Through more than a century of service to the people of Queensland, Australia and the wider world, The University of Queensland’s (UQ) central mission has been remarkably consistent and enduring.

The University’s founders went to great lengths to describe this new institution as the “people’s university”, or quite deliberately as the “University for Queensland”.

The University’s founding legislation from 1909 describes our core functions as: “... to promote sound learning, to encourage original research and invention, and to provide the means of obtaining a liberal and practical education in the several pursuits and professions of life in Queensland”.

Today, 112 years later, we still define our mission in very similar terms. Put simply, UQ is here “to deliver for the public good through excellence in education, research and engagement with our communities and partners – both locally and globally”.

This Strategic Plan describes how we will continue to fulfil that purpose, as we seek to seize new opportunities and meet the challenges of the future.

The Plan describes the approach we will take over two time horizons. Our longer-term aspirations are outlined in the 2032 positioning statements and measures of success, and these set the direction for our 2022–2025 strategic priorities.

Without doubt, though, this Plan is grounded in UQ’s contemporary operating context, which has been heavily influenced by the disruptive impact and experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout 2020 and 2021, UQ responded to pandemic- related lockdowns and border closures by accelerating the shift to online learning and developing new ways of engaging students located across the globe. Our research community also rose to the challenge, creating novel approaches to collaborating and progressing the critically important research that is underway across UQ.


Professor Deborah Terry, Vice-Chancellor and President

Professor Deborah Terry AO,
Vice-Chancellor and President

I have been incredibly proud of the agility and resilience of our staff, students, alumni and partners through this unprecedented period of disruption. The fact that the University will emerge from the pandemic in a relatively healthy position is a credit to the hard work, creativity and commitment of the entire UQ community.

 

Indeed, this commitment was apparent, again, as we undertook the process of engaging staff in the development of this Plan.

We invited staff to participate in a month-long Strategy Jam, where they could share their thoughts on the University’s future. They responded en masse, contributing insights, ideas and inspiration on how UQ can continue to deliver for the public good.

Through this consultation process, we developed UQ’s strategic priorities for 2022–2025, framed around the three domains that address our core purpose: learning and student experience, research and innovation, and enriching our communities. These are underpinned by three enablers that are critical to our future success: our global profile, our people, and securing our future.

While many of the strategic priorities are an evolution or an extension of activities that we already do well, this Plan places a greater focus in certain areas and signals some entirely new directions.

For instance, UQ has delivered the highest quality undergraduate learning experiences for decades, but we recognise that our graduates increasingly need lifelong learning support as they adapt to rapid workplace change.

Therefore, this Plan signals our focus on providing a broader range of postgraduate learning opportunities, as we seek to meet the needs of our alumni, industry, and the wider community.

To ensure that we’re supporting a broader range of people to come and study at UQ, we are also committed to greater innovation in how we deliver our educational programs.

While our students place a high value on the social aspects of learning on campus, they also want the option of seamless online learning. For this reason, this Plan includes a commitment to further develop our digital capabilities to support continual improvement in the quality of our online programs.

Extending this goal further, we will also pursue transnational education strategies that involve offering our programs through a combination of online delivery and close partnerships with international universities. This will allow us to deliver a UQ education to offshore international students, providing more diversity in our student experience, and an even stronger global network for our alumni.

Under the research and innovation domain, we are absolutely committed to having an impact across the entire research and innovation pipeline.

That involves maintaining our commitment to the generation of new knowledge by conducting excellent fundamental research, as well as translating our research into progressive ideas, better services and new products for the benefit of society.

Over the course of this Plan, there will also be a particular focus on the commercial translation of our research. Through closer collaboration with industry and government, we are confident that UQ-based researchers can make an even greater contribution to the growth of the innovation ecosystem, as well as the development of new industries and a thriving knowledge-based economy.

While UQ has always contributed to the public good, this Strategic Plan very directly focuses on our role in enriching communities and re-emphasising our position as the University for Queensland.

Under our newly articulated ‘Queensland Commitment’, we are committed to building a new endowment fund that supports talented young Queenslanders to pursue their passion at UQ, regardless of their background or financial circumstances.

We also seek to deliver broader economic and social benefits to Queensland by leveraging our research and teaching expertise in a diverse range of fields, including healthcare, agriculture, and sustainable mining. We are committed to being an innovation partner for our whole state and it’s a sign of our desire to not only help solve community challenges, but also to contribute to Queensland’s economic development.

Under this Plan, we also seek to have a positive impact both nationally and globally.

Here in Australia, we especially want to play a leading role in reconciliation as advocates with and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities. By 2032, we want to be recognised by Reconciliation Australia as an Elevate RAP organisation.

At a global level, we will help to advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and leverage UQ’s development expertise to support capacity building in the Indo-Pacific region.

Ultimately though, the University’s performance and impact will be determined by the commitment of our people and the strength of our culture.

This Strategic Plan features a new set of UQ values that we want to be the foundation of that culture. We strive for creativity and excellence, but truth is central to everything we do. We will work together with integrity, courage, respect and inclusivity.

As such, we will foster a culture that is based on the values of Truth, Creativity, Excellence, Courage, Integrity, and Respect and Inclusivity.

As we look a decade into the future, I am conscious that Brisbane will be in the global spotlight as the host city of the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games. By then, I hope that UQ will be universally acknowledged and celebrated. We will be known not only for our contributions to knowledge leadership, but also for the many ways in which we deliver for the public good.