Home>News>Purpose impact and compassion Strategy 2030

Purpose, impact and compassion: Strategy 2030

News | 8 December 2022

Like every other part of our economy and society, Universities currently face a combination of challenges that we could be forgiven for thinking resemble the approach of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. As we seek to address the legacy of the global pandemic, we are now challenged by a cost of living crisis, associated inflation and industrial action, and a host of wider geopolitical uncertainties not least of which is the war in Ukraine.

These challenges manifest themselves in myriad ways in our university: students’ learning requirements and mental health needs are greater following the pandemic; increases in the cost of living have added over a million pounds to our energy bill this year, staff pay rises have doubled since last year yet still fall a long way short of the rate of inflation; and our efforts and budgets are stretched further as we seek to support our local communities and our global partners who are struggling with the cost of living, the cost of freedom or both.

At the core of every university are staff and students who are creative and innovative in solving problems and creating the conditions in which people thrive. I am fortunate to be surrounded by such people - dedicated staff who come to work every day with purpose and who deliver our impact with professionalism and compassion.

It is this combination of purpose, impact and compassion that drives Cardiff Met’s new strategic plan, Strategy 2030, building on our values of creativity, innovation, inclusivity and trust.

The last strategic period from 2017 has seen more than 40 new degree programmes introduced, new research initiatives developed, research income doubled, and expansions in international recruitment and collaborative partnerships established. Student numbers have grown by over 25% since 2017 and turnover by almost 50%, enabling an increase in academic staff of 25% since before Covid together with the development of a new Master Plan that will see significant investment in our campus estate, student facilities and student experience.

Cardiff Met has seen these successes recognised with the award of The Times Higher Education title of ‘UK and Ireland University of the Year 2021’ and The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide ‘Welsh University of the Year 2021’ and, for the fourth year in a row, has been judged to have the highest staff satisfaction of any surveyed UK University.

The launch of Strategy 2030 also coincides with the announcement this week that Cardiff Met has moved up from 5th to first place to be recognised as the ‘Top UK University’ in the People and Planet Green League 2022/23 which assesses the sustainability, environmental and ethical performance of over 150 UK universities.

Strategy 2030 focuses on 'Belonging and Becoming', further enriching Cardiff Met’s sense of being a thriving community where our diversity informs our coherence. It addresses four thematic priorities and running through Strategy 2030 is the golden thread of ‘Partnership’.

First, our learning, teaching and student engagement will continue to deliver small class sizes with high levels of class contact and we are proud to have the highest Graduate Outcomes of all universities in Wales. Our EDGE curriculum ensures every student develops Ethical, Digital, Global and Entrepreneurial skills and experience and has now been adopted by other universities.

Secondly, our research and innovation will continue to focus on developing solutions to some of the world’s most entrenched challenges by working in partnership with government, business and industry. We will expand our Global Academies and develop new research in sustainable design, low carbon economies and education for sustainable development.

Thirdly, our Civic Mission will continue to be measured by our reach and impact and we will build on Open Campus, our unique programme that welcomed over 11,000 children on to campus last year to engage in learning and activity in sport, nutrition, health and wellbeing.

Fourthly, our Global Engagement means we will welcome over 2,500 full-time international students to our Cardiff campuses this year and a further 11,000 students to our partner colleges around the globe. Our UK students benefit from cultural diversity and from the cross-subsidy international students make to courses where UK student fees, controlled by Government, have been static for 10 years and no longer cover costs.

In combination, our teaching, research, civic mission and international mindset will enable us to work with our new partner, Skovoroda University in Ukraine, with whom we have entered a formal twinning relationship to support the continuation of teaching and research and provide sporting opportunities for Ukrainian students and coaches here in Cardiff.

We are one community, rooted in Wales and open to the world and we look forward to working in partnership to deliver our strategic vision with purpose, impact and compassion for all.

President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Cara Aitchison