How we work with universities – your partner for strategic success

We help universities transform faster and more effectively by identifying what matters, engaging stakeholders and embedding strategy into everyday actions.

A trustworthy and experienced partner, we offer dedicated tools, processes and software to ensure your strategy is evidence-based, systematically aligned and a driver of real change. We believe we are unique in the breadth and depth of our work in driving innovation and performance across the strategy lifecycle from preparation and production to implementation, measurement and governance.

Key issues for universities

We recently analysed the published strategies of 52 UK universities and interviewed 28 university leaders (University Strategy 2020). The top 3 strategic concerns were:

“Changes in our economic and policy environment make strategic planning a lot harder than normal”

“So much needs to align if we are to achieve strategic success and I’m not sure we are managing this as rigorously as we should”

Lack of impact
“Have we got the right tools and processes to ensure the right people have the right resources to make progress in the right areas, fast enough”


Our solutions

Goal Atlas enables universities to take ownership of their strategy across the entire strategy lifecycle, facilitated by our best practice expertise, processes and proprietary software. Our services include:

Strategy scoping

Strategy scoping ensures the strategy you develop is rigorous and fit for purpose, setting both signposts and milestones for your new strategy development.

Strategy training courses, workshops & clinics

Our services range from bespoke strategy training sessions for leaders and teams to practical, hands-on workshops and clinics to provide the breakthroughs needed to advance all aspects of your university strategy. See, for example, our Strategy Distinctiveness Workshop.

Strategy mapping and performance measurement

Our strategy mapping service uses proprietary software to help you both build / validate your strategy and then deploy / measure its impact across your organisation. Contact us for a demo of our software.

Strategy audit

Our strategy audit service provides an independent, best-practice, evidence-based evaluation of your strategy at any stage in the strategy lifecycle.

University Strategy 2020

Dr Mike Baxter’s report, ‘University Strategy 2020: Analysis and benchmarking of the strategies of UK Universities’, was published by Goal Atlas Ltd in Spring 2019. The report aims to help senior leaders and those involved in shaping the strategic direction of universities to make sense of strategy.

“Given the maelstrom universities are currently working within, this modern, up-to-date guidance around strategy development is timely.  The insights are delivered in straightforward and clear language.”
John Britton, Head of Planning and Intelligence, Cardiff University

“This report will be of great value to university leaders and their advisers. At times it will be uncomfortable reading because it has a ruthless focus on what is important in good strategy. It shines a light on the weaknesses and strengths of existing university strategies and will hopefully help the next tranche of missions, values, visions, performance indicators and the like all line up to much greater effect.”
Lord Jim Knight, Chief Education and External Officer, TES Global Ltd

University Strategy 2020. Analysis and benchmarking of university strategies