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Our mission, values and strategy

Our Mission and Values articulate what type of institution we are and what is important to us.

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We offer a transformative experience, generating knowledge and stimulating self-discovery through creative, radical and intellectually rigorous thinking and practice.


Our Mission is under­pinned by the fol­low­ing values:

Achieving academic excellence

  • Pursuing intellectual curiosity
  • Encouraging the highest standards of research and practice
  • Building on our diverse strengths through interdisciplinary imagination
  • Maximising the interaction of teaching and research

Radical and innovative thinking

  • Cultivating a unique and creative approach to all our subjects
  • Daring to think differently and to challenge the norms
  • Embracing new ideas with energy and reflection

Respecting the individual

  • Encouraging individuality and nurturing talent
  • Enabling freedom of thought and expression
  • Nurturing an environment of openness and tolerance

Promoting access and diversity

  • Enabling a wide range of people to benefit from our learning opportunities
  • Recruiting students and staff from all backgrounds and experiences
  • Strengthening our local connections as we extend our international reach

Supporting our students and staff

  • Creating a responsive and collaborative learning environment
  • Providing inspiring opportunities for personal and social development
  • Enhancing the life skills of employable and enterprising global citizens

Creating change, locally and globally

  • Being socially aware and socially engaged
  • Actively promoting sustainability
  • Fostering a social and intellectual community within, and beyond, Goldsmiths

Goldsmiths Institutional Strategy for 2018-2023

Our Mission and Values articulate what type of institution we are and what is important to us. They inform how we approach our work and what we prioritise.

Despite the changing external context, our Mission and Values remain constant and will underpin the implementation of this Strategy.

Overarching Objectives

  • Shape our portfolio of academic programmes and range of research to build on Goldsmiths‚Äô reputation as relevant, challenging and distinctive
  • Respond to the full range of students‚Äô needs and expectations through innovative delivery of excellent teaching and learning and everything that supports it
  • Equip graduates with the flexibility, skills and confidence needed to achieve their ambitions and aspire to make a difference to the world around them
  • Support research excellence that addresses local, national and global challenges

Strategic Aims

The Overarching Objectives above will guide our work over the period of this Strategy, informing choices about priorities and investment options.

To provide structure for our work towards the objectives, a series of strategic themes have been identified.

1.1 We will continue to evolve our curriculum, exploring further opportunities to expand our offering and develop new and original programmes at the forefront of research and disciplinary and inter-disciplinary developments.

1.2 We will continue to refresh current programmes so that our curriculum remains contemporary and relevant, includes explicit engagement with theory, research and practice, and provides direct bearing to graduate success.

1.3 Our students will continue to have a voice in developing and diversifying our curriculum and we will continue to engage with the Goldsmiths Students Union‚Äôs ‚ÄėLiberate My Degree‚Äô campaign, ensuring that programme developments are informed by a range of voices, experiences and global perspectives.

1.4 We will explore how we can create access for more students to broader, cross-disciplinary learning opportunities beyond their degree programmes and academically rigorous but flexible routes through their studies. 

1.5 We will enable students to access learning opportunities outside the classroom. Enabling access to opportunities such as work placements and enterprise support will broaden students‚Äô learning experience and provide opportunities to gain further skills and knowledge. 

1.6 We will explore new ways of delivering our academic offer, such as through short courses, online or blended learning, or through teaching partnerships with other institutions, and make a Goldsmiths’ education more accessible to broader audiences in the UK and overseas.

1.7 We will ensure that all of these developments and decisions are built on the foundations of demand and need, evidenced by feedback from students and market research.

2.1 We will form an in-depth understanding of student expectations and experiences using a full spectrum of channels, from collaboration with student representatives, to commissioning our own research, to external surveys. This will enable us to define and implement a real step-change in our delivery of teaching and learning and other academic and support services.

2.2 We will develop, within disciplinary constraints, consistent and student-focussed approaches to the processes and practices that support teaching and learning, including meaningful and personalised feedback, the provision of academic advice and guidance, and programme and module communication and organisation.

2.3 We will articulate Goldsmiths‚Äô ‚Äúeducational philosophy‚ÄĚ to articulate the distinctiveness of Goldsmiths‚Äô curriculum and pedagogic approaches. Our educational philosophy will be informed by good practices in our range of disciplines, and will reflect how interdisciplinary research-led teaching and learning with practical and real-world application lies at the heart of what we do.

2.4 We will ensure our staff have appropriate opportunities to engage in pedagogic reflection and training and to explore and innovative practices. Sharing best practice and sectoral developments will be a central part of our professional development approach.

2.5 We will listen to students and staff to continually enhance our infrastructure in line with changing pedagogic and learning practices and the needs of a diverse student body, in particular with regard to flexible spaces, technology, library facilities and online resources.

3.1 We will develop our support for departments across all disciplines to achieve their potential in building and nurturing a culture and practice supportive of research excellence, and maximising the opportunities this presents for our students.

