Our strategy 2026

Overview

By 2026, 145 years after its inception, the University of Liverpool will be a truly global institution – in its outlook, influence, impact, student body, networks and activity.

We will be at the forefront of research, scholarship and knowledge leadership and will be among the top 20 UK universities in the world rankings. Working in partnership locally and globally, we will address the UN Sustainable Development Goals, harnessing our strengths in research and education to drive forward the solutions and cultural change needed to move to a zero carbon future.

Over the period of the strategy 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. We will encourage all students to take up the exceptional opportunities for study and work-based and placement learning that Liverpool offers, and the University will rank in the top 20 in the UK 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 in terms of Research Performance, Student Satisfaction and Graduate Prospects.

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

Our mission

For advancement of learning and ennoblement of life since 1881.

Our strategy places our global activities at the centre of our distinctive vision for the future. From our Liverpool campus, we will grow our portfolio and our reach as one of the leading providers of wholly online postgraduate degrees. We will build on our existing strengths and those aspects of our University that are truly unique. To this end, 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, Digital and Artificial Intelligence, Infectious Disease and Heritage. 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 facilitate programmes of study and work abroad, we will develop our students as 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 physical and virtual campuses.

All of this can be achieved by delivering on the specific aims of our three supporting strategies.

Strengths

What sets us apart now?

What can set us apart in the future?

Being a connected University through our expertise in online learning and through diverse local, national and international research and education partnerships.

Being the go-to place for established and aspiring research leaders and partners to carry out impact intensive work.

The city of Liverpool – and our engagement with its heritage, culture and pioneering spirit.

A determination to make a significant difference to the health, education and employment outcomes of the people of the Liverpool City Region.

A broad subject mix of nimble and adaptable scale, and established international research excellence across our University, with real strength in specific thematic areas.

A commitment to tackling the challenges of the UN Sustainable Development Goals both at home and abroad, including driving forward the transition to zero carbon.

Professionally focused academic programmes producing highly employable graduates.

Providing the opportunity for all our students to become active and confident global citizens, benefiting from innovative curricula and approaches to the student experience.

Goals

What are our core priorities and objectives?

  • Global knowledge leadership: increase the proportion of highly ranked subject areas and research teams, and increase the proportion of research which leads to tangible social and environmental benefit
  • Graduate prospects: support social mobility and improve the employability of our graduates, enabling them to create and leverage social and economic capital
  • Educational experience: promote a transformative learning and teaching agenda and be the sector leader in the provision of wholly online postgraduate programmes
  • 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 reach, 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 wise investment choices. We will focus 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.

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 secure 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.

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 networks and partner activities. The measure of success will be:

  • Global standing: Achieving a UK top 20 worldwide ranking in a recognised international league table by 2026
  • Reputation and brand: Monitoring and evaluating the impact of our brand and reputation
  • 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 20 position among UK Universities by 2026.

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