I am delighted to introduce the University of East Anglia (UEA) Plan 2016–20. The launch of the Plan coincides with my 25th year at UEA and, having spent my entire professional career here, I have a deep sense of the special atmosphere that makes this great institution tick.
It has motivated our students consistently to place us in the top five in England for overall student satisfaction. In our relatively short history, we have achieved much for which we can be proud. We are now at a moment when we can grasp the opportunity to develop a university that is at the vanguard of student, staff, research and global success in this time of great change in Higher Education in the UK and internationally. This is the driving force of our ‘Vision 2030’ and this 2016–20 Plan represents the first of three five-year plans that will guide us together through our vision. The plans will provide a strategic approach to deliver the UEA of 2030. But they will also have some flexibility, in recognition of the changing world in which we live, and my desire to continue to listen and consult in the spirit that thousands of contributors embraced during the Vision 2030 consultation. This, then, is a transformational moment for UEA. It is a moment when we can work together to deliver the vision for UEA that emerged from our collective discussions.
As a member of UEA’s Executive Team since 2008, I have been closely involved in developing and implementing the 2011–16 corporate Plan. This Plan, with around 150 objectives, has propelled UEA to become a top-20 ranked university domestically, and a top 10 university for the quality of our research output in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). Globally, we have entered the top 150 in the world, ranking in the top 50 for research citations. We have also strengthened our enterprise culture, culminating in the opening of the Enterprise Centre in 2015. The UEA Plan 2016–20 will build on this strong foundation, consolidating and advancing our impressive achievements, and also beginning a new, and in places challenging, journey in bold directions.
The Plan will first outline the context in which we will be operating globally, nationally and regionally. It will then present the four key goals that emerged from the Vision 2030 consultation, and then the key objectives that emerge from these goals. The objectives require overarching strategies that will be adopted through a number of key action areas to deliver these goals. During 2016, we will work together to develop operational plans for each of these strategic areas to deliver on the action points.
The goals are ‘our goals’, coming as they did from the consultation. The UEA Plan therefore needs to be ‘our plan’ too, with all of us working together to deliver it – staff, students, alumni, partners, and stakeholders. I am determined that, by 2030, UEA will be synonymous with a world-renowned student and staff experience, world-class teaching, world-leading research and enterprise, and will be a major driver of local economic growth. I am confident that, together, we can deliver this exciting future in this time of great change in Higher Education in the UK and internationally.
-David Richardson, Vice-Chancellor