Ulster UniversityFive & Fifty

Ulster University
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Operational Excellence

We recognise that delivering this Five & Fifty plan is ambitious; particularly in such a challenging economic climate and within an increasingly competitive global market. For that reason, we have prioritised operational excellence within the strategic plan; both creating the right conditions to let people flourish and ensuring that every member of this University is recognised as playing a central role in us achieving our ambitions.

Establishing challenging goals around people and culture, operational effectiveness and sustainability and world-class infrastructure helps ensure those conditions are in place.

Ulster University strives to be student-centred. Providing an outstanding educational experience for our students is ultimately what we are about. Our teaching and learning is already excellent. To provide a seamless, responsive and holistic student service we need to ensure we operate collaboratively. To continue to attract the brightest and best students we need to be flexible and agile in how we engage and support those students.

Our staff is a vibrant community of talented and skilled individuals across a mix of disciplines and professions. A strong developmental framework will build capacity and capability to ensure our University continues to thrive.

World-class infrastructure is a priority without which we cannot hope to compete. We are already investing in this space across our campuses because we recognise the need for facilities that offer our staff and students the best possible experience. Our efforts will be concentrated both on ensuring each of our campuses has the best possible facilities to deliver on its distinctive mission and that we have the necessary specialist facilities to support our researchers and their ambitions.

We will prioritise the development of a digital first approach to systems and services supported by the necessary technology and infrastructure. This focus will be essential to facilitate collaboration, support research, and deliver our learning and student support.

This is a difficult time for higher education generally. We need to create a more sustainable financial and operational model for the University; one which makes the most efficient and focused use of current financial resources whilst continuing to make the case for enhanced investment in higher education.

Ulster University Civic Contribution


Build a reputation for deep student engagement and services that support the student experience. Create a positive working environment that stimulates career development for staff to realise their ambitions.

People and Culture

  • Nurture a community of staff, students, alumni and partners who have a deep sense of belonging to the University and pride in their connection with it.
  • Build leadership capability that sets direction and expectations of staff to embrace change as needed to deliver the ambitions of the University.
  • Attract, develop and retain the best people from national and international markets, developing talent, offering career progression opportunities and rewarding achievement.
  • Foster a culture based around our values and ethos, encouraging integrity, diversity and inspiring work. We will endeavour to reflect the make up of the communities and global society we serve.


    • Ensure all our national and international partners understand what we stand for, the excellence of our teaching and research and the fantastic opportunities we can offer to prospective students, researchor corporate partners and alumni.
    • Harness the creativity of our university to promote an exciting, distinctive experience for staff and students. Ensure Ulster becomes the university of choice for more students from Northern Ireland and overseas.

    World-Class Infrastructure

    • Create a world-class environment and support services on each campus; integrating physical and digital infrastructure so that it is flexible, user-centric and can adapt to a fast-paced changing world.
    • Provide regionally distinctive, economically viable campuses that  are safe, vibrant, socially engaged and accessible; that meet student and staff needs, support collaboration and contribute to environmental sustainability.

    Financial Sustainability

    • Develop a sustainable funding model and associated budget systems which support growth in income especially from diversified sources.
    • Ensure transparency and provide financial information to enable faculties and other departments to make well-informed decisions.
    • Ensure that all major initiatives and funding decisions are supported by high-quality strategic and financial planning.
    • Encourage more agile, risk-informed decision-making.

    Measures of Success

    Measures of Success

    • Growth in income, especially from diversified  sources and a financially sustainable university
    • Transparent and robust reward and performance management supported by training and development
    • Increased pride, staff satisfaction and well-being
    • A strong university brand nationally and internationally and an increase in actively engaged alumni
    • Staff and student satisfaction with the infrastructure and services
    • Positive environmental impact


    Be a national exemplar of staff development and performance


    Ulster University Operational Excellence

    Five Year Strategic Plan
    Fiftieth Year Strategic Vision