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A staff member helping out a student.

People are our University.

With our students, staff, alumni and partners, we will build a safe, supportive community where we can truly be ourselves.

With greater diversity and inclusivity to reflect society, we will enable our education, research and enterprise to transform the communities we serve.

We will collaborate with our partners to change the world for the better.

"I am most proud of working in equality, diversity and inclusion, and being able to deliver something I feel strongly about and that I know will make a difference in people's lives. You can say that I've made my passion my profession. I am also proud that I work with people who care and value equality, diversity and inclusion as much as I do and support me with my ventures."

- Aysha Rahman: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Advisor

Our commitments

We will:

  • Treat each other with fairness and respect. We will achieve this by individually and collectively living up to the actions in our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan.
  • Co-develop with staff and students more effective and productive ways of working that support wellbeing and balanced, healthy lives.
  • Become a more culturally rich and inclusive community where everyone belongs and is committed to our shared purpose.
  • Empower everyone to thrive and enable them to achieve their full potential no matter what their vulnerabilities or disabilities.
  • Attract, develop, and retain highly skilled and motivated staff by living our values and nurturing the creation of new ideas and innovations. Deepening the partnership between professional service and academic staff unlocks this potential further.
  • Create a single online gateway to multiple staff development opportunities, with flexible delivery options to suit a diversity of approaches to learning. These will encompass all elements of our Triple Helix.
  • Grow strategic partnerships with other world-leading universities and organisations to promote student and staff mobility, helping us tackle the world’s most urgent challenges.
  • Launch our first comprehensive philanthropic and engagement campaign, uniting our students, staff, alumni and supporters to develop a more sustainable and enduring foundation for giving in all its forms.
Education and the student experience
A student working in a workshop, at a desk.

As a community, it is our collective responsibility to continue to develop and deliver a transformative student experience and support programmes to enable our students and alumni to thrive.

What we teach, and how, will be informed by our Triple Helix and the experiences and knowledge we gain from our global connections.

The result will be a recognisable University of Southampton Experience.

"My time at Southampton has been life changing. The Advance Programme taught me self-worth and how to market myself to employers, and I had the chance to travel internationally and spend time with successful Southampton alumni, which raised my aspirations. During my studies, my employability improved year on year; my personal growth has not only been positive, but it has been of a greater magnitude than I could have wished for."

- Marlon McCarthy: MEng Electronic Engineering, 2019' PhD Electronic Engineering, second year

Our commitments

We will work in partnership with our students to:

  • Enable them to be the leaders of tomorrow who will transform the lives of others.
  • Provide exemplary support for students’ wellbeing and the needs of disabled students, and equip them with the skills and mindset to flourish in the world of the future, for the jobs and challenges that will keep evolving.
  • Create a more inclusive and flexible teaching and learning experience that equips students for the outside world, co-produced with students and employers to address their needs and expectations.
  • Enhance our learning environments to foster both flexibility and creativity.
  • Exploit the opportunities for engagement with our world-leading research and enterprise activities to allow students to develop their full potential.
  • Ensure our graduates are recognised globally for a University of Southampton Experience that sets them apart as: curious; engaged; articulate; ethical; culturally aware; enterprising; and socially and environmentally responsible.
  • Create outstanding University experiences that ensure students can follow their own paths, feel supported to thrive, and enjoy a sense of pride and belonging as members of our community. Supporting participation in co-curricular activities is part of these experiences.
  • Simplify our processes, develop our understanding of people’s needs and enhance our services to support this goal.
  • Support our students post-graduation to become part of our vibrant alumni community. Strengthening these links enhances graduates’ career development and supports them to share their skills and connections with future students.
A teacher in a seminar with students.

Our world-class research has its foundations in curiosity-led research, disciplinary excellence, and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Together with our strong enterprise ecosystem, our remarkable people are trailblazers who both tackle global challenges and drive local opportunities.

The diversity and breadth of our research is a strength and ensures its long-term relevance and impact. By strengthening the mutually reinforcing links between our Triple Helix, we will build an even more dynamic base to inspire the remarkable.

