Looking Ahead Strategic Plan 2020-2025

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Alex Zelinsky officially launched the Looking Ahead Strategic Plan 2020-2025 to University staff today.

The plan is the University’s roadmap to achieving its vision to be a world-leading university for its regions, underpinned by the values of excellence, equity, engagement and sustainability.

Professor Zelinsky said it was an aspirational plan that remained true to the essence of the University of Newcastle, with initiatives and goals that are focused on an outstanding student experience and serving our communities.

Looking Ahead is a plan for a shared future. One where there is equality; where we address our local challenges, but for global good; and one where safeguarding our environment is at the heart of all our big decisions,” Professor Zelinsky said.

The plan is built around six core pillars:

  • A commitment to Indigenous education
  • Engagement priorities: Better, Healthier Living; Next Generation Resources; Connected Communities; Growing Industries
  • Life Ready Graduates
  • Asia Pacific Focus
  • Reimagining our Campuses
  • Inspiring People

“We see it as our responsibility to develop our students not just in knowledge, but to support their growth as healthy and resilient contributors to society,” Professor Zelinsky said.

Under the plan all undergraduate programs will feature work-integrated learning opportunities, providing three-way benefits: to students in the form of industry experience; to employers in the form of access to the latest teachings; and back to the University in the form of academic learning that is contextualised by industry practice.

The plan will also see the University adopt a living lab model for the advancement of the four Engagement Priorities - a model that underpins the success of NIER (Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources) and HMRI (Hunter Medical Research Institute) - world-class institutions that facilitate partner-led problem solving and innovation that stretches beyond the boundaries of the University.

Development of the five year plan commenced in April 2019, when the University committed to a program of broad stakeholder engagement.

“Our students, staff and communities are at the heart of this plan,” Professor Zelinsky said.

“We asked them what was most important to them for the future - and we listened.

“This has always been a university with its foundations in its communities. But what is different in 2020, compared to 1965, is that many of our local challenges and opportunities are recognised as being of global significance.

“In other words, there is important work to be done and I am personally excited by that prospect.

“Our people our outstanding. They are leaders in their fields of research, in education and across all professional domains. This plan gives them all the blueprint to imagine and realise possibilities. It is a nod to our heritage with a focus on the future. Together we will ‘look ahead’ – which is after all, our University’s motto,” Professor Zelinsky said.

The Looking Ahead Strategic Plan 2020-2025 is available at www.newcastle.edu.au/strategic-plan

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