“This plan provides the framework for how we refocus and adapt the University for the future...Staffordshire University is a vibrant, modern, relevant, vocationally and professionally inspired University. We have recently re-branded and believe that this is our opportunity to start living the brand and to stand out as an inspirational university in the heart of the country.”
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Gunn
December 2, 2014: Staffordshire University has announced that it needs to rethink its priorities to help it compete in a challenging higher education environment.
The University’s strategic intent is outlined in a document entitled Smarter Futures which has now been shared with staff at the University.
The document outlines an 18 month plan – which includes reduction in staffing and budget cuts – to prioritise recruitment and retention of students and give them the best possible student experience as the university works to reposition itself as a city campus university.
Earlier this year the University announced that Stoke-on-Trent would become its main campus by 2016 while retaining its three important satellite campuses at Stafford, Shrewsbury and Lichfield.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Gunn said: “We are now mid-term in our University Plan and we need to take stock. We are operating in a more challenging environment and have not hit the recruitment targets we set which, in this current climate of university funding, has an immediate impact on our income levels.
“Consequently, we are having to re-look at our ambitions, re-think the type of University we are and outline the choices we need to make to move the University forward. Standing still is not an option.”
The University spells out its intention to achieve 5% savings across faculties and services and a further 5% cost reduction in staffing expenditure during the current financial year.
It also outlines a refreshed vision - to create a new city university for the future; to become known for learning and teaching and a distinct and specialised portfolio and to operate as a responsive student-orientated business.
The plan includes:
Workforce management review including scheme for voluntary redundancies, recruitment pause and contractual hours review to enable phased retirement.
Implementing an organisational change programme across the University to include a streamlining of management posts and a reshaping of administrative and support services to make them more modern and efficient.
Refreshed product portfolio to support broad audience including postgraduate, business, international and professional.
New student experience benchmarking which includes all degree subjects achieving 90 per cent satisfaction scores in the NSS.
Commitment for a multi-million investment in Stoke-on-Trent to create a City campus and further £3 million on its specialist hubs in Stafford and Shrewsbury.
Professor Gunn added: “This plan provides the framework for how we refocus and adapt the University for the future. It does impact on our staffing levels although we are confident the 5 per cent saving in the staffing budget can be met through a scheme of voluntary redundancies.
“Staffordshire University is a vibrant, modern, relevant, vocationally and professionally inspired University. We have recently re-branded and believe that this is our opportunity to start living the brand and to stand out as an inspirational university in the heart of the country.”
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