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.

  1. Mission
  2. Vision
  3. Values
  4. Defining characteristics
  5. Strategic priorities
  6. Budget


To provide world-class education, research and community engagement for the advancement of the prosperity and welfare of our communities.

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We aspire to be recognised as one of the world's top 50 universities by 2050.

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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

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Defining characteristics

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

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Strategic priorities

In 2016 the University was fully committed to a major transformation and renewal project which was announced late in the preceding year. This renewal and the following areas of strategic focus are changing how the University operates and engages with the world. Continued refinement in focus will secure UWA's future in the face of ever-increasing global competition.

  • UWA enriched the diversity of the student body with a strong focus on equity and international students
  • Continued support for world-leading research saw UWA contribute to breakthroughs in a range of areas such as breast-cancer detection and treatment, gravity waves, soil management and grain yields, environmentally appropriate approaches to shark management and discovery of the world's oldest stone axe (>46,000 years)
  • Growing recognition of UWA's world-class researchers via numerous appointments and prizes
  • The re-opening of the Reid Library as a contemporary student learning, engagement and resource space
  • Improved academic and administrative operations and improved reinvestment capability through implementation of redesigned organisational and service models

Strengthening the capabilities of academic and professional staff to continue to perform to the University's high standards during a period of significant change, as well as making explicit the organisational culture which will define Working at UWA, have been and will continue to be a focus of a People Potential Performance Framework. The University has continued work to ensure a much closer alignment of its financial management framework with its operational strategy. This will take into account the future reinvestment needed in resources and world-class infrastructure to enhance and embed excellence in teaching, research and the overall student experience. The Executive has adopted a targeted financial strategy linked to the Strategic Plan with the aim of ensuring the University's long-term financial sustainability in a continually evolving higher-education environment.

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