Strategic priorities and focus

To achieve our vision and mission to shape a better world, we have developed two strategic priorities.

We will focus our work on three central areas of activity: education, research and knowledge exchange and engagement.

Our strategic priorities in detail

We will transform the education, experience and outcomes of students through innovative, flexible and accessible practice-led education
  • We will lead as an innovator in education, engaging with the leading-edge of research, industry, public service and professional practice to expand our knowledgeable community and the impact our community has on shaping a better world.
  • We will work in partnership with our students to co-produce curricula and signature pedagogies, e.g. Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in the curriculum that redefine our educational offer.
  • We will open up new opportunities for students to participate in HE through increased modular options for lifelong learning.
  • We will provide opportunities for our students and staff to collaborate, connect and co-learn across our global campuses.
  • We will achieve equity in student outcomes, support our students to be ready for future careers, and empower them to shape their own lives and the world around them.
  • We will offer a high quality student experience of which our staff, student and alumni community will be proud.
We will create impact to shape a better world through practice-orientated research and knowledge exchange, teaching and engagement that make a difference to global challenges
  • Our themes will help us co-ordinate and prioritise our high-quality, impactful research, innovative, flexible education and strong engagement with practice.
  • We will achieve excellence in our selected themes and consequently become nationally and internationally recognised and hence the ‘go to’ place for students, academics and partners in these areas.

Our triple focus

Our focus in detail

Our three core activities of practice-orientated education, research and engagement are interconnected and related. We will use this focus to play an important role in shaping a better world with practice at the heart of what we do. And we will partner with students, organisations and professions.

We want to hear if you think this is the right approach and what you think it is important we achieve in these areas.

By ‘practice’ we mean our students learn through doing, making and through experience. They apply their advanced knowledge and skills to real-life and work-based projects that benefit society, the professions and business. Learning this way our students develop the skills, behaviours and attitudes that employers want.

Our approach at Middlesex has always been inclusive and we have sought to widen access to higher education. We have been very successful in enabling students from groups who are under-represented in higher education to become part of our community and with over 50% of undergraduates having been eligible for free school meals (compared to an average of 20%), we already lead the sector in the UK.

We want to open up our educational provision to a wider group of potential students through offering entry routes to those that do not traditionally go to university, such as through modular lifelong learning opportunities. To do this, we will need to develop our culture and approach to go beyond the three year undergraduate course as the default way of thinking. Accessibility to higher education is partly achieved through flexible modes of study in which students can access modules fully online, blended or face-to-face. We want to explore different modes of study and learning, for example more Professional and practice-based Doctorates, part-time learning and training.

We have real strengths and distinctive quality in our network of international campuses and our approach will be one of a big Middlesex Family, interacting across geographical locations. This will help internationalise our curriculum and our orientation. Our approach will enhance opportunities to access higher education, improve our student experience, outcomes and employability of our students.
We will foster inter-disciplinary work, focusing on practice-as-research, practice-based and designed-in impact approaches. Our work develops new knowledge which benefits business, technology, the arts and creative industries, health and the environment and the wider world.

Practice is at the heart of much of our research and knowledge exchange as rigorous research that is entwined with practical impacts has greater potential for shaping a better world. Research and Knowledge Exchange will be part of our reputation build and high quality, impactful projects will help shape the narrative of who we are and what we do. These projects will contribute to evidence that is measured in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and demonstrate to new partners the value of engaging with Middlesex.

We will foster a team-based, collaborative ethos in research and knowledge exchange, working with one another and with partners in other academic organisations and with practitioners, professionals and organisations to achieve maximum impact.
Our approach to working in partnership (internally and externally) will be to achieve Collaborative Advantage. Collaborative Advantage is achieving more together than the parties could have achieved independently.

One of the ways in which we will work with partners will be through building global networks which we call communities of practice. These communities of practice comprise individuals and organisations who have a shared area of interest, shared values and incorporate diverse skills, methods and expertise. By working together, they will achieve what they could not do alone – collaborative advantage.

Partnerships in multiple forms are central to our future direction. A more focused approach to partnership aligned to our themes will help us have greater reach to shape a better world and grow our global reputation. It will help us focus on the areas we want to build, as well as identify areas that we need to stop.

The importance of a global approach and associated growth opportunities has been a central issue to emerge from the preliminary strategy development work. We will need to ensure we have a global mind-set when considering existing and future relationships and partnerships.

We are committed to growing our strategic FE partnerships in London and the UK and we envisage a greater focus on academic partnerships and overseas provision.

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