"Theoretical physics is a discipline that thrives on exchange of ideas and working with others to solve problems. Our research group works together extensively, both through formal research collaborations and informal discussions about ongoing projects. We work with research partners all over the world via funded research networks, conferences and research programmes at research institutes."

- Professor Marika Taylor: Head of School of Mathematical Sciences and Professor of Theoretical Physics.

Our commitments

We will:

  • Better reflect society, starting with an increase in the ethnic diversity of our research community and by growing the number of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). This requires a strong connection with our education and student experience activities.
  • Ensure that our research activities benefit our educational practice, through student projects and internships, access to laboratory facilities and through interaction with educators who are at the cutting edge of their fields.
  • Attract, support, and retain the next generation of research leaders from across the world, from different backgrounds and experiences.
  • Champion positive change to achieve international excellence by investing in a significant Research Fellowship scheme.
  • Ensure our vibrant Doctoral College, with its focus on skills, wellbeing and career development, maximises collaborative opportunities for postgraduate researchers to gain experience across our Triple Helix.
  • Build on our superb facilities, investing in the infrastructure that keeps our researchers at the forefront internationally. We will strive to use these to benefit education and enterprise activities.
  • Secure funding to invest in one or more interdisciplinary research centres. This will harness the breadth of our research, ranging from the creative and performing arts, and the humanities to the social, physical and life sciences, to address global challenges and achieve socio-economic benefit.
  • Create a new state-of-the-art Interdisciplinary Research Facility with our partner University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust, facilitating collaboration across the region to engineer better health. This will bring together world-class teams to: drive innovation; speed the transfer of novel ideas into new interventions from bench-to-bedside; transform the future of healthcare; and save lives faster.
  • Use the University’s renowned marine research excellence, together with the city’s heritage and position as one of the UK’s major gateways to the world, to create a more environmentally sustainable maritime future.
  • Ensure we remain the partner of choice in established partnerships and develop new relationships with a breadth of organisations, from industry to the health service to the third sector.
  • Improve the financial sustainability of our research.
  • Ensure that our systems and processes support our evolving research mission in a flexible and agile way.
Knowledge exchange & enterprise
A member of staff having a discussion on campus.

We are a national leader in knowledge exchange and enterprise (KEE) activities across a wide front.

At the heart of this success is a spirit of curiosity and creativity that runs through our education and research to generate exciting ideas to solve real-world problems.

We will embed and extend enterprise opportunities for students and staff, to benefit the communities we work with, through our Triple Helix approach.

"The University houses a thriving teaching and research culture, state-of-the-art infrastructure and resources, excellent cross-disciplinary research, and strong connections with industry and policy partners, which is an ideal setting for my work. My research also benefits from the wealth of interdisciplinary expertise of groups in the areas of geography and environment, health, social statistics, computer science and medicine."

- Dr Shengjie Lai: Senior Research Fellow, School of Geography and Environmental Science

Our commitments

We will:

  • Bring investors, business partners and supporters into the University’s flourishing inventive and entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  • Be recognised as one of the strongest universities for KEE in the world.
  • Transform and simplify our processes, systems and customer journey to better fulfil our stakeholders’ needs.
  • Build on the success of our incubation and on-campus start-up accelerators to extend enterprise opportunities across the whole University.
  • Ensure that students and staff engaged in KEE gain the skills and experience they need to succeed in their careers and realise their potential to deliver impact.
  • Prioritise KEE activities that are most likely to deliver our shared purpose.
  • Grow and deepen our partnerships, from policymakers to industry, to be the partner of choice.
  • Find new ways and levels of investment in enterprise. Use this to grow our financial surplus and overall income from KEE over the next five years.
A teacher in a workshop at Winchester School of Art

We will make sustainability a part of everything the University does by 2030. We will strive to achieve net zero for Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030. Sustainability will be embedded into our Triple Helix and will be a personal and collective responsibility across all our campuses.

Our research will continue to respond to all of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and we will make sustainability part of every University of Southampton education programme.

We will ensure that our enterprise activities have a positive environmental impact. We will bring students, staff and local residents together to create a cleaner, greener and healthier University.

"One of my key priorities is to embed sustainability into the curriculum in a way that motivates students to critically engage, reflect and create in a meaningful and transformative way. Sustainability is the cornerstone of my programme."

