Business Plan 2010–2020 Executive Summary

Business Plan
Executive Summary
Peter McCaffery
April 2010
Executive Summary
The University of Cumbria was created in August 2007 as
an agent for transformational change in the educational,
social, cultural and economic life of the region. As such, we
have high aspirations for our students, our communities and
ourselves. The new ten-year Business Plan sets out how we
will achieve them.
The plan describes the steps we are taking to right-size
and right-shape the University to achieve savings of £10m
by August 2010 and to establish a platform for our future
financial sustainability through: the establishment of a new
academic organisation; the re-alignment of our professional
services; the streamlining of our academic portfolio; the
re-profiling of our estate; and the review of further education.
Driven by our new academic strategy—to put students first;
to excel in scholarship; to set ourselves up for success, and
to be a community university with worldwide horizons—
the new Business Plan explains how, by building on the
historic strengths of our legacy institutions, we can still fulfil
our founding mission, even though we are—and will be—
operating in a far more challenging economic environment
than at our formation.
Externally, we will work with partners to:
• Increase and broaden participation in higher education
to make the most of the skills and abilities of the people
of Cumbria and North Lancashire
• Increase collaboration with employers in ways that meet
their skill requirements and needs
• Support civic bodies in enhancing community leadership
• Provide a range of services that meets the needs of small
and medium-sized businesses
• Establish initiatives aimed at retaining young talent in
the region
• Develop customised programmes that support working
• Meet the needs of the Cumbrian rural economy
• Increase and broaden access to cultural activities
throughout the region
• Engage with every school and college in Cumbria
through the “low carbon Cumbria” initiative
• Establish an International Study Abroad Programme
• Develop the campus in West Cumbria including Gateway
West at Energus and Furness
• Establish a National Centre for the Outdoors at Ambleside
Internally, we will:
• Create the best possible opportunities and conditions for
our students to succeed
• Meet the requirements of a wide range of employers for
high-quality graduates: i.e. the new professional Cumbria
Graduate who can raise standards of performance in
the workplace
• Establish an academic portfolio of courses that is truly
demand led, cost effective, offers comparative advantage,
genuine quality and meets individual, regional and
national needs
• Improve the capacity and capability of the senior
management of the University
• Ensure effective governance in line with established
good practice
• Enhance the capacity and capability of our finance
function, our financial stewardship and the monitoring
of financial performance, through our agreed key
performance indicators
“Support and ensure
all members of
academic staff have
national excellence
in one of the
four scholarships:
teaching, discovery,
application or
• Implement and support the development of effective
performance management and financial management
in all faculties and services across the University
• Generate additional income through the expansion
of enterprise activity and the recruitment of
international students
• Reduce the size of our estate and improve its suitability
and utilisation
• Adhere to our guiding principles in new ways of leading
and managing:
– Student achievement through genuinely empowered staff
– Staff achievement through individual responsibility and
effective leadership and support
– University success through committed staff and
• Support and ensure all members of academic staff
have national excellence in one of the four scholarships:
teaching, discovery, application or integration
• Establish research niches of international excellence
with regional significance in a number of selected
areas: e.g. forestry; wildlife conservation; environmental
sustainability; health and wellbeing in rural communities;
medical imaging science; leadership development;
sustainable engineering
• Develop a critical path to achieve research degreeawarding powers by 2015
“To deliver this
vision requires us,
of course, to
challenge ourselves
to be the best
that we can be.”
Our development priorities
The Business Plan also identifies the essential priorities,
or investment needs, that we must address too:
• The enhancement of our academic offer to enable us
to meet regional needs: e.g. nuclear-related education;
radiological protection; health and environment; business
development in the supply chains of energy and
environmental technologies; marine; health; tourism;
and logistics
• Our engagement with local communities, including
our partnership with Carlisle City Council, in providing
complementary sports facilities, services, and academic
provision in the proposed redevelopment of The Sands
• The enhancement of our ICT infrastructure
• The development of blended learning and
e-administration to transform the student experience
online, on campus and in the workplace
• The provision of high-quality teaching space at Fusehill
Street and Lancaster
• A resolution to the delivery of FE in the Eden Valley that
is financially robust as well as academically sound
University of Cumbria 2020
By 2020 we should, indeed, be a university that is truly both
of, as well as for, Cumbria—a distinctive, and distributed,
regional university with worldwide horizons—that has
realised our vision:
“To be a centre of international excellence in the education
and training of teachers, health service professionals and
the creative arts; to provide learning opportunities for
all in the county who may benefit, and to be one of the
most admired universities in the country for working with
partners to regenerate our region and beyond. We will
be a source of pride for our students, our staff and the
communities we serve.”
To deliver this vision requires us, of course, to challenge
ourselves to be the best that we can be. We must aim
to achieve excellence in everything that we do, and to
prosper in a turbulent environment. To become one of the
most admired universities in this regard, we will need to
continuously improve what we do, and how we do it.
Professor Peter McCaffery
Vice Chancellor
University of Cumbria