University of Salford
2009/10 to 2017/18
Mission Salford is an enterprising University which transforms individuals and communities
through excellent teaching, research, innovation and engagement.
Vision The University of Salford will be, by 2017, an outstanding University renowned for
the quality of its engagement, humanity, global reach and leadership in research,
innovation and education.
Values The University of Salford espouses and promotes the following values and
• The highest academic, professional and ethical standards;
• Service to our stakeholders, clients and partners and, in particular, putting our
• Supporting our people and recognising and rewarding excellence and
• Working together for the advancement of the University;
• Innovation, creativity, enterprise, courage;
• Diversity, humanity, fairness and respect;
• Pride in our heritage and the distinctive difference we make to the world;
• Investing passion in all that we do.
Delivery In realising our vision, we will be directed by six primary goals, focussed as six key
themes in our teaching, research and engagement.
Each of our four faculties will develop specific Strategic Plans which realise our
Vision and Goals within the context of their work in teaching, research and
The academic lineage and heritage of the University of Salford is founded in the great
industrial revolution which originated in its City region and transformed the world during the
Nineteenth Century. Salford contributed to this extraordinary transformation through its
internationally renowned engineering and engineers, science and scientists, technologies
Over the course of the Twentieth Century, as the United Kingdom and world economies
became more complex in the call for skills and knowledge, the academic span of the
University broadened to incorporate the humanities, arts and social sciences, and most
recently, visual and performance arts, media, business, the built environment, law and
Whilst the modern University of Salford is a thriving, evolving amalgam of once separate
organisations and activities, its past is connected to its future through a unifying, consistent
and distinctive commitment to:
• Applied research and innovation across the disciplines
• Real-world teaching and learning and, in particular, education for capability
• Engagement and collaboration with government, (business) industry and the
• Service to the community, enterprise, internationalisation and social justice
Where are we now?
Before we can clearly define the University’s aspirations, we need to take a closer look at
our current performance and standing. This requires an honest, searching and fair
examination though this will not be the first time the University has considered its state in
The University has been engaged in a collective consideration of its performance over the
last six years, and the conclusions of ‘Rethinking the University’ and ‘Deciding the Future’
focused primarily on the need for radical reform of the University’s governance,
management and professional and corporate services, for as they stood, these domains of
the University were seen to be hampering the University’s performance.
We have now acted upon the recommendations of ‘Deciding the Future’ and have gone
even further, so that through ‘Realising our Vision’ (ROV):
• The University’s constitution has been transformed to comply with the highest
contemporary standards of corporate governance, clearly distinguishing the roles and
responsibilities of governance and management. The governing body of the
University, its Council, is now lean, with independent members in the majority; and
the purpose of the reformed Senate is focused strictly on the academic governance
of the University.
• The Executive of the University has been changed to include each of the primary
budget holders of the University, to enable our academic and professional leaders, in
one team, to make effective, collective and informed decisions.
• The nature of academic leadership of the University has also been changed.
Executive Deans and Heads of School are now selected competitively on the basis of
academic leadership and management skills, appointed on permanent contracts,
remunerated at market rates and have clearer and more accountable responsibilities.
• Our professional and corporate services are being reorganised under new leadership
to deliver the highest quality and widest range of services we have ever had. A
smaller number of professional divisions arranged in coherent clusters, are focused
on supporting the strategic purposes of the University, in service to their customers
and assisted by new technologies; we are beginning to introduce fresh ways of
working which will lead to greater efficiency.
Sweeping though these changes to governance, management and the structure of our
professional and corporate services are, they cannot of themselves put Salford ‘at the
leading edge of higher education institutions in the UK’ – the expressed rationale for the
reforms. For the changes achieved thus far are merely mechanisms of change. What is
required now is a focused, determined, appropriately resourced Strategic Plan to transform
our performance, the starting base for which must be an honest evaluation of our current
How are we performing?
In order to determine an effective agenda for change, we need to make frank, even
provocative, top level observations in the first instance.
Our core business is teaching, research innovation, and engagement, supported by
mutually beneficial relationships and collaborations. Salford has a long established claim to
be an ‘enterprising University’ which cross cuts all of its academic activities. Focusing here
on the University’s academic work:
• In teaching quality, we lie in the fourth quartile of UK Universities. Our NSS scores
are similar. We are amongst the worst five Universities in the country for student
• In terms of research performance, we lie in the second quartile of UK Universities,
and our previous standing has slipped in some well known league tables based on
the last Research Assessment Exercise.
• We are currently surveying and reviewing the pattern of our relationships and
partnerships but it would be reasonable to conclude that our relationships supporting
teaching are not currently of scale or of great quality. We have a few, poorly
stewarded relationships with further education colleges in the region and a few,
poorly supported international education partnerships.
• In research and innovation we are seeking to establish a major collaborative
relationship with MIT, Cambridge, Lancaster and Goldsmiths, in relation to Media
City, but other prominent research partnerships of scale or standing are ‘hidden
gems’. Our industry relationships supporting research received a boost recently with
the Scholl partnership, but again there are few others which emulate the scale and
prestige of this relationship either locally or internationally.
