Building on strong foundations, we have an ambitious strategy to be the world's leading values-driven university through a continuous drive for excellence. Find out more about our Strategy: 2015-2020 below.

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Vice-Chancellor’s Introduction

We are a different kind of university and we have a different kind of strategic plan.

We are committed to being a university community where all individuals matter, where wellbeing is paramount and pastoral care is of the highest quality. A place driven by compassion, where people, the planet, and all living things are held in the highest regard.

We are passionate about providing an outstanding, personalised experience for our students and partners - meeting their needs and the needs of the economy and society at large through high-quality teaching and research. We have been pursuing excellence in knowledge and creativity since 1840, grounded in an unrelenting commitment to wisdom and compassion.

Our Mission: To educate, to advance knowledge and to serve the common good

In all that we do, we are driven by our values inspired by our Christian foundation. Our teaching and research tackles global challenges. Students are nurtured to become drivers of economic and social change. Our world-leading research and partnerships focus on making the world a better and more innovative place. Our campus is one of the best for low-carbon, sustainable management.

Our strategic plan is different. It sets out who we are and where we are going in the context of the big changes and challenges facing the higher education sector and the UK. Beyond that it is also shaped by the most urgent problems facing humankind as set out in the UN Sustainable Development Goals – issues such as social cohesion, climate change, sustainability, population growth and poverty. Throughout this strategy we ask ourselves: what are our responsibilities, as a leading values-driven university? How can we maximise the benefits of our research for the common good? How well are we equipping our students to contribute to society and the economy?

Sustainable Development Goals

The success and wellbeing of our students drives everything we do. We value them all and work in partnership with them in creative ways to shape their education and their future.

We have a long history of equipping students for the professions and for public service. Our graduates leave us with the knowledge, skills, experience and drive to succeed as leaders in whichever field they choose to enter. But more than that, their time at university will have given them the opportunity to challenge themselves, think critically, and engage with the biggest questions facing humanity. We believe that creative and critical thinkers are essential to any free society. It is our ambition to nurture graduates who will become the conscience of their communities and places of work by allowing them to grow in knowledge, resilience, humility and wisdom. Our graduates will leave Winchester with a justified confidence in their own abilities and the strength to stand up for what they believe to be true.

How are we to achieve this ambition?

We will create employability opportunities for all of our students: to take part in volunteering, to develop entrepreneurship, to travel the world, to engage in research, and in interdisciplinary study through our Institute for Value Studies. Our approach will be distinctive. Our induction, our curriculum, our approach to teaching and learning, and our relationship with students before they arrive and after they graduate will support and challenge them to grow as creative and critical thinkers.

This strategy is written at a time of unprecedented geopolitical uncertainty as well as big changes in higher education policy. We are very aware of the challenges of public funding, of demography, and the increased marketisation of the university sector driving competition nationally and globally. In response, our strategy is ambitious and infused with the desire to extend our impact. We build on strong foundations and we are determined to flourish through a continuous drive for excellence. We will at all times remain true to our mission, values and motto.

We are optimistic about the future, and very determined to succeed.

Professor Joy Carter DL, Vice-Chancellor


Strategic priorities


1.1 Excellence of Learning and Teaching at Winchester

The heart of the University of Winchester educational experience combines subject specialism, Liberal Arts and vocational training with the nurturing of a love and joy in learning. In everything we do we are seeking excellence in teaching and we strive to offer the very best student experience possible, as evidenced and recognised nationally. The student experience at Winchester is underpinned by an unremitting focus on the place of values in higher education. Winchester students are taught by research-active and professionally active staff who work with students to create a personalised and transformational learning experience. We will:

  • Continue to deliver recognised excellence in personalised learning and teaching.
  • Encourage and celebrate academic excellence.
  • Be one of the leaders in the University sector in student engagement and personalisation.
  • Ensure student learning and assessment is centred on meaningful, collaborative and reflective tasks with authentic outputs relevant to the challenges of today’s world.
  • Ensure learning and teaching activities are innovative, personalised and underpinned by sector-wide best practice.
  • Ensure that our learning and teaching practices and the experience of students are supported by the creative and innovative use of technology.
  • Prepare our students to become empowered global citizens committed to lifelong learning.
  • We will embed climate change education and communication across the university, giving all students an opportunity to reflect on the most urgent problems facing humankind.
  • All our students will have the opportunity to develop and express their creativity.
  • Make a step change in our Postgraduate Masters offer.

1.2 A Passion for Inclusivity

Higher education should be a force for opportunity and social mobility, not for the entrenchment of privilege. It is implicit in our Mission that we should seek to ensure that all who can benefit from a Winchester education will have the opportunity to do so, regardless of their background, and that we should do this with particular regard for marginalised groups. We will:

  • Exceed sector benchmarks for widening participation to students from disadvantaged groups and we will continue to support those students to ensure that they achieve excellent outcomes.
  • Celebrate and increase the diversity of our staff and student bodies. We will monitor, support and encourage underrepresented groups to ensure that opportunities are inclusive of sexual orientation, race, disability, religious affiliation and other characteristics.
  • Continue to improve the life chances of those from vulnerable groups, building on our successful work with care leavers, young carers, asylum seekers and people with a disability.

