Strategic Plan 2012 - 2017

Aim 6 - Investing in our future

Investing in our future: growing our resources and investing in our environment to deliver on our strategic priorities, ensuring Aberystwyth’s future sustainability and growth.

The drive to secure a sustainable, successful financial and physical infrastructure underpins all our other aims and strategies. We will ensure success by growing our recurrent and capital resources. Over the next five years we will ensure a strong financial position for Aberystwyth, generating increasing turnover and surpluses, investing wisely, responsibly and transparently in projects which will drive forward the strategic objectives of this plan.

We will be giving particular attention to our estate, and we will invest in innovative, sustainable improvements of the physical infrastructure. We will open a major new student residence offering a variety of modern living spaces in response to changing student needs and enabling us to expand our conferencing facilities. We are also committed to a programme of upgrades to teaching spaces and laboratories to enable more flexible teaching methods, to encourage collaborative and group learning and to provide a high-quality environment for our researchers.

We will streamline structures to ensure that our academic and professional staff are efficiently and effectively supported, making efficiency gains where appropriate.  In consultation with our students and staff we are undertaking a major reconfiguration of our academic departments. This will develop a structure of new Institutes which will devolve autonomy to unit heads, develop leadership throughout the University and encourage inter-disciplinarity, whilst protecting the distinctive brand identities which our departments have worked to establish in the global market. The new administrative structure will also bring academic and service departments together more closely, re-aligning our professional services to work efficiently and effectively ensuring the best possible service for students and staff. New support structures must be fit for purpose with all staff having the capacity to deliver against our core aims, whatever their role.

Our sustainability is not just about finances and structures – our environment matters. Aberystwyth is fortunate to be located on one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. The campus lies within the transition area of the Dyfi Biosphere which is home to three Special Areas of Conservation and seven Sites of Special Scientific Interest. The beauty of the local area is recognised as one of the jewels in UNESCO’s crown. We, in turn, recognise our responsibility towards the environment in which we work and we have set ourselves the challenge of ‘greening’ the University - improving our waste and water management, reducing our carbon footprint, providing more land for students and staff to grow food, encouraging responsible travel between our sites, and encouraging better use of our green spaces. We embed in our curriculum sustainability, development and global citizenship.

Strategies for 2012-2017

  1. Growing our resources and investing them in alignment with our strategic priorities and our ethical investment statement, informed by the needs of our students and staff and ensuring Aberystwyth’s future sustainability and growth.
  2. Integrating sustainability and issues of social responsibility within the curriculum.
  3. Embedding new structures for academic and service departments to ensure more efficient use of resources, better sharing of best practice and closer working between academic and service areas.
  4. Delivering a major fund-raising capital campaign to enhance our estate.
  5. Pursuing an extensive programme of upgrades to our estate and technology infrastructure to ensure the highest quality learning and teaching environment.
  6. Managing our Penglais Campus as a nature reserve, recognising and celebrating our historic landscapes and its unique bio diversity.

Aberystwyth 2017

By 2017 we will:

  • Generate a sustainable operational surplus, rising to 3% by 2015 and to 5% by 2017.
  • Reduce average CO2 emissions across our estate by 3% year on year.
  • Achieve external recognition of our estate as a conservation / nature reserve.
  • Refurbish all of our teaching spaces to world class standards, facilitating flexible and inclusive teaching and learning.
  • Ensure our administrative costs are at or below the sector median.