Enriching People Through Place

Strategic Plan 2017 - 2020

Our three-year strategic plan builds on the achievements of the last decade to position us as a thriving, lead player in delivering professional higher-level learning to meet the demands of an ever evolving workforce and emerging markets.

Our vision

To be recognised as a catalyst for individual and regional prosperity and pride, with national and international relevance, reach and impact.

Our mission

As a significant and sought after institution for Cumbria and North Lancashire, we work in partnerships to develop our region’s talent and capabilities and attract new talent into our region to study and work and live. We raise aspirations and educational attainment and contribute to the social, cultural and economic well-being and prosperity of our communities.

Improving everyone’s EXPERIENCE

We will create spaces where our students want to spend time, and enhance partner environments. We’ll improve connections with off-campus learners, and to the culture that’s already thriving in each location, looking beyond our campuses to link our students with the rich array of arts, culture and adventure on offer – such as the North’s year-long festival season.

Expanding everyone’s OPTIONS

We are in the business of possibility. Empowering staff and students to succeed – bringing new thinking, skills, and opportunities. We will enhance our portfolio to offer students more choice. Crucially, we will ensure our staff are equipped, supported and valued. We will enable them to do what they do best, but also encourage them to innovate and to grow – to develop their talent and skills, while exploring new academic possibilities.


We want to change the world by setting our sights high, opening up opportunities for personal, organisational and regional development.

  • We are being assessed with a view to receiving Research Degree Awarding Powers (RDAP)
  • 81% of our research is considered to be of a standard recognised internationally or higher, including 94% recognition for the Allied Health Professions submission.
  • Education partnerships with 11 further education colleges in Cumbria
  • We also work with a small number of international partners in Germany, Malaysia, Switzerland and Norway.
  • 9/10 graduate employability (DLHE 2017), and guarantee the opportunity of real-work experience and/or volunteering.
  • £50m invested into campuses and teaching facilities.
  • Development of high-level apprenticeships
  • Innovation in programmes–project management, army medical services and policing.
  • Lead on developing the new national degree apprenticeship standards for Police constable.


It begins with our LOCATIONS

We are one institution with five different campuses. We have diverse locations including Barrow and Workington, and further education and workplace partnerships that create routes into employment. This diversity is one of our greatest strengths. Our homes in the Lake District World Heritage site, Cumbria, Lancaster and London also give us a deep connection to our communities, industries, the landscape and to the environment.


Each campus’ perspective has the potential to enhance what and how we teach, and to enrich the learning and the lives of our students. During the next three years, we want to amplify this quality. We will enhance our academic offer to include courses which benefit from our unique geography and experience, our links with world-class employers and partners.

We contribute to the vibrancy of these places, the landscapes, culture and specialist industries in a way no other university can.

  • Ambleside is the only UK campus in a National Park and UNESCO site.
  • Key role in raising the profile, vibrancy and economic well-being of all our locations.
  • Our work with the Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas.
  • A £9 million investment by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership for a new teaching block will be used to train an additional 580 students, helping to meet the demand
  • for health and social care services in Lancashire and beyond.
  • London – 75% of schools in Tower Hamlets employing our graduates and 70% of schools in Newham also employ former students.
  • Carlisle is creating the clinicians, nurses and health professionals of the future by providing them with clinical skills laboratories that simulate the world of the NHS.


Forging stronger CONNECTIONS

We’ll deepen our connections with industries, health and education partners and beyond to fill specific regional skills gaps – upskilling and reskilling those already in work. We’ll build partnerships with local enterprises, and community organisations, while equipping all of our students with the ability to thrive wherever in the world they choose to live.

For personal and regional PROSPERITY

Ultimately, we’ll attract more students and more will stay to work where they studied, increasing the skills and prosperity in the region and throughout the world. An engine of economic well-being, a centre for distinct and original curricula, we will be a gateway to the region, to personal development, and to the world.

Our students come from and inform every walk of life entering a vast array of professions boosting the economy by £230 million nationally and £120 million locally.

  • Investing £2 million into raising educational attainment in Cumbria
  • Supporting our partners to create 27,000 new higher level jobs in STEM during next five years
  • Provide the knowledge, entrepreneurial and employability attributes required to boost the economy
  • Strong industry connections – working with more than 50 partners to develop our region’s talent and attract new talent
  • Chamber of Commerce – Cumbria/Lancashire & District
  • Partnership agreement with National Trust and British Energy Coast
  • Business partnerships across Cumbria and Lancashire
  • The university works closely with Freerange Industries in Carlisle to support the growth and development of emerging creative and digital sectors
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