University Structure & Governance>Strategy>Vice-Chancellor foreword

Vice-Chancellor foreword

Cardiff Metropolitan University (Cardiff Met) is a driver of education and social transformation, a catalyst for innovation and the economy, and a key contributor to inclusive and sustainable growth in Wales and the wider world.

Our practice-focused model of professionally recognised degrees, together with our research and innovation with impact, is designed to deliver economic prosperity, social justice and environmental sustainability for Wales and the wider world.

In developing our Strategic Plan 2016/17-2022/23 we agreed a set of shared values and behaviours that strengthen our high performing, collaborative and compassionate community which now comprises over 1,300 staff and over 11,000 students based at two campuses in Cardiff and 9,300 students based in 15 countries around the world. Our values of creativity, diversity, freedom and innovation are lived through the behaviours of our talented staff and students; by our leadership, trust, courage and accountability to each other and to our stakeholders and collaborative partners. We are One Cardiff Met: one community – ambitious, competitive and thriving.

This explicit ethos of values and behaviours informed both the development of our strategic plan and our response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Our strategic plan for 2017/18 to 2022/23 emboldens our commitment to education, research, innovation and civic mission, undertaken in partnership with our students, governments, business and industry and with tangible benefits for individuals, society and the economy.

Our strategy is one of improvement, growth and diversification that aims to secure our place in the top 50 UK universities by 2023 and our continued place in the global university rankings. Our reputational enhancement will make Cardiff Met a university of first choice for students wishing to study art and design, business and management, education and public services, sport and health sciences, and technologies and engineering.

During 2020, the mid-way point in the strategic plan, we reviewed and subsequently refreshed the strategy to reflect progress to date and to address the implications of both the Coronavirus pandemic and the imminent end of the EU transition period.

We have made significant progress in relation to the delivery of our key priorities and our measures of success including having:

  • Created the new Cardiff School of Technologies which has developed a wide range of programmes to meet student demand and employer need in engineering, data science, robotics and cyber security and which now has almost 1,000 students in a new purpose-built School on the Llandaff Campus.

  • Developed and implemented at module, programme and School levels the Cardiff Met ‘EDGE’ which embeds Ethical, Digital, Global and Entrepreneurial skills in the curriculum, building students’ experience, knowledge, confidence and resilience in addition to their subject specialist knowledge.

  • Launched three Global Academies to develop our interdisciplinary, international and impactful research, innovation and postgraduate education: i) Food Science, Safety and Security; ii) Human Centred Design; and iii) Health and Human Performance.

  • Delivered growth and diversification in taught programmes and student numbers with over 40 new programmes validated, almost 2,000 additional students recruited to Cardiff and increases in the percentage of both international and postgraduate students achieved.

  • Improved the student and staff experience: the National Student Survey result has risen from 3% below the UK average in 2015 to 2% above the UK average in 2020, and the most recent Capita staff survey places Cardiff Met as the top ‘employer of choice’ among all higher education institutions surveyed by Capita in 2019 and 2020.

  • Increased entry tariffs, the percentage of students from lower socio-economic backgrounds, retention levels and graduate outcomes.

  • Secured Cardiff Met’s position in the top 10% of UK universities for the number of graduate start-ups.

  • Entered the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for the first time in 2019.

In September 2020 Cardiff Met was named The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide Welsh University of the Year 2021. The University leapt 33 places in the league table; the institution’s highest ever jump and the third highest rise of any university in the UK. During 2020 the University also improved its position in every other major league table including a rise of 41 places in The Guardian University Guide.

Following this mid-point review of the Strategic Plan we are committed to maintaining and improving on the gains achieved during the first three to four years. We reaffirm our ambitions for our high performing, collaborative and compassionate community and our commitment to ensuring that every student has the opportunity to realise their full potential to make outstanding graduate-level contributions to their own and future generations through inclusive and sustainable growth for our city, Wales and the wider world.

Ours is a truly international university with students from over 140 countries and offices in China, India, Nigeria and Vietnam and our growing reputation and size will ensure more international academics and students choose to work and study at Cardiff Met.

Ours is a future where talent will be attracted and supported wherever it is found and where our creativity, diversity, freedom and innovation will establish Cardiff Met as one of the world's most international and impactful universities, a university that changes the world one student at a time.

Professor Cara Aitchison MA(Hons) PgDRLP CertEd MA PhD FAcSS FRGS FHEA
President and Vice-Chancellor
Professor in Geography and Cultural Economy