1.3 An Expectation of Renewal

Our portfolio of programmes is reviewed regularly and vigorously, developing new offerings which meet demand from students and employers and which reflect and build upon our values. We will:

  • Ensure that all new programmes fully engage with our values and increase opportunities for students to broaden their personal and intellectual experience as global citizens.
  • Take ambitious steps to develop our course offering based on market research and the needs of employers, to ensure its continued relevance and attractiveness to prospective students.
  • Include students, and, where relevant, professionals, employers and service users, in programme validations and revalidations.
  • Ensure that programme design, development and approval are informed by evaluation, reflection, creativity and market research.
  • Continue to offer interdisciplinary Value Studies modules to all undergraduates.

1.4 A Resolute Focus on Graduate Employability

Enhanced graduate employability is a vital outcome from all our programmes. We will:

  • Ensure that employability is embedded as part of all programmes so that our graduates and postgraduates are equipped with the skills and experience necessary to progress to fulfilling careers.
  • Ensure that every student has the opportunity, and is encouraged, to engage with accredited work placements, volunteering or an internship during their studies.
  • Expand our graduate internships offer.
  • Help all students to explore and identify the right career path and vocation for them.
  • Collaborate actively with employers, and seek their advice to improve the employability of our students.
  • Ensure that all our undergraduate programmes have taught postgraduate progression routes, designed where appropriate with industry partners.
  • Use the tools of insight management to effect rapid and continuous improvement in our employability outcomes.
  • Expand our development of degree apprenticeships, investing in the development of a portfolio of degree apprenticeships with local and national partners.

1.5 Embedded Internationalisation

The effective expression and integration of international issues is now a defining feature of the work of a 21st century university. The expected skill-set of a graduate increasingly requires international perspectives and a strong and clear sense of our collective responsibilities. We will:

  • Seek deeper and wider global partnerships, encompassing collaboration in teaching and research.
  • Ensure our curriculum is increasingly global in its outlook.
  • Identify new markets for international recruitment.
  • Promote fuller integration between students from all nationalities and encourage greater outward mobility for students and staff alike.
  • Play an active role in networks of values-driven higher education institutions across the world. We will develop our existing values-driven partnerships including the Talloires Network and the Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion, and seek out new alliances with institutions that share our values.

1.6 Celebrating Spirituality

The University takes spirituality seriously: as a personal experience; as a wellspring for social transformation; as a subject for academic study; and as a focus for debate within the university and wider society. We will:

  • Create opportunities for students and staff to reflect critically on theology, ethics, values, spirituality and the place of faith in contemporary society.
  • Continue to provide space for meditation, contemplation and prayer.
  • Continue to develop the work of chaplaincy, and especially its inter-faith dimension.
  • Encourage all students to explore the links between faith and spirituality and issues of local and global justice, peace, and the environment.


2.1 Expanding Research Excellence

The concept of a University is inescapably rooted in research and knowledge exchange. We will build an ever stronger research environment and seek further recognition for the excellence and creativity of our research in strategically important areas. We will:

  • Conduct a review of our research strategy and investment in light of the Stern Review and in preparation for the Research Excellence Framework 2020 and beyond.
  • Develop a bolder approach to promoting postgraduate research opportunities.
  • Foster new approaches to cross-disciplinary research, including encouraging outstanding global research collaborations.
  • Ensure that all research activity is increasingly international in its reach and world-leading in quality.
  • Ensure that our research supports our focus on serving the common good.

2.2 Developing Research and Professional Practice

Research and professional practice underpin the quality of teaching and the student experience in higher education. We value all scholarship that impacts positively on lives beyond the university. We will:

  • Develop and support our research and knowledge exchange centres in areas that reflect and promote our institutional values.
  • Continue to recruit, develop and nurture excellent researchers within a sustainable research culture, and ensure that their expertise is actively publicised and shared.
  • Continue to develop an interdisciplinary approach to research, with a focus on innovative “practice as research”.
  • Continue to develop a vibrant, supportive and sustainable research environment that promotes a culture of intellectual freedom.
  • Develop a framework to support the expansion of consultancy and grant bidding activity.

2.3 Research Impact and Knowledge Exchange

The creation and exchange of knowledge is essential to a strong economy and society within which the University plays a vital role. We will:

  • Plan for, reflect on and discuss the impact of our research work at every opportunity, embedding processes for documenting and promoting that impact.
  • Respond to emerging developments in Open Access publishing.
  • Support Winchester University Press as an important element of the University’s wider approach to research and knowledge exchange.
  • Link institutional expertise and the knowledge exchange activities of staff more overtly with the needs identified by Local Enterprise Partnerships and cultural, heritage and educational organisations.
  • Nurture research partnerships regionally and further afield, including regional health partnerships.
  • Contribute to responsible policy-making through research and evidence-synthesis.
  • Build on our distinctive values-driven identity and the strengths of our local community to attract knowledge-based investment to the City of Winchester and the wider region.