• While there is considerable potential for innovation, and we have a strong record of
community partnerships, we have not achieved a systematic and comprehensive
understanding of our opportunities for innovation and knowledge transfer.
• Again, we fall short of our potential in our community, governmental and agency
relationships and synergies with other Universities in the city region.
The state of the University outlined here contrasts with some of our claims for our
distinctiveness and worthiness and with our widely recognised history of achievement. But
more presciently, under-performance also contributes to national and international
reputation. Though we hate them, and they are fickle, our performance in league tables
reflects and influences our standing. Our reputation and standing in turn affects our
academic and business performance and potential and our organisational confidence and
Salford does not figure in any international league table. We are in the third or the fourth
quartile of national league tables, currently slipping further in some. There is some
credibility in our position in national league tables because in summary, they reflect our
standing in research in the second quartile and in teaching quality in the fourth. But the
challenges deriving from our performance need also to be seen in the context of our
current strengths and potential, formidable external challenges and unprecedented
Current Strengths and Potential for Transformation
The analysis of our current state does not pay tribute to areas of nationally and
internationally recognised achievement, established strengths and where we are making
determined progress at Salford. This core of strength and potential is the basis of the
immense potential for the University’s radical transformation by 2017.
• In teaching and learning, the University was recently subject to one of the most
searching institutional quality audits in its history which recognised our exemplary
standing in quality, standards and enhancement. Recent measures taken to improve
the quality of the student experience have already achieved improvement in NSS
scores of three per cent.
• The recent RAE demonstrated that the University has a very sound basis in the
breadth and strength of our research assets, with 43 per cent of those returned
assessed as at least ‘internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and
rigour’ and 83 per cent overall recognised internationally. The other distinctive
characteristic is the breadth of our research capacity and its relatively uniform
strength across that breadth.
• As our performance demonstrates with 12 per cent of our returned research
assessed as ‘world leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour’ Salford
continues to attract especially talented, high performing academic leaders in key
disciplines incorporating the proposed organising themes, providing a sound basis for
achieving international recognition in those areas.
• Over the last ten years, the reshaping of the University and its consolidation into
more concentrated academic clusters has created an academic profile which aligns
very closely to the skills, research and innovation requirements of the Knowledge
• The University’s status as an ‘enterprising university’ is a tangible strength culturally,
financially and as branding. Current measures of enterprise income exceed research
income and our activities in third stream enterprise are internationally renowned, as is
UPBEAT, Salford’s unique project development approach to academic enterprise.
However, the full potential of the University has yet to be realised in this area of our
activity because academic enterprise has not been fully expressed in the areas of
innovation and the commercialisation of our intellectual property. This distinguishes
us from other high performing universities. We have the opportunity now to
encourage the development of a wider culture of enterprise which encompasses not
only our teaching and learning, and our community engagement but also our
research and innovation.
• Through ROV, the University has put in place a very talented, motivated and capable
leadership in the senior and middle ranks of our academic and professional and
corporate services teams, equal or better than other institutions in the sector, with
particularly strong capabilities in transformation and achievements.
• Our lean and informed system of corporate governance offers the potential to the
University for a quick and responsive turnaround of informed decisions.
• Our reinvigorated Senate is addressing the quality of the student journey and reforms
our academic quality, standards and enhancement agenda.
• Our location is a great strength, offering many potential benefits including outstanding
transport links and economic development potential.
• We are close to the business centre of the most vibrant city in the UK which is very
attractive to potential students.
• The city region has a demonstrable record of outstanding leadership and
responsiveness to trends and innovation in economic, social and cultural
development dating back to the industrial revolution and continuing in its recent
naming as Britain’s Knowledge Capital.
• The MediaCityUK developments at Salford Quays offer the University opportunities
for development unprecedented since the opening of the Manchester Ship Canal in
• Our location in Salford, on the banks of the River Irwell, adjacent to the first municipal
park in the United Kingdom, offers the opportunity to develop one of the most
attractive and well appointed city centre campuses in the UK.
• We retain a positive, strong reputation in business and industry and with other
stakeholders for our responsiveness and capacity to work closely and beneficially to
achieve education, research and community benefits of relevance to them.
• Salford enjoys exceptional loyalty from its alumni.
• The Roberts’ review of our portfolio, branding and marketing underscored that Salford
has a distinctive reputation, organisational values and culture around engagement,
which is real in the working lives of our staff, but with unrealised potential for the
• The recent staff survey revealed an exceptionally strong commitment of staff to the
work of the University and a willingness to engage in properly informed and
effectively led processes of change.
• The University of Salford is unusually sound financially relative to other Universities in
the sector, with a strong base in property and other assets. Recent steps have been
taken to create further headroom for investment by reducing ultimately the proportion
of the University’s expenditure on pay to 94 Group norms of 56 per cent, reform of
the resource allocation model, further measures to improve operational efficiency and
to drive and diversify revenue – to serve our aspirations for substantial investment in
new academic areas and in the estate.
