Vision 2025 sets out how we will develop and invest in St Mary's over the next nine years. This is an exciting moment in our history as we embark on a new and ambitious phase in the University's evolution.
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We have consulted widely on this plan with students and staff across the institution and we look forward to working with the St Mary's community on its delivery.
We build on firm foundations. Established in 1850 with a distinctive Catholic identity, St Mary's is a University with a friendly, inclusive and intellectually rigorous learning community which seeks to empower all our students to lead fulfilling lives both at St Mary's and beyond.
That abiding mission underpins this plan.
It derives from the philosophy of Blessed John Henry, Cardinal Newman, the architect of the modern understanding of a university. His idea of a university was built on inter-disciplinary education, virtues and values, with an emphasis on the formation of each individual enriched by insights from the Catholic intellectual tradition. This ethos will continue to be built into our curriculum, our style of teaching and our approach to learning which will emphasise student engagement and participation more than formal lectures.
As a public University with a faith identity we work hard to strike the right balance between being faithful to our identity and ensuring openness to those who do not share it. We welcome students and staff of all faiths and none. The powerful sense of community that characterises St Mary's is a product of our ethos and the core values that underpin it: inclusiveness, generosity of spirit, respect and excellence.
Our vision for the future is focused on people and place with the aim of creating a positive learning environment centred on our campus community in Strawberry Hill. We want to create the best possible conditions for our students and staff to develop into independent problem solvers and ethical leaders, enthusiastic about knowledge and learning, and able to get things done. Academic rigour is central to all our programmes. We intend to build on those strengths to provide wide-reaching opportunities for students to grow and make a positive impact on the world.
To meet that ambition, this plan sets out how over the next nine years we will:
- Invest £100m in our students and staff, including through the development of improved facilities for learning and research as well as new accommodation and sports grounds, to support them in reaching their full potential
- Raise our profile and increase our impact through a more active presence in the public square and the development of solutions to key public policy concerns
- Develop our research and enterprise capacity alongside a renewed emphasis on teaching excellence
- Enhance our students' learning and personal development to help them achieve the best results;
- Increase the diversity of our students and staff without undermining the powerful sense of community that characterises St Mary's
- Expand our national and international reach including through the development of new partnerships with overseas universities
- Build on our high level of student satisfaction to be the most welcoming learning community in the UK as we climb the national university league tables.
Achieving these goals will be a challenge. The intensely competitive environment for universities in the UK makes this a critical and exhilarating period in our drive to make St Mary's a leading university.
However, we start from a position of strength. We have a distinct mission and purpose, and a clear vision of the future. By working together we can realise it.