Strategic plan sets change in motion for Architecture, Design and Planning

1 December 2020
Sustainability, interdisciplinarity and inclusivity key objectives
The newly released 2020-2023 Strategic Plan for the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning details the path to continued innovation and thought leadership to build a sustainable future.

The University of Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning has released its newest strategic plan, outlining key priorities and strategies for the next three years. The 2020-2023 Strategic Plan (pdf, 10.6MB) sets out the School’s strategic vision, which encompasses a combination of strategies aimed at maintaining the world-class reputation of the School, expanding our influence, and increasing our contribution to solutions for global issues.

In 2018 the School celebrated our first 100 years of influence in built environment and design professions. The new Strategic Plan is designed to cement this leadership as we enter our second century of challenge and change.

 “In this strategic plan we reaffirm and extend our commitment to social justice; to educate architecture, design and planning professionals with the skills, critical orientation and collaborative mindset appropriate to 21st century careers; and to produce disciplinary and multidisciplinary knowledges valued equally by the society we serve and our intellectual peers,” said Head of School and Dean, Professor Robyn Dowling.

“The plan was developed with our staff, alumni and professional communities, and through it we invite our staff, students, alumni and professions to join us in shaping better environments for future generations”.

Our mission: We lead and inspire thought on built and designed environments, objects and experiences. Our staff and students work in partnership with the professions and each other to shape inclusive and sustainable futures. Together we apply creativity, rigour and a collaborative mindset to advance knowledge.

There are three pillars to the strategy – Education, Research and Culture.

In Education the emphasis is on undergraduate, postgraduate and post-professional programs that enable graduates to be creative leaders equipped to deliver public good.

Our research will continue to combine scholarship, experimentation, design and practice to interrogate the challenges of our time.

The plan instils a culture in which we instigate and inspire public debate, and commit to ensuring that the Indigenous knowledge systems and placemaking that have shaped this Country are embedded into practice. Each pillar will be underpinned by operational excellence to enable our goals.

The seventeen distinct strategic priorities across the pillars will allow a clear and robust application of the plan as a whole, in partnerships with our staff, students and professions.

  • Enhance our capability to deliver high-quality teaching by mentoring, developing and supporting our academic staff
  • Deliver a coherent offering of student learning experiences that are engaged with professional practice, committed to social justice and informed by Indigenous, local & global perspectives
  • Diversify program offering by increasing distance learning and extended non-award post-professional programs
  • Enhance the collaborative capability of graduates who are specialists with deep disciplinary knowledge and trained to work across the disciplines
  • Deliver targeted initiatives to grow Indigenous student numbers, aligned with the One Sydney, Many People strategy
  • Foster a collegial high-performance research culture by connecting researchers across disciplines and career stages and providing structured mentoring opportunities
  • Strengthen our reputation for pathbreaking disciplinary scholarship with a sustained commitment to generating high quality academic and non-traditional research outputs
  • Fully embed higher degree research as an integral element of our research ecosystem
  • Improve our capacity for problem focused research, engagement and impact through skills development and targeted investment
  • Build Indigenous knowledges and cultural competency into activities across the School and advocate for increased participation of Indigenous students and staff in School life
  • Encourage staff to reach their potential by providing mentoring, leadership and career progression opportunities and wellbeing support for academic and professional staff at all stages
  • Create a collaborative and outward-looking culture in which academics lead creative and critical enquiry and transform practice
  • Involve our local, national and international alumni and partners in shaping the future of our School, to ensure our education and research address the emerging needs of our time
  • Enable professional staff to deliver operational excellence by providing high-quality support for their career development and wellbeing
  • Streamline our operations support through better software systems and aligned reporting to improve our processes, maximise our efficiency and deliver sustained excellence
  • Cultivate a high functioning team to model transparency, accountability, collegiality and trust
  • Embed a culture of external engagement across the School and develop effective and imaginative approaches to working with partners

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