Strategic Plan 2021-2026 Consultation

Seeking Input to Framing the Strategic Plan 2021-2026

In August 2019 the Board of Trustees endorsed the proposed consultation framework to inform the development of the Strategic Plan Sustaining Success 2021-2026, including:

  • the overarching strategic intent to strengthen our role as an anchor institution of Western Sydney together with our aim to extend our global presence;
  • to offer excellent lifelong learning opportunities and constantly improving graduate outcomes;
  • to capitalise on our growing research reputation and global ranking; and
  • to lead sustainability, innovation and social transformation in our region and globally.

Through October the Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Strategy & Planning conducted a series of Town Hall meetings on the Kingswood, Hawkesbury, Rydalmere and Campbelltown Campuses. Approximately 280 academic and professional staff attended these meetings and a small number of students. The Vice-Chancellor outlined the importance of the strategic planning period 2021-26, given the transformation that will take place in Western Sydney. He foreshadowed the intention to generate a more focused strategic plan with less operational detail. He also used these meetings to provide and update on Western Growth, emphasising the University’s continuing commitment to existing comprehensive campuses.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor Strategy & Planning outlined the process that would be followed and the planned timeline.

The key broad issues arising in discussion with staff at these meetings can be summarised as:

  • Sustainability and alignment with SDGs
  • The University’s role as Anchor Institution
  • The impact of other universities moving into Western Sydney – collaboration and competition
  • The role of technological change
  • Student facilities and opportunities for on campus engagement – gyms, social and study spaces
  • Social challenges – unemployment, affordable housing, workforce changes
  • Responding to gaps in community services – healthcare
  • The importance of engagement with local organisations – hospitals, businesses, vocational education sector
  • The impact of transport changes including the metro development
  • The need for an Academic Map of our campuses, not just the geographic locations.

Thank you to all those who participated.

In addition, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Strategy & Planning held a preliminary meeting on 17 September with 8 members of the SRC to discuss the planning process and timelines and the best strategies to engage students.

These meetings indicated that there are significant differences between campuses in terms of the extent of engagement and understanding of the University’s strategy and development. The University Strategy Forum on the 29 November will provide another opportunity to identify and explore issues that are important to our University community.

Follow-up information sessions are planned for the New Year and submissions to inform the first draft of the plan are open for your input.


The next planning phase for the University 2021-2026 is both exciting and challenging for the University, likely to be characterised by:

  • a growing need for powerful institutional advocacy for the region and our future;
  • Western Growth largely delivered by the end of the planning period with a significant corpus in place;
  • finalisation of major internationally significant transport, cultural, sporting and health focussed infrastructure projects in Greater Western Sydney;
  • strong population growth evidencing geographically concentrated patterns;
  • the potential for increasing inequality and the persistence of deep pockets of educational disadvantage in Western Sydney;
  • increasingly challenging competitive pressures in higher education regionally and internationally;
  • policy uncertainty or stagnation;
  • economic uncertainty at the national and state level compounded by labour market and digital disruption; and
  • the continuing need to manage structural adjustment: internationalisation, ‘vertical’ campuses, technology and systems, Shared Services, and academic restructure.


Consultation process endorsed by Board of TrusteesAugust 2019
Consultation commencesAugust 2019
Town Hall meetings with Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Strategy and Planning)October 2019
Initial outcomes of consultation analysed and reported to Board of TrusteesOctober 2019
Draft Plan to Board of TrusteesApril 2020
Final Draft to Board of TrusteesAugust 2020
Final published Plan and launchOctober 2020