• The recent completion of the Manchester Independent Economic Review, while
placing insufficient emphasis on the importance of higher education, offers an
opportunity for new forms of engagement and partnerships in the Greater Manchester
• Prospective changes in the higher education framework and public policy on
innovation and funding offer the University the opportunity to reposition itself
competitively as a University of a third model - research led, vocationally focused and
effectively engaged locally and internationally.
Reviewed in the round, these characteristics provide a sound basis for the transformational
development of the University, its leadership and its resourcing.
What are our challenges and opportunities?
Though it needs hardly to be stated, the challenges around our performance and our
potential for development exist in the context of a dynamic and competitive global political
economy of higher education, further complicated by a deep economic recession and fiscal
Nationally and internationally, universities are competing for scarcer resources and
customers. Salford particularly is located in a region that is, given its market size,
overprovided with universities and from which there is likely in future to be a reduction in
the numbers of people coming forward to higher education. In the UK as a whole, we have
a demographically shrinking market and internationally the supply of good quality higher
education provision is expanding, both state and privately funded provision, on line and off
line. Few universities in the world would claim that they are not aspiring to excellence and
investing accordingly in staff, estate and technology. In the UK there is considerable
evidence of sector wide advances in capability and capacity and this trend is mirrored in
many other countries; Australia, India, China, most of south east and north Asia amongst
them. The Obama agenda is addressed to the resurgence of publicly funded science and
other research and innovation in the US and enhancements to the quality and range of
higher education services.
All of this is happening within a highly uncertain international economic climate, the precise
shape and outcome of which is unknown. There is a wide consensus however, that the
credit crunch is a long term readjustment of global financial markets with profound
implications for the operation of the world economy, further complicated by the devastating
impact of global warming and the enormous potential cost of its remediation. For the UK,
this is further complicated by the prominent role of the state as currently the primary funder
of higher education, in the context of new and compelling calls upon taxation, the bail out
of the banks, failing industries and the environment, all of this in the context of an already
enormous burden of state debt and low political sympathy for universities amongst voters.
There is a well informed consensus that fiscal restraint over the next five years at least will
see a significant reduction in University funding in the UK of up to 15 per cent – with
potential for even greater economies.
Our institutional and external challenges must also be balanced against a range of
unprecedented opportunities and promise. Salford has a history of responding to changes
in the regional and world economies. The profound consequences of the global revolution
in the creation and dissemination of knowledge and the rapid development of digital,
interactive and media technologies represent unprecedented chances for Salford along
with the congruent expansion and diversification in creative industries. We have taken the
first steps towards leadership in MediaCityUK in this context and begun to rethink our
research and pedagogical profile. Paradoxically, imminent threats to the global
environment, sustainability and to international peace and stability also offer Salford scope
to contribute to solutions through research, innovation and skills development. In this
context, and as a result of a predicted resurgence of universities with an applied research
and teaching mission, Salford has the unprecedented opportunity to help create an
international network of high quality, high status universities with similar visions and
missions, and to form a limited number of strategic partnerships with such universities.
Where do we want to be?
The academic lineage of Salford, its history of achievement and contribution to the North
West of England and the world, and the ambitions of its staff and stakeholders, suggests
that Salford should be ranked amongst the very best of UK universities and recognised
internationally. That means we need to be in the top eight of universities in the North of
England measured by league table rankings and overall at least in the top quartile of
universities in the UK. We should be in the top 120 universities in Europe as measured in
the Times International rankings. That is not an unreasonable or unachievable objective,
for it is a place previously occupied by Salford, and the University has the potential in
terms of its profile, commitment to transformational change and resources carefully
managed to achieve that standing by 2017. The key management challenge will be to
improve our academic performance so that we achieve performance in the first quartile
both for research and teaching quality by 2017. The primary things we need to do to
achieve this Plan are set out in the Six Goals below. But every Strategic Plan needs to be
driven by an overarching Mission, Vision and a set of values which inform its broad
direction and guiding principles.
MISSION, VISION AND VALUES
Drawing upon its heritage and informed by its aspirations, the University’s Mission and
Vision are as follows:
Mission Salford is an enterprising University which transforms individuals and
communities through excellent teaching, research, innovation and
Vision The University of Salford will be, by 2017, an outstanding University
renowned for the quality of its engagement, humanity, global reach and
leadership in research, innovation and education.
In common with all progressive communities, the University has developed the following
set of shared values both as a guide and framework for personal and corporate behaviour,
in the governance and management of the University and in every aspect of our activities.
Values The University of Salford espouses and promotes the following values and
• The highest academic, professional and ethical standards;
• Service to our stakeholders, clients and partners and, in particular,
putting our students first;
• Supporting our people and recognising and rewarding excellence
• Working together for the advancement of the University;
• Innovation, creativity, enterprise, courage;
• Diversity, humanity, fairness and respect;
• Pride in our heritage and the distinctive difference we make to the
• Investing passion in all that we do.
