University wins Outstanding Strategic Planning Team award in THELMAs

Published: 24 June 2016

The University of Glasgow has won the Outstanding Strategic Planning Team award at the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards 2016.

The University of Glasgow has won the Outstanding Strategic Planning Team award at the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards (THELMAs) 2016.THELMA strategic plan 450

The awards, now in their eighth year, recognise outstanding leadership and management in the UK’s higher education institutions.

Despite financial and research success in recent years, the University of Glasgow feared it was in danger of falling behind in a rapidly changing higher education sector; many staff felt that too much top-down decision-making was to blame.

This spurred the creation of a new strategy that the university said would “empower people at every level of the university to drive our success”.

More than 1,000 staff participated in around 100 hours of consultation events. The resulting strategy, called “Inspiring People – Changing the World”, and a series of major changes to how the university operates, were designed to give staff more freedom.

Unit heads now have more say in the strategic priorities of the university, while it has developed a new range of targets for 2020, including an undergraduate satisfaction rate of 91 per cent, an international student population of 5,000, and the fifth highest research income in the Russell Group.

The judges commented that Glasgow’s strategy involved “far-reaching consultation and engagement across the whole university”, which led to an inspiring plan that could create change.

“This resulted in new financial and planning frameworks which devolved and empowered local leadership to improve the agility of decision-making,” the judges said.

They were particularly impressed by how well staff participated and the “profound impact the process has had on almost all aspects of the university’s processes”.

Prof Neal Juster, Senior Vice-Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, said: “I am delighted that THE has recognised the combined efforts of so many people across the University. Our success is a reflection on not only the consultative approach taken by the team but also the response of our staff, our inspiring people, to ensuring that the strategy is fully embedded across the University.”

Winners attended a black-tie event at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, hosted by actor and comedian Jimmy Carr, where over 1,000 guests gathered to celebrate outstanding performance in the competitive world of UK higher education.

The winners were chosen by a panel of judges including Alison Johns, chief executive of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education; David McBeth, director of research and knowledge exchange services at the University of Strathclyde; and Maja Maricevic, head of higher education at the British Library.

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First published: 24 June 2016

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