Strategic Plan 2012 - 2017

Aim 5 - Working in partnership

Working in partnership: collaborating with other universities, with the local community and Further Education, with employers and businesses and with our alumni, building global partnerships and enriching the experience of our students, staff and our partners.

We believe in the power of partnerships and collaborations both within Wales and across the globe. We have a strong track record of delivering Welsh Government priorities and look forward to further delivery for the benefit of the people of Wales.

The Research and Enterprise Partnership between Aberystwth and Bangor Universities, established in 2006, received £11M in HEFCW research funding and generated an additional £53M during its first five years. This partnership has been supported by the Strategic Alliance with Bangor University, through which we will continue to broaden and deepen our collaborative working. We are proud to be a part of the first partnership in the UK to produce a joint strategy for Learning and Teaching and Widening Access and are committed to sharing best practice in student development and the promotion of innovative teaching. We also have a joint Innovation and Engagement Strategy with Bangor, through which we are harmonising our offering to local businesses. We have launched a joint consultancy company and are working under the CADARN Skills Centre to provide courses which are responsive to the needs of the local business community. We offer a single point of entry through our joint Services to Business initiative. The next five years will be exciting times for the Alliance and we are confident that the growth of Bangor and Aberystwyth will benefit from positive engagement with one another. We will also lead a number of St David’s Day Group initiatives – the partnership of research-intensive universities in Wales.

As part of the CADARN Regional Strategy for Mid and North Wales, we are keen to build on the existing relationships between Aberystwyth and the network of colleges to establish clearer progression routes  and explore the potential for joint working on the development of Foundation Degrees, lifelong learning, language tuition and the expansion of non-traditional learning routes.

We benefit greatly from being a global brand in a local setting and consider our community-based context to be an important factor in the excellent student experience that we offer. Through our regional widening access partnership we work with young people across mid-Wales to raise educational aspirations. We work closely with our local community through adult education provision, schools outreach programmes and connections to local and regional companies.

We also encourage our students to take all opportunities to work and volunteer with local groups and services. Our students make an annual contribution of over 17,000 hours of volunteering in the local area and are highly visible in the region for their fund-raising activities and assistance with community projects. We accept our responsibility to the community in which we are based and we are committed to strengthening our local links, recognising the important contribution we make to the sustainability and wealth creation of our region. We also recognise that volunteering contributes to our students’ employability and we are committed to helping students to find ways to engage more with local groups and to identify the skills they are developing as an outcome.

At Aberystwyth our academic work has a global reach. We collaborate every day with colleagues at universities around the world, working on joint research, reviewing academic papers, organising conferences and giving seminar papers. We have affiliations with many institutions around the world and we will aim to extend our network of global academic partnerships. Where possible, we will develop and commercialise world-class technologies, including innovative developments in the fields of agriculture, human and animal health, intelligent systems and medical and environmental imaging. We will build on these successes, expanding our collaboration with global businesses of all sizes and supporting opportunities for practical and commercial applications of our research.

We view our relationship with our students as lifelong and are proud of their success. Our student experience is founded on a collaborative process involving teacher and student in expanding the boundaries of knowledge together. We will continue to work closely in collaboration with our Students’ Union to ensure that our students have the freedom to express themselves and seek the views of our student body to help us to build a future for Aberystwyth which is democratic and inclusive. A priority for the next five years is to engage more fully with our alumni, creating more opportunities for collaborative work between past and present students and ensuring that the expertise and experience of our alumni informs our future development.

Strategies for 2012-2017

  1. Broadening and deepening our Strategic Alliance with Bangor, delivering on our joint strategies in Learning and Teaching and Widening Access, and Innovation and Engagement.
  2. Through the CADARN Regional Strategy for Mid and North Wales, forge closer relationships with local schools and colleges across our region, to ensure clear pathways to higher education and sharing of practice with specialists in adult learning and lifelong education.
  3. Fostering further research partnerships, including joint institutional research bids, strategic relationships with Research Councils and other funders, and reciprocal relationships with industry.
  4. Working closely with our local community and with local employers and businesses across Wales for the mutual benefit of our region and our students.
  5. Working in partnership with our alumni, drawing on the expertise of past students and staff to inform the University and benefit current students.

Aberystwyth 2017

By 2017 we will:

  • Achieve at least 45% of our research and enterprise income in collaboration with other institutions, and in particular the Aberystwyth and Bangor Strategic Alliance;
  • Develop 8 global partnerships with Universities outside of the UK;
  • Establish 5 strategic alliances with schools and colleges;
  • Support an additional 20 licenses to existing companies or spin out/spin in companies and increase our Knowledge Exchange income by 5% annually;
  • Increase our partnerships with industry, adding 4 significant partnerships to our existing portfolio;
  • Establish at least 20 additional continuing professional development projects, delivering employer-led skills to attendees from within the region and beyond;
  • Secure, through working with our alumni, mentoring support for 250 students annually.