets us apart now?

    • A broad subject mix of adaptable scale with established international research excellence and a track record in disciplines across all three Faculties, with particular strengths in specific thematic areas
    • A distinctive track record and capability to develop the Liverpool Model of being the partner of choice (business, international, academic)

    What can set us apart in the future?

    • Being the go-to place for established and aspiring research leaders through the quality of our environment and support for knowledge leaders
    • Being impact-intensive and embedding impact in the research lifespan
  • Goals

    What are our core priorities and objectives?

    • Global Knowledge Leadership: increase the proportion of highly ranked research disciplines and research leaders
    • Growth in Research Power: more staff to meet our expectations (as delivered through our policy principles), and growth of world-leading research
    • Partnerships and Impact: create meaningful partnerships for impact and markedly increase the proportion of research leading to public benefit
    • National and International Profile: develop the reputation of our University and the city of Liverpool through our international presence, and the profile and performance of our leading research areas
  • Approach

    How will we achieve our objectives?

    • Enhancing the environment though a number of activities:

      1. Time for innovative research and impact and for developing researchers from postgraduates through to established staff
      2. Enhancing quality through the Peer Review College, mentoring and research support
      3. Pathways to partnerships
      4. Supporting and rewarding impact and international collaboration
    • Prioritising support for established and emerging disciplinary and thematic areas with the best chance of success in terms of research excellence and impact. We will invest in research leadership, thematic research development, partnerships and IP exploitation, whilst continuing to focus on distinctive strengths in all disciplines
    • Developing our profile with focused support for areas of global knowledge leadership, increasing external representation and influence, demonstrating our civic role, addressing societal challenges and delivering public benefit
    Staff intranet
  • Results

    How will we measure progress and know we have succeeded?

    We will be recognised as a leading research-intensive University, with global knowledge leadership in established and emerging strengths, strategic partnerships delivering impact and public benefit across our research disciplines, and a national and international profile for our leading research areas.

    The measure of success will be:

    • Research Performance: To achieve top quartile positions in all our units in terms of proportion of world-leading outputs by 2026
    • Partnerships: To increase the number of next generation partnership projects in alignment with our overall Research and Impact objectives and priorities, with a view to establishing three further strategic partners (cf Unilever) by 2026
    • Intensity: All staff on teaching and research contracts will achieve outcomes that meet institutional policy principles of world-leading and internationally excellent research and impact by 2026
    Staff intranet

Education Strategy
2016–2021

Our Education Strategy Vision is to support our students as they become creative and culturally rich graduates, with the capacity to find employment that will enable them to be agents for change in a connected world

Fostering Innovations

Second year Management School students undertake an innovative and stimulating module in entrepreneurship.

The Education Strategy is focussed on delivering outstanding, research-connected learning and teaching alongside a supportive student experience, as well as on what we can offer our students as they find challenging and fulfilling employment. We will provide opportunities for all our students, irrespective of background, to become highly employable and well-connected global citizens. To achieve this we will develop a truly international curriculum, provide a range of exciting opportunities for our students to study abroad and create a globally connected careers service which offers work placements and employment contacts that are unrivalled across UK higher education. As a result, our alumni will be placed in influential roles that continuously support our contribution and influence across the globe.

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  • Strengths

    What sets us apart now?

    • A range of research-connected curricula with flexibility in mode of study and location
    • Award-winning facilities and student accommodation
    • A peerless student experience within the vibrant city of Liverpool.
    • A global network of campuses with international study opportunities
    • A commitment to fair access for all students who can benefit from a University of Liverpool education
    • An excellent Guild of Students offering effective representation and a wealth of social, cultural and volunteering opportunities

    What can set us apart in the future?

    • Taking a transformative approach to learning and teaching with a commitment to the continual development of our curricula to meet the needs of our students, employers and professional bodies
    • Offering courses that blend together the best study and work opportunities that our global network of physical and virtual campuses has to offer
    • A globally connected Careers Service with respected links to graduate employers and our alumni network
  • Goals

    What are our core priorities and objectives?

    • We will grow our diverse student body and value the cultural and social richness this brings. Our University community will consist of the most talented students and staff from across the world
    • We will revitalise our curricula to create a distinctive offer, in partnership with students, whilst introducing new and innovative undergraduate and postgraduate programmes informed by the needs of employers
    • We will deliver stimulating teaching leading to the highest possible levels of student learning and satisfaction, investing in resources to support continuous innovation
    • We will create a vibrant and sustainable environment, in which our staff and students can work, study and live and where their wellbeing is well supported
    • We will expand the opportunities that we offer by building a global network of employer and study partnerships alongside support for entrepreneurship
  • Approach

    How will we achieve our objectives?

    • Extending our reach and impact nationally and internationally through the development of new programmes, partnerships and networks
    • Supporting new programme development, teaching innovation and learning infrastructure that will stimulate innovation in curriculum design, teaching and the use of technology
    • Recruiting, rewarding and developing excellent educators who are able to connect their research to their teaching and place student learning in the context of local, national and global challenges
    • Investing in our Careers Service to expand its scope and impact, ensuring positive outcomes for our students
    • Fostering a culture of student-staff partnership that drives innovation through engagement and co-creation
    Staff intranet
  • Results

    How will we measure progress and know we have succeeded?

