Our Strategy 2020-2025

Principal's Introduction

The University of Strathclyde’s Strategic Plan 2020-2025 builds on our collective achievements over recent years in realising our vision of Strathclyde as a leading international technological university that makes a positive difference to the world.

Principal Professor Sir Jim McDonald 600x600

More than two hundred years after its foundation in 1796, the University of Strathclyde continues to make a contribution to society which is distinct, broad and deep.

Established as the place of useful learning – with a mission to make the world better-educated, prosperous, healthy, fair and secure – we continue to live by our socially progressive values today, putting sustainability at the heart of our strategy through our commitment to deliver against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Over the five-year span of our last strategy, together we have achieved a great deal for which we can be immensely proud. By focusing on some of the key challenges of our world today, we have strengthened our basic research portfolio and created highly efficient models for knowledge exchange and collaborative research and innovation. The quality of our students’ experience is recognised as amongst the best in the sector. We have made huge progress with respect to widening access to university education while maintaining our strong commitment to our students and the high standards of their education.

We have grown our partnerships with business, industry and government to accelerate and amplify innovation and to boost societal advancement, economic success and inclusivity in our city, our country and across the world.

We have invested enormously in our campus to deliver a first-class experience for our increasingly international and diverse student body, while making advances towards net zero through the setting of ambitious and challenging milestones, mindful of the urgent need to reduce humankind’s impact on our planet.

We make important contributions to the international acknowledgement of the climate emergency we face and have acted to identify solutions to tackle this defining challenge for the 21st century.  This has arisen through our staff delivering impactful outcomes from our leading research activities and by our staff appointments on bodies influencing government in Scotland and the UK.  To deliver net zero we will work more intensively and in collaboration with others to: influence policy; ready our graduates with the knowledge and approaches they need to make an impact; create technical solutions through our research programmes; and ensure our own campus and community make the necessary shifts in behaviours and investments. 

Our successes flow from our clear and distinctive strategy which, measured against performance data and stakeholder responses, tells us that our values-led approach to working together, and our targeted actions and bold decision-making are delivering for our students, our partners and society at large.

We will continue to build on the solid foundations, strong financial position, international profile and goodwill that we have established and we will make major investments in our staff, focusing on new talent attraction and retention and development across all our staff categories. We will strive for even greater progress and to meet the challenges and capture the opportunities of the years ahead with purpose and determination in a world that is continually and rapidly changing.

Our strength lies in our ability to respond quickly and flexibly to developments in the external environment and to create and take advantage of opportunities, working with our partners here and overseas, when they arise. 

This Strategic Plan outlines our aims for the next five years and how we will use our distinctive position as a leading international technological university to be innovative in delivering our ambitions – questioning, challenging and developing our approaches, operations and processes to ensure that we are effective in all that we do. Coupled with our relentless commitment to pursuing a globally socially progressive vision, these two overarching characteristics define the authentic passion we have for making definite, high value, contributions; truly ‘useful learning’ in the 21st century.

Our Plan is owned by the whole Strathclyde community and each individual has a contribution to make to ensure we achieve our objectives and continue to live our values of being bold, ambitious, innovative, collaborative and people-oriented.

In doing so, we will ensure Strathclyde provides a supportive and rewarding working environment which allows us to develop our capabilities and look after our health and wellbeing. Our values ethos, and our focus on social inclusion, social justice, and community and public engagement influence not just what we do, but how we do it.

As a University, we benefit immensely from welcoming diversity from across society and the world at large, and we will always remain open and outward looking. We will continue to focus on improving diversity, enabling inclusion and promoting equality at Strathclyde.

And as we progress towards our objectives we will endeavour to keep everyone informed and involved to ensure we can all continue to take pride in Strathclyde and our achievements and contributions.

This is the platform we will build on, and these are the commitments we will continue to make, as we go forward together to realise the objectives of Vision 2025.


Professor Sir Jim McDonald
Principal and Vice-Chancellor