3.1 Valuing Individuals

Our University’s success is founded on the commitment, professionalism, enthusiasm and talents of the individuals who are part of the University community. We will:

  • Reaffirm our commitment to staff and student wellbeing.
  • Strive to continuously improve staff and student satisfaction.
  • Ensure that our staff have opportunities to develop their skills, abilities and creativity to enhance learning, teaching and research.
  • Invest in training and development to support staff to become effective and responsible leaders and managers.
  • Offer a varied portfolio of bursaries, scholarships and awards to provide our students with further opportunities and incentives to develop their character, creativity and wisdom.
  • Remain committed to academic freedom and freedom of speech whilst remaining vigilant and having due regard to the need to prevent individuals from being drawn into extremism.
  • We will listen to the views of students, staff and stakeholders; understand their needs; and adapt our approach and offer.

3.2 Respect for the Environment

We are one of the leading universities for creating a sustainable university – our ambition is to become the lowest-carbon university campus in the UK by 2020. We will:

  • Remain an exemplar of environmental sustainability, driving up standards within the region and forging links with sustainability initiatives across the globe.
  • Commit to reducing our environmental impact through sustainable waste management, improving biodiversity, sustainable and ethical food, reducing our carbon footprint and reducing the consumption of natural resources. 
  • We will strive to divest from unethical forms of finance and banking and encourage low carbon, ethical purchasing incorporating the Modern Slavery Act 2015, and the living wage and Fair Trade considerations.
  • Develop our students’ understanding of different cultures and of global issues including climate change, environmental issues and population growth.  Our commitment is to ensure that by 2021 every graduate will have learnt about and explored issues relevant to climate change.

3.3 Growth at the Heart of Our Strategy

Our University has grown significantly in recent years and we have a bold strategic plan, in the light of increased global completion and the demographic downturn, to maintain our student numbers and continue that growth in both domestic and international markets in the future where possible. We will:

  • Strengthen our understanding of markets and competitors in order to respond to the deregulation of higher education student number controls and the introduction of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). We will strategically expand provision into new subject areas and new geographical areas where there is unmet demand, while regularly reviewing our portfolio.
  • Prioritise the student experience in developing our estate, facilities and learning resources to underpin and facilitate future growth. This will include ambitious new developments.
  • Further the impact of our research and knowledge exchange through new and innovative income generating opportunities and partnerships at a local, national and global level.
  • Strengthen our commitment to apprenticeships, developing productive and lasting partnerships with local, national and global employers enabling an enriched learning experience.

3.4 Open to Critical Self-Examination

Continuous improvement and efficient practices underpin our organisational structures and processes. We will build on our national reputation for organisational excellence and continuous improvement. We will:

  • Actively invest in a strategic programme of service and infrastructure enhancements, including developing new and innovative support systems and continue to enhance and invest in existing core systems.
  • We aim to become sector-leading in internal and external communication.
  • Strengthen data management and develop our use of institutional data assets.
  • Seek further recognition from the European Foundation for Quality Management Award Scheme and the Customer Service Excellence standard.
  • Embed a culture of continuous improvement across the organisation.

3.5 Building the future of Teacher Education at Winchester.

The University has an enduring role in delivering high quality values-driven teacher education and in securing a positive impact on young lives. We will:

  • Continually adapt how we deliver teacher education to meet the changing national landscape and advocate at the highest level the unique contribution universities offer.
  • Deliver our unique values-driven education through our multi-Academy Trust sponsored academies which will be cornerstones of their communities.
  • Develop and deliver excellence in teaching, teacher education, and continuing professional development for teachers.

3.6 Extend opportunities to take the University into the immediate community and beyond.

The University offers its intellectual and physical resources to serve the common good and to bring mutual benefits for communities and for the University. We will:

  • Establish partnerships that serve the common good: to benefit people, civil society, animals, and the environment. We will support them through our research, direct sponsorship, in staff and student volunteering, and in fundraising and awareness-raising activities.
  • Have a constant and wide-ranging dialogue with the City, its interest groups and residents and continue to play a full part in the larger civic, cultural, creative and artistic fabric of the region. We will cherish and develop our close relationships with the City, Winchester Cathedral and the Diocese.
  • Continue expanding our horizons globally, making a difference to the most vulnerable people across the world through our educational and charitable projects.
  • Seek new and innovative ways to support the public good such as our investment in the Hampshire Community Bank.



  • Christian Foundation Strategy
  • Climate Change Education and Communication Strategy
  • Community Engagement Strategy
  • Employability Strategy
  • Employer Engagement Strategy
  • Estates Master Plan and Estates Strategy
  • Fair Value Strategy
  • Financial Strategy
  • Human Resources Strategy
  • Information Technology Strategy
  • Internal Communication Strategy
  • Internationalisation Strategy
  • Learning and Teaching Strategy
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Prevent Strategy
  • Research and Knowledge Exchange Strategy
  • Student Recruitment and Admissions Strategy
  • Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning Strategy
  • Communications and Marketing Departmental Strategy