SIX STRATEGIC GOALS
The University aspires to be in the top quartile of UK Universities by 2017 measured by
ranking in the standard league tables. This will require that we transform our performance
in the core business of the University, by achieving standing in the first quartile of UK
Universities in both teaching quality (currently the fourth quartile) and our research and
innovation (currently the second quartile).
Consolidating a position in the top quartile of universities will also require us to be in the
top 10 in three to four distinctive areas of performance. These may be our performance in
the NSS, income derived from industry, employer engagement, and employability.
Whatever areas of distinctive strength emerge, they will require as much focus for change
and targeted investment as our strategy to transform teaching and research.
It follows that the task ahead of us in achieving top performance in teaching and research,
and the related areas of outstanding excellence, cannot be disaggregated from the
performance and tone of the University as a whole. There are at least four key aspects of
this which are critical to our success:
• Outstanding strategic leadership and management to set our direction through the
establishment of clear, achievable goals, track the journey and to inspire and
motivate our people.
• Recruiting, developing and retaining outstanding staff, properly recognised and
rewarded within a mature regime of performance management and professional
and personal development.
• Prudent management of resources within an agreed appetite for risk, which enables
the refreshment of our portfolio, reinvigoration of research and innovation and
essential investment in people, technologies, infrastructure and space.
• Transforming the quality of our students’ educational and personal experience of
the University of Salford to make it one of the best in the world, acknowledged by
them, is at the heart of the processes of transformation we seek to lead.
The Six Goals which follow directly address the University’s comprehensive and
agenda for change:
Goal 1 – Transforming Learning and Teaching
Primary Goal: To achieve standing for teaching quality in the first quartile of UK
Universities by 2017.
Providing a high quality education and outstanding student experience is our central
purpose. We are committed to delivering a compelling and innovative curriculum with a
strong focus on equipping our students for the knowledge economy.
We recognise on-going societal changes and their impact on learning and funding and will
ensure that Salford takes a proactive position to developing employer engagement and
To summarise: Salford aspires to produce graduates with the professional and personal
skills, creativity, confidence and adaptability to both succeed in and contribute to the global
The changes required to deliver this goal are:
• Develop an academic portfolio of compelling and flexibly delivered programmes
responsive to the skills requirements of the UK and international economies.
• Embed a learning, teaching and enhancement strategy that drives teaching
excellence and high quality learning outcomes. This strategy will incorporate
admissions, progression and retention policy, access and widening participation
strategy and strategies directed at delivering a consistently excellent student
• Establish an innovative approach to the learning and teaching environment
including the wider adoption of education technologies at the leading edge which
both enhance the learning experience and which reach students in the work place
and beyond the North West of England.
• Proactively ensure that our research knowledge is exposed and integrated with our
teaching and learning.
• Provide opportunities for our students to experience education overseas as part of
their Salford experience and actively cultivate an internationalist, globalised learning
environment within the University.
• Invest in teaching and learning facilities, student housing, sports and Student Union
facilities to enrich the student experience.
• A sustained focus on improving student retention, completion and graduation.
We will use the following indicators and targets to measure our progress in delivering this
• Increase teaching quality to enter the upper quartile of UK institutions.
• Increase the retention of students to enter the upper quartile of UK institutions
(more than 90 per cent).
• Increase the student satisfaction level in the “Assessment and feedback” section of
the National Student Survey to enter the upper quartile (more than 85 per cent) of
• Increase the student satisfaction level in the Salford Student Experience Survey to
enter the upper quartile (more than 85 per cent) when compared to other UK
• Increase the level of Graduate Employment to be in the upper quartile (92 per cent)
of UK institutions.
• Increase the level of students who select Salford as their first choice to 50 per cent.
Goal 2 – Transforming Research and Innovation
Primary Goal: To achieve national standing for research performance in the first quartile of
UK Universities by 2017.
The University’s recently adopted Research and Innovation Strategy details our plan to
achieve this objective.
Research and innovation are also core to our mission. Research at Salford must be
purposeful and applied, support the Six Themes (see page 22) and impact distinctively on
the knowledge economy. Research at Salford must also be synergistic with learning and
teaching, a key component of our community engagement, and incorporate a network of
lively and value adding national and international partnerships.
Whilst we have made significant progress in research capability, awareness and
organisation in recent years, these provide the foundations for success. In the context of
the current economic conditions and the inevitable move by Government towards more
selectivity in research, it is essential that our income should be diversified and reliance
solely on QR and Research Councils contracts will not help us achieve our ambitious
targets. The Research and Innovation Strategy should ensure that our research income is
maximised through commercialisation and the proper exploitation by industries and
businesses, in both the public and private sectors.
In the face of our challenges, we must build on our sound foundations through a target
driven strategy which will:
• Establish sustainable international reputations for excellence in five key areas.
• Establish the capacity, capabilities, disciplines and ways of working that deliver a
step change in our research performance, assure strong REF outcomes and grow
and diversify our revenue.
