As society emerges from the implications of the global pandemic, we will focus on building the foundations for a better future. We will create an environment where our community comes together as one to educate and develop the future leaders and citizens that will make the world a better place. At the same time, we will be creating new knowledge, sharing our ideas and innovating to contribute to society in collaboration with our stakeholders and partners around the world.  

This strategy refresh extends our existing The Surrey Advantage strategy (PDF) to 2024 to bridge the University’s ambitions from where we were pre-pandemic, through the national and international recovery period, to build a strong platform from which we can aspire to even greater achievements in the future.  

Our goals

To deliver our mission, prior to the pandemic we had developed a challenging strategy with five broad goals. These are long term goals which remain unchanged. But the roadmap to reach them has been refreshed to reflect the changing external context.

We will have achieved our ambitions when we have become: 

  • A global leader in higher education, a destination of choice for higher learning in the UK and internationally, with outstanding employment outcomes. 

  • A leading research and innovation institution with talented staff, students and postgraduate researchers committed to research excellence and to benefitting the economy, society, and the environment. 

  • An engaged and connected university which is the intellectual home for staff, students, alumni, supporters and the local community, and aware of its impact. 

  • A preferred partner for government, business, industry, and other universities in creating technological solutions, digital transformation and policy innovation. 

  • A financially astute and sustainable institution with diverse funding support, including philanthropy. 

Drive student experience

Students are at the heart of our University and we will deliver an excellent student experience for all students regardless of background. Surrey is renowned for enabling our students to realise their potential. We will continue to push the boundaries of pedagogy, ensuring our students experience a research-led education delivered by engaged academic staff using technology for greater flexibility to facilitate learning. We will be relentless in our pursuit of improvements to the overall student journey.  

Our aim is to empower our students to be responsible for their Surrey journey. We will support our students to achieve their potential and prepare them to thrive throughout and beyond university. We will do this by working in partnership with students to build a strong Surrey community, fostering pride and belonging and championing diversity, inclusivity, and togetherness. We will listen to, work with and support our students to help them succeed, identifying and improving support services and the necessary infrastructure for a truly joined up experience.  

Focus research intensity  

Engineering student

We will focus our resources and support around our existing and emerging critical masses of excellence. We will enhance excellence and build scale, bringing together disciplinary strengths from across the University to share ideas and address the challenges of our time. New pan-University institutes will serve as flagships of pan-disciplinary research concentration from which to elevate our global impact and visibility.

We will start upscaling and broadening our excellent innovation ecosystem to grow our innovation activity within our academic community, through educating, stimulating, and facilitating. 

We will continue to bring the research and education missions of the University ever closer together, building on the synergies already achieved by individual teachers and researchers. We will align our research and innovation support to be researcher-centric, ‘can-do’, digital and integrated which will help our researchers improve their effectiveness, and continue to be extraordinary collaborators, with each other and our partners around the world.

Create the conditions for success

Students at a degree ceremony

We will foster talent and create an environment where all our staff, students and postgraduate researchers are empowered and supported to flourish, valuing each and every contribution. 

We have redesigned our resource allocation model and our support processes to reward excellence, enable growth, and to create more capacity for the academic mission. We will use technology to enhance our systems and simplify processes, putting our community at the heart of everything we do, building Surrey as the place to start and grow a career for all our staff – support and academic alike.

The success of our strategy will be underpinned by the quality, energy and commitment of our staff, supported by a strong and inclusive culture in an environment where all members of our community can bring their whole selves, flourish and fulfil their full potential.