University Strategy 2020 report

This report is an in depth content analysis and benchmarking of 52 published strategy documents from higher education institutes, it involved 28 stakeholder interviews with higher education senior leaders, and is written by Dr Mike Baxter.

Mike is the former Professor and Dean of Ravensbourne University and now an independent researcher and consultant. Most of his recent work has been strategy consultancy in the commercial world (Google, Skype, Playstation, HSBC and Roche are all recent clients) and he’s just completed this research project and report applying some of the lessons he’s learned from commercial organisations to the HE sector.

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“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

“This is a very interesting and insightful report, especially for those of us in the sector whose roles are about helping our universities to shape their future.”
Dr Richard Hutchins, Director of Strategy, University of Warwick

“The need for a UK university to have a purposeful strategy which is comprehensible to its staff, students, and other stakeholders has never been greater. Mike Baxter provides an evidence-based framework that will enable institutions to develop a strategy that is clear and accessible, and consequently will help them to achieve their ambitions.”
Dr Mark Skippen, Head of Marketing Intelligence, Swansea University

“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

“Mike’s report is a thorough and detailed survey of HEI strategies; it is insightful in many ways and a very useful reference for anyone engaged in strategy development and implementation.”
Steve Chadwick, Director of Strategy, Planning and Change, University of Bristol

“This report provides a unique overview of strategic plans in the UK higher education sector, highlighting good practice and common pitfalls. The proposed Strategy Design Framework should be a useful tool for universities, guiding the sector towards a more mature approach to strategy development”
Dr Hulda Sveinsdottir, Director of Planning, University of Aberdeen