We will be selective and make informed choices on where we invest to grow our research,
developing selectively centres of innovation where lively staff will be given their head to
In delivering this goal the following developments, measures and targets will be used to
gauge our performance:
• Achieve year-on-year improvement in the quality and quantity of our research as
measured through increasing our performance to be in the upper quartile of the
Research Excellence Framework.
• Build and establish at least five areas of distinctiveness and institutional leadership
through identified peaks of excellence, whilst encouraging a broadly based culture
of research and innovation across the University.
• Increase our investment in people, organisation and technologies to build a
research culture appropriate to realising peaks of excellence.
• Increase our capability and processes to exploit our know-how and establish a
sustainable, high value portfolio of investment, commercialisation and technology
transfer arrangements in the upper quartile of UK institutions for our peaks of
• Increase the cross-pollination of research into teaching to be comparable with best
in class UK research-intensive institutions.
• Develop two successful large research bids of over £1.5m per annum by 2010 and
five by 2013.
• Increase the research bid income per annum for all professorial staff to £150K by
• Increase commercial and consultancy income to £7m by 2015 growing at the rate of
5 per cent per annum thereafter.
• Increase the proportion of research income from industry sources to a level in the
upper quartile of UK institutions (20 per cent) by 2014.
• Increase total research income to £30m by 2015.
Goal 3 – Transforming Engagement
Primary Goal: To substantially extend the University’s engagement and influence with
government at all levels, agencies, industry, professional bodies, schools, colleges,
persons of influence, our Alumni and the community in support of our research and
education mission and for transformation and social good.
Salford has a strong and credible reputation for engagement. This reputation needs to be
renewed and developed to grow our influence locally and internationally through the further
development of a rich and vital network of strategic partners and a proactive programme of
stakeholder cultivation. Engagement will underpin the core University purposes of
teaching, learning, research and innovation and will create opportunities for synergies
between the University and our communities and to underpin the international excellence
of our work.
We will lead on this objective through the leadership of a new Pro-Vice-Chancellor role for
Strategic Partnerships and Development working closely with the Vice-Chancellor to lead
on the development of an overarching strategy for engagement which will aim to establish
effective and mutually beneficial working relationships with:
• key development agencies.
• local, regional and central government.
• universities regionally and overseas.
• other higher education and further education bodies.
• schools, teachers and parents.
• the communities of Salford and the North West of England.
• employers, industry and professional bodies of interest to our faculties and schools
• our Alumni.
• all others who have a commitment to Salford and who through their expertise,
networks and influence are able to support the University.
Achievement of these goals will require the establishment of an effective professional
infrastructure of support both centrally and in the faculties and schools in the context of a
strong commitment to international benchmarks of performance and innovation. This will
require appropriate re-organisation of some of our professional and support teams.
Success in this goal will be measured by:
• Increasing our economic impact by a higher proportion than our income growth.
• Increased levels of staff and student inclusion with engagement activities to above
30 per cent by 2017.
• Sustaining the level of students from lower socio-economic groups (36 per cent of
• Increased demand for our courses from highly qualified students in schools and
colleges in the region.
• Increased demand for our courses from students in schools and colleges outside
• Increased demand for the consulting services of the University’s academic
• Increased standing and reputation as measured by five-yearly surveys.
• Increased tangible support from central and local government and development
agencies and partners at all levels through greater preferential bidding partner
and/or policy advisor roles.
• Establishment of 20 strategic partnerships of quality in the region and beyond by
2015 with at least five deriving from Media City investment.
• Establishment of ten distinctive and mutually beneficial international partnerships by
• Increased academic enterprise income from £12m to £18m by 2015.
• Commercial income increased to £10m pa by 2015 supported by year on year
growth of income.
• Increased consultancy income to 20 per cent of total enterprise income by 2015.
Goal 4 – Our People
Primary Goal: Recruiting, retaining, developing and supporting a workforce that enables
the University to achieve its Vision and its Mission.
We can only deliver our Strategic Goals and realise the University’s aspirations through
the capability, commitment and dedication of our people. We must become a University of
choice for academic staff with the skills and potential to enhance the knowledge economy
and for professional staff whose skills and dedication support and enable the academic
enterprise and a high quality student experience.
Accordingly we will:
• Deliver a consistent, high performing organisation through outstanding leadership
and management which is professionally supported and developed.
• Effectively recruit and retain high calibre staff and maximise the University’s
attractiveness as an employer of choice.
• Build and optimise the University’s capability through effective staff performance,
development and deployment.
• Ensure high levels of staff engagement and effective relations with staff individually
and through excellent communication and consultation.
• Establish an environment that supports employee health, safety, wellbeing, fairness
and promotes equality and diversity.
We will measure our progress against this goal with the following metrics and targets:
• Increase the number of staff ‘engaged’ at work to at least 45% by 2012 and at least
50% by 2014 (Staff Experience Survey), placing us in the top quartile of UK
• Increase the proportion of staff feeling valued and well managed to above 75 per
cent by 2013.