3.2 We will offer assistance to all in bidding for and managing grant funding and bring together researchers across Goldsmiths to build interdisciplinary, large scale propositions.

3.3 We will invest in our research infrastructure, including our Research Themes, using these to help galvanise potential partners and investment in Goldsmiths, and sustaining our research centres and units, recognising that they provide hubs for research activity.

3.4 We will seek and engage with enterprise collaborations and broader opportunities for knowledge exchange, leveraging the financial benefits of these for sustaining and developing our range of activities.

3.5 We will develop a more outward-looking, public-facing approach to communicating about our research, taking outwards the work undertaken at Goldsmiths to new publics and generating new and different impact and value.

4.1 We will continue to build a global community on campus by attracting greater numbers of international students to Goldsmiths: bringing together diverse perspectives, opinions and experiences to further enrich our culture, research and teaching.

4.2 We will support our students to be global citizens, equipped with the necessary skills and expertise to succeed in the international workplace and will ensure our curriculum and extra-curricular opportunities facilitate and encourage this.

4.3 We will ensure our curriculum is more widely accessible; by developing innovative and flexible delivery models including new blended and distance learning initiatives, international teaching partnerships and tailored academic enhancement activities.

4.4 We will strengthen our infrastructure that supports international activities, so that we are better placed to pursue new collaborations and partnerships.

4.5 We will harness the knowledge and expertise contained within our international alumni network and continue to build and support of ”£Ő“ ”∆Ķ alumni community in the UK and overseas.

4.6 We will identify and nurture new international research collaborations, generate greater numbers of internationally co-authored outputs, and submit more research proposals with international investigators. 

4.7 We will develop new international partnerships centred through our relationship with the creative industries in London and beyond, and on our desire to play a central role in the social, cultural and economic regeneration of South East London.

5.1 We will form strategic partnerships with anchor institutions in our local communities to maximise our impact and create economic and social value through our own employment, procurement and development activity.

5.2 Where it will bring benefit to our students, staff or local community we will look to form partnerships with other London universities to deliver access to more opportunities and improved support infrastructures.

5.3 We will continue to embed ourselves as an integral part of the local education and skills infrastructure. We will continue to build drive our widening participation agenda, raising aspiration and achievement so that local young people and adults are equipped to progress to Goldsmiths or other higher education providers. We will deepen our focus on recruiting more students from low participation neighbourhoods, particularly across London.

5.4 We will seek out and form partnerships with local enterprise hubs and create opportunities for our students and graduates to be entrepreneurs and business creators in the local community, including through social enterprise.

5.5 We will create more opportunities for our students and alumni to be active contributors to our local community, including through Students’ Union activity.

5.6 Through public engagement with our research, our range of short courses, our public lectures and events programme and our library and archives, we will make our knowledge and learning accessible to the widest community.

6.1 Working in collaboration with the Students’ Union, we will continue to enhance our approach to working with students as partners, responding to student-led projects and student input to address expectations, needs and priorities and engaging students with the breadth of our work and to understand challenging approaches.

6.2 We will support and promote the well-being of our students and staff in a respectful and professional environment. 

6.3 We will improve approaches to recruiting and developing staff, with clear progression routes that recognise a range of contributions and a range of development opportunities. We will support students and staff in understanding and responding positively to change. 

6.4 We will nurture stronger alumni relationships, providing on-going support and facilitating networking and learning between graduates, current students and staff.

6.5 We will work to enhance communication among the community, between staff to share knowledge, ideas and good practice and with students to gain input and share information.

6.6 We will continue to advance and progress equality, diversity and inclusion, demonstrated through a vibrant and accessible campus and community that welcomes and benefits from different perspectives and backgrounds. This is all the more important in the context of Brexit.

7.1 We will develop our long-term planning and forecasting processes. This will include ensuring that more robust management information is available to support decision-making, and developing our resource allocation processes to further improve transparency, accountability and our financial sustainability.

7.2 We will address the efficiency and effectiveness of our organisational structure, processes and systems and make changes where necessary.  Standardisation of practice and the common implementation of policy will be expected. This will improve the student and staff experience, and enable growth in areas of strong demand without significantly increasing our administrative overheads.

7.3 We will continue to review and develop our technical infrastructure, adopting a more strategic approach to decision-making about procurement and support. A particular focus will be on providing digital technologies to support our teaching, learning and research activities and help equip our students with the technical knowledge needed for their futures.

7.4 We will continue to review and refresh our built estate, ensuring we are maximising the use of space across the calendar and paying particular regard to ways in which we can meet future pedagogic needs and enhance the student experience on-campus. Reducing our environmental impact will remain an integral part of our estate maintenance and development.

7.5 We will grow our operating surpluses, achieving this through diversifying income streams and reducing costs, to strengthen our ability to continue to invest in teaching, research and all that supports it.