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The road ahead (Nonesuch autumn 2016)

Visualisation of the proposed new heart of Bristol's main campus

The anechoic chamber in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Undergraduates in the Department of Film and Television

7 November 2016

A new focus on internationalisation, enhanced physical and digital infrastructure, stronger research partnerships and a first-class student experience… Richard Elliott gets the inside story on the University’s new Vision and Strategy.

The University is in the process of launching a new Strategy, outlining our ambitions and priorities and marking the beginning of a journey that will take us well beyond 2023. It’s a masterplan that captures the collective ambition of staff, students and the wider Bristol family including our alumni, supporters, partners and benefactors, setting out our aspirations in six key areas: education and the student experience; research, innovation and partnerships; our staff and ways of working; internationalisation and global relations; physical and digital infrastructure; and sustainability, with
ambitious targets.

Here are just a few of the highlights. You can expect to see and hear more about these strategic themes and associated projects as they progress over the coming years.

Education and the student experience

A renewed focus on teaching, learning and the student experience is one of the key touchstones of the new Strategy. Through a new ‘Bristol Futures’ curriculum, the University will support students to complement the academic depth of their studies with the opportunity to take one of three personal development pathways, in innovation and enterprise, sustainability or global citizenship. This will
ensure that Bristol’s students develop the knowledge, skills, adaptability and resilience they need to thrive in a changing world.

‘Bristol Futures will offer enhanced opportunities for students to engage with the local community and other external stakeholders,’ says Professor David Smith, one of the academic leads on the project. ‘This will help them gain experience and develop graduate attributes to make sure they are career-ready, whatever their next steps might be.’ The environment in which our students
work, live and play is as important as the education we provide. Offering an outstanding student experience, supporting student wellbeing and enabling students to develop their personal resilience and selfreliance are vital in ensuring that our students get the best from university life.

Research, innovation and partnerships

The University of Bristol is ranked among the world’s leading research-intensive universities. Our reputation is built upon our core disciplinary strength and breadth, in which we will continue to invest and build. Through our new Strategy, we will build on our current position; the establishment of a limited number of Specialist Research Institutes will give greater external visibility to areas of research where Bristol is particularly strong, and the creation of 100 Vice-Chancellor’s fellowships to boost research and leadership capacity and by substantially increasing our PhD numbers.

Research is a collaborative and global endeavour, and the Strategy includes a number of projects and initiatives that will embed entrepreneurial thinking in our graduates, and establish our position as a sector leader in terms of our ability to establish and maintain productive partnerships.

Internationalisation and global relations

A truly international university, Bristol is proud to welcome staff and students from over 120 countries across the world. Our new Strategy includes plans to further internationalise the student experience and deepen our alliances with carefully selected organisations worldwide, to ensure that our institution remains attractive to the world’s brightest minds.

Physical and digital infrastructure

The University will continue its rolling investment across campus in high-quality academic infrastructure. Our new Strategy proposes a transformation of key physical features of the main campus to
create a welcoming, highly-visible and studentcentred heart for the University. This will involve the provision of new facilities including a new University Library and a ‘Global Lounge’. Existing buildings will be remodelled and enhancements made to the University’s external public realm.

Looking further ahead, the University is exploring a range of options for the creation of an additional campus within the city.

Thank you

Developing such a comprehensive plan involved a massive team effort. The University is hugely grateful to everyone, including our Nonesuch readers, who gave up their time to provide input on the draft plan in an inspiring show of support. Your involvement and feedback helped us to formulate bold new initiatives in the Plan that will now shape this great institution for years to come – thank you.

Our alumni, friends and supporters are some of our most passionate and committed advocates and ambassadors. We look forward to sharing the new Plan with you at the launch reception and events in the year ahead.