• The 2012 Staff Experience Survey shows that at least 50% of employees ‘strongly
agree’ or ‘agree’ that excellent performance is rewarded by the University.
• European recognition for organisational success through achieving the EFQM
Excellence Award by 2013.
• Increase levels of staff satisfaction with Leadership and Management across the
University to 45% by 2012 and 60% by 2014 (Staff Experience Survey).
Goal 5 – Transforming Infrastructure and Services
Primary Goal: To develop spaces, infrastructure and services of outstanding quality to
support an ambitious, creative and confident learning organisation supported loyally by its
staff and students and widely admired in the community.
The physical environment, the processes and the infrastructure that support our core
academic offerings shape the experiences of our students, staff, partners and
stakeholders. Without an excellent and enabling infrastructure we will fall short of
delivering an exceptional academic offering and student experience and assisting the
University to achieve its demanding goals. We are therefore committed to transforming our
estate and its environment and the quality and range of professional and corporate
services and the culture of work and play at the University of Salford.
We will do this by:
• Delivering a multi-million pound investment in the campus and physical
environment that transforms the look and feel of Salford over the next ten years.
• Being the prominent and creative academic prime mover and partner for Media
• Developing a strong and compelling brand position and reputation that proactively
defines what we stand for and our distinctiveness in clearly defined and targeted
• Investing in robust and resilient information and communications infrastructure that
supports new and innovative learning and teaching technologies, outstanding
research and modern professional and corporate services.
• Developing professional and corporate support services through a distinctive
partnership with the academic community focused on the delivery of the
• Streamlined and automated processes that minimise bureaucracy, encourage a
minimalist efficiency, enable and empower academic endeavour.
• Providing distinctive, diverse and sympathetic services and facilities to students
aimed at optimising their learning experience.
• Effectively supporting the governance of the University, its planning and
performance and assuring the control structures which ensure a fully accountable,
high performing and sustainable University.
Progress in delivering this goal will be measured against these measures and targets:
• New Arts and Media building on main campus operational by 2014.
• MediaCityUK building operational by 2012.
• Increase quality of student accommodation to upper quartile by 2016.
• Increase key process benchmarks to upper quartile of UK institutions.
• Increase organisational efficiency and effectiveness to upper quartile of UK
• Increase organisational excellence and leadership to upper quartile of UK
• Enhance knowledge management to upper quartile by 2012.
• Increase project and programme delivery performance to upper quartile of UK
• Sustain investment in infrastructure as percentage of income (to be decided).
• Sustain cost-surplus level at 3-5 per cent per annum.
• Increase income from non formulaic sources to more than 30 per cent of all
Goal 6 – Internationalising the University
Primary Goal: To foster a strong embedded culture of internationalism, which encourages
our staff, students and stakeholders to view our world from both a local and a global
perspective, extends our international engagement, contributes to our teaching and
research goals, extends our influence and reputation - to create a more powerful and
recognised brand for the University of Salford.
Specific benefits and outcomes would be to:
• Increase the recognition and reputation of the University as an international player.
• Increase our output of our internationally recognised research.
• Grow our international strategic partnerships and alliances.
• Improve the student experience.
• Offer high quality education for global citizenship.
• Increase demand for our graduates nationally and internationally.
• Grow our international student recruitment both on and off campus.
To be successful we must ensure that there is a comprehensive approach and that this
becomes part of our philosophy, embedded in our core areas of delivery and not an
entirely separate strategy or series of activities.
Learning from the experience of other organisations, we will need to see this as a long-
term process of evolution and development rather than as a one-off strategic development.
Internationalisation is about embedding the concepts of internationalisation within our core
activities. As such, our emerging strategy and performance indicators will be incorporated
within the University’s other Strategic Goals and principally delivered through the agendas
for learning and teaching, research and innovation, engagement, people, infrastructure
and our marketing and communications strategies.
Development of the University themes will play a key part in our international positioning,
means of engagement and development of international reputation in our priority
To ensure that this happens we have established an International Board, chaired by the
Vice-Chancellor which will have a strong co-coordinating and steering element ensuring
that the approach is supported from the top of the organisation.
Two principal themes which unite and flow through our wider goals are:
• Global Citizenship
− we will ensure that out students are equipped for the global knowledge
economy and given the skills to become global citizens, are our ambassadors
of the future
− we will grow and strengthen our international partnerships to increase our
profile, sphere of influence, strengthen our intellectual and research capacity
and increase the number of students studying both on and off campus
By ensuring these are at the heart of our international agenda we will ensure that we don’t
lose sight of the importance of our students as our ambassadors for the future and our
international partnerships for reputation building, research and business development.
Both these relationships are central to the delivery of the strategy and long-term success.
The implementation of the above overseas will come together through our Research and
Innovation Strategy, and our International Recruitment Strategy, which will to lead on the
setting of country priorities and investment within countries.
The changes required to deliver on this are:
• Implementation of our Learning and Teaching Strategy incorporating an
internationalist, globalised learning experience, a focus on employability and
support for student exchange/placements.
