The University's strategic plan for 2014 to 2020, UWA 2020 Vision, reaffirms the objective, 'to advance the welfare and prosperity of the people' through educational and research activities, first defined when the University was founded by the University of Western Australia Act 1911.
The UWA 2020 Vision expresses the University's mission, vision, values and defining characteristics as follows.
To provide world-class education, research and community engagement for the advancement of the prosperity and welfare of our communities.
We aspire to be recognised as one of the world's top 50 global universities by 2050.
The core values underpinning our activities are a commitment to—
- a culture of high performance and continuous improvement, designed to achieve international excellence
- academic freedom to encourage staff and students to engage in the open exchange of ideas and thought
- equity and merit as the fundamental principles for the achievement of the full potential of all staff and students
- fostering the values of openness, honesty, tolerance, trust and responsibility in social, moral and academic matters
- the achievement of Aboriginal peoples' rights, aspirations and potential, and the recognition of Indigenous knowledge, culture and values
- sustainability in environmental, economic and social dimensions.
UWA will be recognised by the following defining characteristics:
- aspiring to excellence, in all our activities
- comprehensive, with a broad teaching and research profile in the arts, sciences and professions; but selective within a comprehensive base, to develop particular areas of strength and emphasis
- research-intensive, with a strong teaching and research nexus across all our disciplines
- globally-connected, with international perspectives embedded in our teaching and research, strong engagement with leading institutions internationally, and high and positive international recognition and reputation
- technologically-innovative, to maintain our currency and maximise our flexibility
- engaged, to respond to the needs of the community, our students and our graduates.
In October 2015, the Vice-Chancellor released 'Securing Success', a paper which outlined the business model of Australian universities, detailed the revenue and expenditure of the University, and identified the areas the University needs to focus on to secure the institution's future success.
The paper is informed by the UWA 2020 Vision strategic plan and the Vice-Chancellor's 2012 paper 'UWA Futures'.
The paper highlighted five areas of focus: revenue, cost, service, reputation and renewal.
In December 2015, the Vice-Chancellor announced a series of initiatives endorsed by the Senate that will change how the University operates and set us on a path to securing UWA's future:
- a reduction of the recurrent cost base of the University
- a revised academic structure for the University
- improvement in the efficiency and effectiveness of the University's support services
- the creation of 50 new academic positions to enhance our capability and impact in areas of comparative advantage
- modernisation of the academic calendar.
The University is revising its budget model to better align income and expenditure, and to take into account the structural changes outlined above. Nonetheless the University's budget remains plandriven with discretionary funding focused on advancing the University's priority objectives.