A five year education strategy for a UK university to deliver on an ambitious vision

A five-year education strategy for a UK university to deliver on an ambitious vision

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This major UK university is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge, learning and understanding in the service of society.

Nous helped the university respond to rapid sector changes

The university faced rapid changes in higher education, knowledge and the workplace that presented challenges and choices to graduates. Meanwhile, the new teaching excellence framework put additional scrutiny on higher education. Nous was engaged to help develop a 2017-2022 strategy to position the university to deliver on its new and ambitious vision.

We collaborated closely across three phases of strategy development

Nous worked in an integrated team with the university to develop the new strategy. We worked across three phases:

  1. discover: we held two open ‘discover’ sessions that were attended by over 100 stakeholders to launch the project and articulate the strategy’s desired outcome
  2. engage and analyse: we worked across five work streams (aligned to teaching and learning, students, programme structure and design, assessment and feedback, and learning environment) to research leading practice and develop big ideas and key concepts, including holding two open forum events to test emerging ideas
  3. develop and iterate: we tested and iterated the emerging strategy across the academic faculties and with key committees, work stream leads and the student union; and developed detailed guidance and a plan for implementation.

The new strategy represents important cultural and organisational development for the university

The education strategy was enthusiastically accepted and mobilised for implementation. It represents a clear statement on the university’s aspirations in education – for itself and for its students – and an important marker in ongoing cultural and organisational development.

What you can learn from the university

A clear vision and strategy can position an organisation to respond to turbulence and changes in its context.

Close collaboration between client and consultants helps ensure an organisational strategy is fit-for-purpose.

Testing and iteration with key stakeholders is important to perfect a strategy and ensure buy-in.