• Implementation of the Research and Innovation Strategy - specifically development
of the research themes, an increase in international research collaborations and
links, increase in research output, and international PhDs.
• Development of a small number of high level strategic partnerships.
• Development and support for an International Alumni Strategy.
• Specific measures to increase international student recruitment as detailed in our
International Recruitment Strategy.
• A significant increase in our international partnerships concerned with international
student recruitment to on campus and off campus programmes (including
articulations, joint programmes, exchanges and work placements).
• Development of our brand and communications strategy incorporating key
messages and benefits for partners, prospective students and employees.
• Review of the student experience as embedded within the new Student Division
with a focus on improving the international student experience.
In order to identify our progress towards internationalisation we will adopt a number of
measures and indicators, these are likely to include:
• Degree of cultural change as measured by stakeholder, staff and student
• International student experience as measured by the International Student
• Positioning within recognised global rankings e.g. World Top 500 Universities.
• Number and progress made in developing strategic partnerships.
• Numbers of international students on campus.
• Number of partnerships and students on partner programmes overseas.
• Number of students studying / working abroad each year.
• Increased research funding.
• Percentage of staff who are international.
• Number of individual overseas links.
• Number of articles, citations co-authored with international partners.
• Number of international visitors/visiting scholars/associate professors.
• Increase in external accreditations and awards.
We will, over the period of this Strategic Plan, develop the academic enterprise around a
set of organising themes, both to distinguish the University and to promote synergies
between research and innovation, teaching and learning and engagement. The themes
also serve as a guide to the development of collaborations and partnerships within and
beyond the University. The organising themes have been carefully chosen to reflect the
University’s current strengths and the opportunities derived from change and challenge in
the national and global economies. The integration of these themes into the academic life
of the University will be developed in more detail as the Strategic Plan as a whole is
developed and given life.
The Six Themes are:
Built and Human Environment
This theme will act as the catalyst for positive change both within the Built and Human
Environment and at its many interfaces with the natural environment, engineering, health
and social sciences. In doing so, the theme will play a leading role in shaping the Built and
Human Environment towards green and sustainable environments with high quality living
and social responsibility. The theme has an outcome/benefits-based ethos that aims to
transform the quality of life for society whilst ensuring the well-being of future generations
through the provision of better and more sustainable futures.
There is little doubt that an energy crisis is looming and that the world faces many
challenges associated with an over-production of carbon dioxide. In order to address
some of these challenges, the University of Salford has developed an interdisciplinary
Energy Theme encompassing the University’s activities in research and innovation;
teaching, especially at the graduate level; and will include an element of community
engagement in driving demand reduction.
Building upon the internationally recognised strengths at Salford in this area, three sub-
themes will be developed: Energy Generation (nuclear, renewable energy and advanced
materials); Energy Conversion and Demand Reduction; and Socio-economic Aspects of a
Low-Carbon Lifestyle. An important focus of the nuclear energy area will be on nuclear
safety where our objective is to create an internationally leading activity which will be
particularly attractive to government sponsored international students.
Enterprise and Innovation
No university in the UK has a stronger incentive or reason than Salford to aspire to
international excellence in enterprise and innovation. The historic contribution of the City of
Salford to the industrial revolution and the contemporary reputation of the University for
enterprise and external engagement delineate distinctive territory which the University can
The strategic theme of Enterprise and Innovation will, by 2017, be recognised
internationally as being a defining characteristic of the University through multidisciplinary
research-led teaching in key sectors, including media, construction, the public sector,
particularly health, and key activities, including organisational management and change,
Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) development and social and economic regeneration
through innovation and social entrepreneurship.
Health and Well Being
Life expectancy has nearly doubled in the last century and in the next 50 years is projected
to grow further. However, there are major and growing health inequalities, in the UK which
are very evident in Salford, with people in poorer communities living, on average, seven
years less than those in affluent neighbourhoods. Undoubtedly, deprivation affects both
the well-being of individuals and the quality of life of communities as a whole. Important
advances in the future are predicted to occur if we can improve the social determinants of
health. Community level action can yield benefits for health and well-being, improving life
and life chances, and also strengthening community cohesion. Major technological
advances are expected in areas where Salford has expertise, for example, through
biomedical research, e.g. in drug development to reduce cancer and in support for
rehabilitation. Leadership in public health, clinical care and management of health services
will be pivotal. There will be a growing focus on moving resources towards prevention,
moving people out of hospital settings into primary care; in developing the health workforce
nationally and internationally by a greater profile for nursing and allied health care
professionals in leading and developing independent roles across healthcare delivery.
The University of Salford is distinctive in being equipped to meet these future challenges.
We have major health-related programmes, in nursing, social care, health, sport and
rehabilitation alongside biomedical and environmental life sciences and public health and
social policy. This academic profile is combined with strong regional student recruitment
and excellent international research partnerships. Our students live and work regionally,
while much of our applied research is local with global relevance.
