Distinct is a HEFCE funded project under the Leading Transformational Change strand of the Leadership, Governance & Management (LGM) Fund. It has been led by Oxford Brookes University, working in partnership with Bournemouth University and the University of Bradford.
Oxford Brookes University
After wide consultation with stakeholders, Brookes has established its vision for a 2020 strategy that will strengthen academic activity and the quality of the student experience. Embedded within this is John Henry Brookes’ ethos that ‘a goal of all formal education should be to graduate students to lead lives of consequence’. Over the next ten years, the strategy aims to provide a framework for the whole university that will maintain its focus on the communities it serves through teaching, research and creativity of the highest standards. This will develop from the immediate activity of restructuring into four faculties, embedding new key performance indicators in order to measure success, and aligning academic and support strategies with the new university strategy.
Bournemouth University has undergone radical change during the past six years. The development of the vision and strategy in 2005/06 has been a valuable case study for the partners to consider as to what works well and what may not. In 2011 with a new Vice-Chancellor leading BU, the university is seeking to restate its vision with a fresh approach to strategy development.
The University of Bradford
Bradford has carved out a niche for itself as a highly accessible university, highlighted in particular by increasing numbers of mature students - who now make up over a quarter of all undergraduates. Bradford has also managed to successfully position itself as the UK’s leading ‘ecoversity’, addressing issues of sustainable development in all its practices, including the curriculum. The most visible sign of how Bradford has successfully embedded its strategy into its operations will be the opening of a sustainable student village in 2011.
How the partners work together
Professor Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University, is the Project Leader. Representatives from each of the partners formed a project Steering Group responsible for setting the direction of the project, and overseeing the delivery of the project (including monitoring finances and risk). The project was managed on a day-to-day basis by the Project Team: a dedicated researcher, communications manager and web administrator.