    Our distinctive, research-connected courses, delivered flexibly across our range of campuses and partners will attract a well-qualified and diverse student body from across the world. As a result of enhanced engagement our student satisfaction will be consistently in the top quartile in the sector. Our employer connections will be unrivalled across UK higher education, helping our students to secure the best graduate jobs worldwide.

    The measure of success will be:

    • Student satisfaction: Increasing the satisfaction of our students as measured by national student surveys to a consistently upper quartile sector position by 2026, specifically by NSS, PTES and PRES
    • Graduate prospects: Improving the number of graduates in graduate level employment or further study (as measured by the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey) to a top 20 position by 2026
    • Diversity: Achieving a diverse student body across all disciplines as measured by ethnicity, UK/non-UK and Low Participation Neighbourhoods
    • Opportunities: Increasing the proportion of taught students (UG, PGT) who undertake a work placement, (as part of their curriculum), internship, study abroad opportunity or volunteering experience to 50%
    Staff intranet

Professional Services Strategy
2016–2021

Our Professional Services Vision is to advance our University, and its staff and students, through our people, place and culture of leadership

Our Professional Services Strategy puts supporting and developing our staff and creating a culture of empowered decision-making at the heart of leadership and collegiality across our University. We will provide the highest quality student support services, wherever they are located, and enhance the wellbeing of our students as part of a distinctive experience across multiple locations, including online. Through a culture of innovation we will continue to maximise the opportunities that we are afforded by our existing locations and facilities whilst further developing our sector leading services.

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  • Strengths

    What sets us apart now?

    • High-quality leadership and specialist expertise across all levels
    • Successful partnerships between academic staff, professional service colleagues and students throughout our University
    • A physical and intellectual environment that promotes innovation and success for all in multiple sites across the world and online

    What can set us apart in the future?

    • Establishing a culture of teamwork with a single, flexible approach that reconfigures resources in response to agreed priorities
    • Sector-leading support services, delivered globally across multiple physical and virtual campuses
  • Goals

    What are our core priorities and objectives?

    • Students: We will support the student journey from outreach and enquiry, through enrolment, education, co- and extracurricular activity, to alumni engagement and beyond
    • Staff: We will make our staff feel valued, empowered and free to innovate in pursuit of our strategy
    • Research: We will support our University’s excellence, reach and impact in research
    • Financial Sustainability: We will generate sufficient cash in order to reinvest to achieve our strategic objectives
    • Information and Systems: We will deliver excellent information, systems and processes to support decision-making, performance enhancement and compliance
    • Physical Environment: We will maintain and develop a sustainable estate and facilities
    • Getting Our Message Across: We will promote our reputation and brand through our marketing and communications
  • Approach

    How will we achieve our objectives?

    • Delivering a Student Services Strategy that will provide the highest quality student support services wherever they are located and will enhance the wellbeing of our students as part of a distinctive University of Liverpool experience
    • Delivering a People Strategy that makes our staff feel valued and empowered and ensures that diversity and equality in our workforce is an intrinsic part of the way we operate
    • Delivering a Research and Impact Support Strategy focussed around our leading and emerging strengths, enhancing our research environment through developing disciplinary and thematic areas, supporting partnerships and enhancing quality
    • Delivering a Financial Strategy that will ensure the generation of sufficient cash available for investment in agreed strategic priorities
    • Delivering an Information, Systems and Decision-Making Strategy that will put ethics and integrity at the heart of governance, whilst promoting transparency and evidence-based decision-making. This will be used to underpin cultural change to create integrated, flexible and responsive Professional Services
    • Delivering a Sustainable Estates and Facilities Strategy that will provide a physical environment worthy of a top 100 University, capable of supporting the recruitment and retention of the best staff and students, and facilitating their success
    • Delivering a Marketing, Communications and External Engagement Strategy that will enrich and promote the University’s reputation, and facilitate partnerships that contribute to the enhancement of our global reach and influence
    Staff intranet
  • Results

    How will we measure progress and know we have succeeded?

    We will be recognised as running our University to the highest standards

    The measure of success will be:

    • Staff Satisfaction: Improving staff satisfaction year on year, as measured through a formal staff survey (every 3 years), annual surveys of targeted areas, customer satisfaction and staff engagement
    • Financial Sustainability: Financial Sustainability: Generating an average EBITDA on an ongoing basis of 13%, while maintaining a minimum holding of £60m in cash in order to reinvest to achieve our strategic objectives and meet our long term financial commitments
    • Efficiency and Effectiveness: Achieving continuous improvement in operations through benchmarking and efficiency (as measured through UniForum survey)
    • Student Satisfaction with Services and Support:  Achieving year-on-year improvements in overall student satisfaction with services and support by 2026 as measured by annual internal student satisfaction survey
    Staff intranet

For advancement of learning and ennoblement of life since 1881