Human Rights, Social Justice and Security
Security is a frequently un-named partner to both human rights and social justice impacting
as it does on the management, maintenance and support of them. In this theme the linking
of these three components gives a distinctive slant to the exploration of each one. The
human rights agenda is intrinsically linked to social justice in narrowing the gaps within
society. Indeed we are bound by legal duty to attend to human rights and the impact on
equality and diversity. Security is, of course, a two-edged sword since in its name human
rights are often breached and social justice undermined. Security is a long continuum
moving from personal, psychological and emotional issues of security and attachment to
individual, local, national and international security from harm, all aspects link in a variety
of complex ways with issues of human rights and social justice. The work to be done on
this touches every area of the University in some way and opens up new partnership and
engagement possibilities. This theme is wide ranging and deeply embedded in areas of
research, of teaching and learning, in our engagements and in our everyday conduct and
Salford is able to make a distinctive contribution to the debates and outworkings of human
rights and social justice because of the combining of the areas with security. The interplay
of these themes can be examined through research, given a reality by working with
practitioners and by community engagement and explored through the appropriate
curriculum areas in teaching. To capitalise on this distinctiveness, mapping activity in
teaching, research and engagement across the University and then working creatively to
identify and develop new links both internally and externally offers exciting possibility.
Media, Digital Technology and the Creative Economy
The increasing pace of development of new media technologies is having a profound
effect on contemporary life. The drenching of society with, for example, ever
sophisticated hand-held devices for communication and computer held resources is
leading to profound changes. The business models of most parts of the creative and
cultural industries are, if not in crisis, subject to intense scrutiny. Working practices in
many organisations are being transformed by the impact of technological change, not least
those in the creative and intellectual spheres. Moreover, the media of reproduction of
many cultural artefacts are changing as physical objects are replaced with digital ones.
We are seeing profound changes in the way in which consumers interact with new
technologies and the boundaries between production and consumption as conventionally
understood are breaking down. Thus, fundamental shifts are taking place in technology,
business models, the value placed upon objects, working practices, consumption patterns
and ways of interacting with new technologies. Media are fully social.
We will approach the production and dissemination of knowledge about these changes in
an interdisciplinary manner. Moreover, we will utilise the very changes that are occurring to
innovate in understanding for the wider social good. Research into these transformations
and the communication of the outcomes of that study can only significantly take place
where the boundaries between the study of science, technology, society, media, culture,
management, law and health are used to respect expertise rather than the nature and
purpose of inquiry. We shall use the tools of the new technologies to communicate our
findings in open ways to diverse audiences and to construct new learning and teaching
environments. In developing our portfolio in this field we will be at the cutting edge of
disciplinary interaction, technological facilitation and learning environments.
FINANCING AND DELIVERING THE STRATEGIC PLAN
The transformation agenda central to this Strategic Plan is costly and must be funded
prudently and responsibly within the envelope of University resources.
To do this, we will:
• Consolidate and refine our processes of financial planning to assure that we
achieve an annual surplus of between 3 and 5 per cent per annum as headroom for
clearly identified and justified investment in people, capital and infrastructure.
• Review our resource allocation model to assure fair compensation for services
delivered across the University and to encourage excellent performance and
• Assure optimal performance of our assets.
• Consolidate the success of Project Headroom which has taken £12.5m of costs out
of current expenditure with the effect particularly of shifting and maintaining staff
costs at 56 per cent of turnover, currently the average of the 94 Universities.
• Constrain non-pay costs and encourage efficiencies by:
o assuring further capital investment is informed by sustainability and
environmentally appropriate technologies.
o the introduction of innovative engineering of business processes.
o investment in appropriate technologies.
o achieving the “non-pay” targets of Project Headroom.
o expanding opportunities for shared service arrangements.
o introducing effective systems of cost control and.
o rewarding a ‘value for money culture’ of expenditure.
• Further drive and diversify our income through:
o achieving the new targets in research, innovation and enterprise
o diversifying and extending our educational services especially new
undergraduate portfolio, in employer engagement and post graduate
research and coursework.
o disinvesting in unsustainable courses and programmes.
o seeking new markets for our courses and programmes and through
delivering educational services at a distance and on-line.
o achieving and sustaining our overseas student targets.
o Growing income through the commercialisation of our intellectual
knowledge and judicious investment in business opportunities.
o Developing effective stakeholder relationships with a view to growing
investment in the University through University development.
Implementing major change is challenging and requires a high level of organisational
commitment. The following elements are being established to ensure that Salford
manages the changes effectively:
• An integrated change plan is being developed that incorporates the milestones set
out in each of the goals.
• The Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) is acting as the overall steering committee
and governance for the change and will review progress on a four-weekly basis.
• All SLT members and senior managers will have change objectives incorporated
into their performance objectives.
• An internal communications department is being established which will have
significant responsibility for developing the engagement process through the
• A balanced scorecard approach will be developed and implemented.
• Roles and responsibilities for leading the key elements of change are being
• Plans exist to develop cultural changes including the embedding of core values
across the University.
Each of our four faculties will develop specific Strategic Plans which realise our Vision and
Goals within the context of their work in teaching, research and engagement.