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Aberystwyth University of Wales
King Street, SY23 2AX Aberystwyth
+44 (0)1970 623 111
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Strategic Plan


Our mission is to be a first-class teaching and research University which is responsive to the needs of our local community, and those of Wales and the wider world. UWA will provide students with learning opportunities of the highest standard, offering a distinctive environment for study and a high quality of life. We will respond to the changing needs of society for skilled, educated and employable graduates. We will engage in high quality research which satisfies intellectual, cultural, scientific and economic needs, contributing to, and, where appropriate, leading international research agendas. We will contribute to the social and economic development of Wales and play a full and active role in sustaining its culture and the Welsh language. We will serve the community in which we are based, collaborating with local institutions, as well as with those throughout Britain, Europe and the wider world. We will contribute to the achievement of the Welsh Assembly Government's long-term strategy for the HE sector in Wales, as outlined in Reaching Higher.

Strategic Overview

UWA's Strategic Plan is based on its mission to be a first class teaching and research university and on the ten strategic aims identified and elaborated in the plan.

Key priorities for the Planning Period

  • To contribute to the achievement of the Welsh Assembly Government's Reaching Higher Strategy in ways which are appropriate to its mission, including meeting the specific targets contained in the Reaching Higher template, and engaging in a number of activities, outlined below, which will assist in responding to the Reaching Higher priorities.
  • To engage in high quality research which sets intellectual and policy agendas and attracts increased income from Research Councils and other research funders.
  • To improve on UWA's ratings in the 2007/8 Research Assessment Exercise.
  • To implement the aims and deliver the objectives of the Aberystwyth/Bangor Research and Enterprise Partnership and other research collaborations within and beyond Wales.
  • To continue to develop the Reaching Wider Widening Access Partnership to meet regional needs and address the Widening Access Strategy of HEFCW and the Welsh Assembly Government.
  • To obtain taught and research degree awarding powers and continue to offer high quality teaching in a research-led environment.
  • To provide a varied portfolio of courses which adapts to new intellectual agendas and is aligned with the needs of a diverse student body and the world of work.
  • To implement policies designed to ensure the sustainability of the University.
  • To maintain effective and efficient financial management.
  • To maintain a sound financial position and ensure financial resilience.
  • To offer an effective and transparent bursary system which will support widening access and other key objectives in student recruitment.
  • To enhance Welsh-medium teaching provision.
  • To promote equality of opportunity for staff and students.
  • To provide a modern ICT infrastructure and exploit its potential for supporting teaching, research and effective communications.
  • To promote personal career review and development and to provide appropriate support services.
  • To develop and support existing and future leaders and managers of academic and support services.
  • To maintain and develop the physical infrastructure so as to support the University's mission.
  • To be a responsive, efficient and accountable organisation.
  • To secure UWA's position in the changing HE landscape in Wales by achieving University title.

Key Challenges during the Planning Period

  1. To continue to recruit our HEFCW funded numbers in the context of an increasing tendency for undergraduate students to study within their own region and during a period of potential instability in UK Higher Education following the introduction of deferred flexible fees.
  2. To enhance the student experience and meet the needs of a diverse student body.
  3. To continue to attract the level of funding necessary to support world-class research during a period of increasing selectivity in research funding.
  4. To continue to attract and retain high quality academic and support staff in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
  5. To make appropriate progress with backlog maintenance and the improvement of the estate.
  6. To increase turnover and the economic sustainability of our activities to ensure greater financial resilience.

Meeting the Challenges

We will seek to meet these challenges by:

    • Offering flexible pathways into HE
    • Offering a portfolio of courses that adapts to a changing world and is aligned with the needs of a diverse student body and the world of work.
    • Offering an effective and transparent bursary system which will support widening access and other key objectives in student recruitment and retention.
    • Enhancing all areas of student support (academic and pastoral).
    • Developing and focusing our marketing strategy.
    • Working with and across Departments to implement UWA's Research Foresight Strategy.
    • Working to deliver and develop the aims and objectives of the Aberystwyth/Bangor Research and Enterprise Partnership.
    • Working on strategies for developing, motivating and rewarding staff.
    • Developing the Human Resources service.
    • Generating and releasing funds for improving and developing the estate.
    • Ensuring that there are appropriate structures for the effective management of building and maintenance projects.
    • Diversifying our sources of income and increasing the proportion which derives from sources other than the Funding Council.
    • Further refining our costing and pricing processes.

Planning Process

This Strategic Plan provides the context for and is supported by a range of specific strategies, each of which has its own action plan and/or annual operating plan. Both the Strategic Plan and the specific strategies and action plans which support it are updated annually.

This Strategic Plan is supplemented by the ‘Planning Issues' document, produced annually and published both for circulation within the University and on the University website. The Planning Issues document outlines particular challenges faced during the forthcoming year, and key priorities for the planning period. The document sets the agenda for the annual planning round and is considered a key document in the University's strategic planning process.

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