Sun shining through law building

Our aspirations

When people speak about the University of Sydney in 2032, what will they say? What will we be known for?

Our commitment to our shared mission drives a strong sense of unity across the University: we work together to bring our energy and focus to the value our work can provide for the world.

When people speak about the University of Sydney in 10 years’ time, we want it to be about the extraordinary power our world-class research and teaching has to transform people’s lives, and for the pride it generates throughout our city, our state and our nation.

Our commitment to our shared mission drives a strong sense of unity across the University: we work together to bring our energy and focus to the value our work can provide for the world.

Our student-focused education is transformational

Student working

We will be the best Australian university for teaching and learning. Our students will attest to the transformational impact a Sydney education has on their lives, whenever and wherever they learn.

  • Define, support and reward excellence and evidence-based innovation for individual teachers and teaching teams.
  • Better understand our students by leveraging academic research, data and insights to drive an educational experience that is transformational for our learners and sustainable for the institution.
  • Make partnership key to our education offerings.
  • Become an in-demand provider of dynamic lifelong learning.
  • Our teachers meet academic excellence expectations at every career stage, and we celebrate their achievements as visibly as high performance in research.
  • We partner to create highly valued and respected lifelong learning opportunities in response to society’s changing needs.
  • Our curricula are both learner-focused and sustainable.
  • Regardless of where and how they learn, our students are confident in their abilities, sure of their personal goals, and feel that they belong.

Our community thrives through diversity

Diverse students coming together

Social equity is at the heart of our past and our future. By 2032 our community will be more diverse and inclusive, helping us all to shape a positive future.

  • Commit to pathways that ensure a greater diversity of students succeed at Sydney.
  • Increase the diversity of our staff, and our shared appreciation of how diversity improves all we do.
  • Reaffirm our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion throughout the University.
  • We embrace equity, diversity and inclusion as core to our success, and our students and staff reflect the communities we serve.
  • We demonstrate our ability to identify and support a full range of students from diverse backgrounds to flourish at the University.

Our research is excellent, tackles the greatest challenges and contributes to the common good

Researcher in the lab

By 2032, our diverse and inclusive academic community will be renowned globally for discovering new knowledge and delivering solutions that benefit us all.

  • Foster a culture where our HDR students and academics can excel, engage and have impact.
  • Define expectations for performance and innovation through an Academic Excellence Framework, and support and reward excellence for individuals and teams.
  • Focus investment on research with an excellent track record, or the strongest potential to deliver excellence.
  • Leverage our comprehensiveness and partnerships to drive multidisciplinary problem-solving.
  • Our diverse research community meets clearly defined academic excellence expectations at every career stage.
  • Our excellence is evident in the national and global reach of our research partnerships, diversity and scale of our funding support, and translation of our research outputs into measurable benefit for society.

A better place to work, and a place that works better

Performance hall

To meet our aspirations to stand among the world’s great universities for research and education, we must lay the strongest foundation that enables our people to thrive and excel.

We want all our people to feel connected to the University as a place where they can be successful and that values their contributions, whether they are on campus in Sydney, at one of our sites across New South Wales, or working or studying online. We want them to value collective success as the best way to achieve their individual ambitions.

Wherever we gather, we do our best work

By 2032, we will attract the best people and enable them to flourish. Our shared ambitions mean the very best research and education happens on all our campuses, through our international connections, and in increasingly digital domains. 

  • Transform the experience of working at the University of Sydney through a shared focus on excellence in how we attract and invest in our people.
  • Ensure our places – current and future, physical and digital – are inviting to all and enable success.
  • We attract the most talented academic and professional staff and provide an environment where they can flourish.
  • Wherever our people gather, our inclusive culture and digital and physical spaces enable excellence and are inviting to all.

We lead with high trust and high accountability to deliver high performance

To deliver on our ambitious goals for education and research, we need strong and trusted relationships across all parts of the University.

  • Place trust and accountability at the heart of our values.
  • Agree and embed the hallmark attributes of leadership in the Sydney context.
  • Streamline and devolve decision-making, ensure accountability and effective governance, cut red tape.
  • We are highly collegial, respectful, and value our culture of trust and accountability.
  • We make decisions at the right level, we value peer review and transparency, and we act on what we learn from past decisions.
  • Our leaders at all levels feel supported, empowered and equipped to build high-performing teams and make good decisions.

Our policies, processes, systems and services help us achieve our ambitions

By 2032, we will have cut the complexity of our organisation, so that our policies, processes, systems and services support us well. The effectiveness – and excellence – of our research, teaching, learning and the student experience will be front of mind.

  • Place student and staff needs first when designing policies, systems, processes and services that reflect and embed our values.
  • Deliver transformational change that is user-centred, insight-driven, pragmatic and clearly understood.
  • Embrace simplicity, benchmarking and rich data insights to assure continual improvement in the way we work and provide services.
  • Our staff, students and partners attest that our policies, processes, and systems support them to do their best work.
  • Our people feel their experience and insights are valued when we update or introduce new processes, systems or services.

We are valued as outstanding partners

The most complex problems require partnership to deliver solutions. By 2032, we will be consistently great partners, and people will seek us out as a partner of choice in our local, national and international communities.

  • Create a culture that values how partnering improves the quality and impact of our teaching and research.
  • Deliver on our partnership promises.
  • Build new and enduring partnerships to realise shared goals.
  • Organisations and individuals want to work with us, advocate for and fund our work, and testify that we are a partner of choice due to the quality of our work, our openness to new ideas and the mutually beneficial nature of our partnerships.
  • The ability to create enduring partnerships is valued and rewarded across our community, and we regard partnerships as vital to our long-term success.