University Strategy 2020

Analysis and benchmarking of the strategies of UK universities

This unique research report, written by Dr Mike Baxter, is an in-depth content analysis of university strategies in the UK. It involved the benchmarking of 52 published strategy documents from higher education institutes and 28 stakeholder interviews with higher education senior leaders.

Mike has a deep understanding of the HE sector having been Professor and Dean of Ravensbourne University and Director of the Design Research Centre at Brunel University. As an independent researcher and consultant, his work has spanned strategy consultancy in the commercial world (Google, Skype, Playstation, HSBC and Roche are amongst his clients) and he regularly advises senior leaders in the HE sector.

Contact us to find out more about our strategy services for universities, or to find out how you can be involved with Mike's current research work in the HE sector.

"This report will be of great value to university leaders and their advisers."

Lord Jim Knight


“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

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Author of 'The Strategy Manual' and 'Core Values', Goal Atlas founder and Director, Mike Baxter, is a renowned strategy expert, keynote speaker and thought leader. He publishes regular articles on all aspects of strategy and strategic planning and frequently shares his ideas and expertise via the Strategy Distilled newsletter, LinkedIn and other invited presentations.

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Free: Models and Templates

We believe strategy is for everyone. To help you DO strategy rather than just think about it, our models, frameworks and templates from 'The Strategy Manual' are released here under Creative Commons License. This means they are free for you to use in your presentations and strategy documentation. Sign up to hear when new models are released.

Strategy Workshops

Exclusive hands-on workshops to enable you to develop and apply a confident mastery of strategy, embedded into your day-to-day working practices. The extensive curriculum of workshop topics can be delivered to individuals or groups, with facilitation by Goal Atlas Director and strategy expert, Mike Baxter.

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