Our University.

Our Future.

Our Plan.

Our Mission
To educate others and ourselves and to learn through doing so, thereby improving the world.

Our Identity
A civic institution proud of its urban character, driving growth and vibrancy for the city, the region, and the globe.

Our Vision
That research, teaching, and learning together create a positive culture of higher education.

Our Guiding Principles
Excellence, ambition, engagement, collegiality, resourcefulness, resilience, agility, diversity.

Our University. Our Future. Our Plan

Our President and
Vice-Chancellor’s Introduction

This wonderful academic community, the University of Sheffield, is such an important place for all the communities that we serve across our region, the UK and the world. And this is a crucial time for us to be thinking about our strategy.

In writing it, we have taken the highest and finest ideas that have emerged from our discussions and woven them into a pattern for our future. We talk about the University of Sheffield Strategic Plan in communal terms – ‘our University, our future, our plan’. But I should be clear by who ‘we’ are.

Our University does not exist for itself alone, and it never has. It was founded by individuals and groups who had a profound belief in the public value of universities for the economy, for health, for changes in the lives of children and of a community.

Professor Sir Keith Burnett
President and Vice-Chancellor (2007 – October 2018)

To serve the people

Our University was envisioned as a place where knowledge would transform lives for the better.

And our purpose remains the same, with the strategy to – as necessary – always be ready to reconfigure around that need.

Our strategy is therefore more than simply ours as an academic community – it serves our wider world. And it is open and pragmatic – we are ready to try different approaches to offer the education and scholarship the world needs. We will be bold where we should be, while preserving what matters most.

Who is the University for? What benefits do we offer in the 21st century? These are the questions that truly matter, and they should not be separated from discussions of cost, funding, expansion or change.


You’ll see our own aspirations and values in this plan – but also what others value about us and the challenges that are being set by our students, our society, our economy and indeed the world. In addition, we are not deaf to the challenges that are being set to us by government, by economic and demographic change or by technology.

Our values are strong, but they are not holding us back from change. Far from it. Time and again, it is these very values which are repeatedly putting Sheffield at the forefront of translational research, new routes in higher education and questioning boundaries between scholarship and the wider world. Our strategy is to build on this.

Our University. Our Future. Our Plan

Our Plan comprises five inter-connected themes:

Our Strategic Plan

We want to offer  the highest-quality education and student experience.

Our Strategic Plan

We’re a research university with a global reputation. Research motivates us, makes our teaching distinctive, and makes a difference to the city, the nation and the world.

Our Strategic Plan

We create and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with  partner cities, private and public companies, and universities from around the world.

Our Strategic Plan

We are a global university rooted in Sheffield. We attract staff and students from around the world, encouraging cultural and  economic vibrancy.

Our Strategic Plan

Our social and public responsibility is integral to our university –
to our education, research and partnerships.