- Delia Crowe: Programme Leader, MA Fashion Design

Our commitments

We will:

  • Achieve net zero for Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030. Scope 1 are direct greenhouse gas emissions that the University controls, mainly from fuel combustion on-site (for example, operational vehicles or gas boilers). Scope 2 refers to all indirect emissions from electricity purchased and used by the University.
  • Measure our total emissions footprint and set targets for Scope 3 emissions reductions. Scope 3 includes all other indirect emissions from sources the University does not own or control. This includes emissions associated with travel, procurement of products consumed by the University, and waste and water.
  • Make sustainability part of every University of Southampton education programme by 2025.
  • Ensure that our research and enterprise activities have a positive environmental impact. Develop a sustainability and resilience hub to improve our interdisciplinary impact in this important area.
  • Give our people and the wider community the opportunities to learn more about the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and adapt our Triple Helix to support the changing world.
  • Implement a Sustainable and Ethical Investment Policy, which will support positive change to address the climate crisis.
  • Learn more about our initiatives to become a sustainable university.
A staff member helping out a student.

Our foundations and heritage make the University of Southampton a gateway to the world. We are deeply committed to Southampton as a city of culture and across the region will further develop our civic role of making a positive impact.

The mutual strengths of our Triple Helix, coupled with our remarkable people, will promote inclusiveness and improve lives.

We will grow our international footprint sustainably and expand opportunities for more students to experience our distinctive University of Southampton education offer.

"I am most proud of the support our projects have received from the alumni community. We would not be able to run Ignite, one of our core Widening Participation and Social Mobility (WPSM) programmes at the University, without the generosity of our alumni."

- Ms Roshana Wickremasinghe: Student Success Manager

Our commitments

We will:

  • Develop Civic University Agreements co-designed with local groups, authorities, alumni, and partners to build sustainable communities, promote equality, improve health and wellbeing, transform educational opportunities, close the digital divide, and strengthen economic prosperity.
  • Be an active partner with the city of Southampton to celebrate diversity, bringing people together through culture to create new economic and social opportunities. A major shared ambition is the pursuit of City of Culture status.
  • Establish an evergreen funding mechanism to support investments focused on carbon reduction, sustainability, and environmental protection, to deliver beneficial impact for the region.
  • Grow our international footprint sustainably to meet the aspirations and needs of individual regions.
  • Expand opportunities including digital and online programmes so more students can experience our distinctive University of Southampton education provision.
  • Build on our track record of contributing to a fairer future for all, ranging from Access to Southampton, the Ignite programme, Social Impact Lab and Lifelab, to the John Hansard Gallery.
  • Strengthen the design of academic skills services for students from under-represented groups, working with them to enhance their careers and employability.
Organisational excellence
Catering staff working at the University.

Our ambitions require a truly One Southampton approach to be embedded in all that we do. Creating a supportive culture, governance and infrastructure, built around doing the very best we each can, is essential.

Continued financial sustainability will enable us to invest confidently to meet our aspirations. We will enhance our physical estate, facilities and digital infrastructure.

Through collaboration we will devise future ways of working that embody our values and goals.

"I get a great sense of achievement within my role as I have been allowed to make changes that impact on both the business and my team. This has resulted in improving the reputation and the working environment for my team."

- Fritz Apellido: Catering Supervisor

Our commitments

Factors that will underpin this are:

  • Collaboration – We will devise future ways of working where our people will be trusted to work in partnership across teams to co-design improvements to our systems and processes.
  • We will enable the creativity of our professional services and academic staff to be strongly aligned to realise opportunities for continuous improvement.
  • Financial sustainability – We will ensure sufficient cash flow is generated so that, along with our secured long-term borrowings, we can continue to invest confidently to meet our aspirations.
  • Governance – We will ensure our governance supports the scale and complexity of our organisation, while being agile and enabling.
  • Physical and virtual environments – We will enhance our physical estate, facilities and digital infrastructure to provide ever-more creative, vibrant environments to support our ambitions. We are committed to having the best quality estate and facilities within our means. We will strive to deliver services that are digitally leading-edge with a human face.
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