St Edmund Hall Principal Launches 10-Year Strategy on One Year Anniversary

1 Oct 2019

Principal Professor Katherine Willis CBE

Principal Professor Katherine Willis announces today St Edmund Hall’s 10-year strategy which sets out how the college is going to become a greener, more diverse and accessible home for world leading research and teaching. Five strategic areas of priority have been identified to keep the inspiring and historic institution robust and resilient in the coming decades.

The college aims to establish solid foundations in the areas of education and research; access, equality and diversity; culture; estates; and finance.

“This is a significant time in the college’s history as we seek to widen access to the Hall, strengthen the connection between excellent teaching and research, celebrate our diverse community, operate on a sustainable budget and become the greenest college at the University.” said Principal Professor Katherine Willis.

St Edmund Hall’s core objectives are to promote the advancement of university education, learning and research as a college in the University of Oxford, including maintaining its historic buildings and other patrimony, and pastoral care of its students. Yet today the college faces uncertainty over funding for tertiary education, the UK’s relationship with the EU, climate change and other environmental challenges. In light of these challenges, the strategy aims to ensure that the college moves forward and remains relevant to students of the future, as it has been in the past, and is today.

The college’s five areas of priority and its vision for them are as follows:

  1. Education and Research: A college where excellent teaching and research co-exist in a stimulating intellectual environment.
  2. Access, Equality and Diversity: A college where inclusivity, equality, and diversity are understood, recognised, and celebrated across the community and where there are no invisible barriers to entry or to students reaching their full potential.
  3. Culture: A college culture that is creative and inclusive, linking a plurality of cultural activities within a positive working environment.
  4. Estates: To become the greenest and most environmentally sustainable college in Oxford, with a stock of high-quality student accommodation and an estate that fully meets the needs of the college community.
  5. Finance: A college that is financially robust and with operating budget focused primarily on the core object of the college.

“The importance of widening access is very much in line with the aim of the University, to ensure that Oxford is as socially inclusive as possible, without ever compromising the rigorous standards of a University which has recently, for the 4th year running, come top of the global rankings.” said The Rt Hon Lord Patten of Barnes CH, Chancellor, University of Oxford and Visitor, St Edmund Hall.

Appointed as Principal from 1 October 2018, Professor Willis was previously Director of Science at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, where she spearheaded the launch of Kew’s science strategy 2015-2020. She is also Professor of Biodiversity in the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford.

The strategy is available to read on the St Edmund Hall website.

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