"Great universities constantly move forward. They anticipate, lead, adapt, and are society’s engines of innovation and change. Momentum is everything.
When St Andrews flourishes, it does so because it combines a commitment to academic excellence with an inherent dynamism which moulds us to the challenges and opportunities of the age.
As we publish our University’s refreshed Strategic Plan 2022-2027, there is war in Europe, the long tail of Covid lingers, the climate crisis begs ever more urgent intervention, digital technology signals continuing profound changes for the way we live and work, major constitutional and cultural questions are being asked in this country and others, and Western Europe is enduring a cost-of-living and energy crisis.
Universities exist for the pursuit of truth and scholarship, but in executing that privilege, we must also serve.
Rarely have the communities on our doorstep, and further afield, been in greater need of the public good done by the power and application of world-class research and teaching. Rarely has it been more critical that universities maintain the courage to speak truth to power.
Crises bring discomfort, but they also bring ambition, and hunger for change. This is what drives our dynamism. By our scholarship, we should want to change the world, not expect others to change it for us.
This refreshed Strategy therefore develops the World-Leading, Diverse and Entrepreneurial themes, of our existing strategy, and brings forward two others for a fast-changing world, Sustainable and Digital. All are underpinned by our continuing commitment to Social Responsibility.
It describes how we will change to invest in key areas of research and teaching and strategic appointments; leverage our international partnerships to widen influence; make smart use of digital technology to bring people together to share knowledge and ideas; foster an inclusive and compassionate culture and become more diverse; become a role model for how people and ideas can move seamlessly between academia, industry, and the wider world; model the solutions and behaviours humanity will need to tackle the climate crisis.
It has been produced in partnership and consultation with our staff and students, and will guide the decisions, policies, and investments the University requires to bring the intellectual power of our community to the great challenges of this age, and to maintain the distinctive excellence of our research and teaching.
Our remarkable students and staff are the lifeblood of St Andrews. It is their energy, vision and momentum this Strategy aims to support, to free them to use knowledge, ideas, and potential for the benefit of all."
Professor Dame Sally Mapstone FRSE Principal and Vice-Chancellor