Our vision and strategy

Exterior of Firth Court from the Concourse

Our vision

We will deliver life-enhancing research, innovation and education that not only transforms the lives of our graduates, but shapes the world in which we live. We believe the best way to achieve this is by fostering an ambitious, inclusive, collaborative community.

Our values

  • We are, and will always be, guided by our values:
  • We are ambitious and strive for excellence in all that we do.
  • We believe in collaborative working.
  • We champion an inclusive and diverse community.
  • We are responsible – for our people and the wider world.
  • We are open and transparent about the decisions we make.

Our pillars

Our University’s core purpose is to deliver world-class research, innovation and education. We will do this by working as One University. These equally important four pillars underpin our vision:


Our distinctive and innovative research will be world-leading and world-changing. We will produce the highest quality research to drive intellectual advances and address global challenges.


Our transformative research and enterprise will find solutions to problems facing society. We will enable and promote a culture of excellence in innovation and entrepreneurship across the University.


Our teachers will deliver research-led programmes that inspire, enthuse and challenge a diverse community of outstanding students. Our graduates will be equipped to stand out as confident global citizens guided by strong values, ethics and standards – able to make meaningful contributions to society.

One University

We will build a diverse community of staff and students from a broad range of backgrounds, demographics and cultures, to create an inclusive, supportive and collaborative environment in which they can succeed and flourish.

Delivering our vision

A cohesive strategy framework underpins the delivery of our vision and strategy.

We have Strategy Delivery Plans for each of our pillars. These plans lay out the actions that we will take to achieve our vision and the timeframes for their completion. An overview of our performance, achievements and challenges this year is provided in each pillar section of this annual report.

Our Strategy Delivery Plans inform our department framework and faculty and department medium-term planning. The framework helps academic departments think about their contribution to the vision and targets as part of our annual planning through to 2027.

Measuring our progress

To assess our progress towards the ambitions outlined in the Vision 2020-2027, we have a suite of performance indicators and targets. The indicators inform target setting across the University and are regularly reviewed in the context of the changing internal and external environment. The performance indicators use a mixture of comparative and absolute measures to assess the University’s performance.

Our performance against these key performance indicators is provided alongside the narrative overviews of each pillar in our Annual Report to provide a rounded picture of the University’s performance, achievements and challenges.

We aim to be recognised as one of the top universities in the UK and a world top 100 university. We look at our performance holistically across the pillars, alongside our performance in recognised league tables to monitor our progress.

Ranking in UK league tables

  • Daily Mail University Guide (11)
  • Times Good University Guide (18)
  • Complete University Guide UK (20)
  • Guardian University Guide (21)

We ranked 104th in the QS World University Rankings and 117th in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

Our vision

We are the University of Sheffield. And this is our vision.