Primary strategies

Six primary strategies span Victoria University of Wellington’s strategic plan and will guide its vision.

Primary strategy 1

Adopt a distinctive academic emphasis

Victoria University of Wellington will foster an academic emphasis in keeping with its vision, mission and academic strengths and that draws upon its position as New Zealand’s globally ranked capital city university. The academic emphasis of the University will be defined by the multidisciplinary themes outlined below, underpinned by excellent, fundamental, disciplinary-based research. These themes will promote an outlook that goes beyond disciplinary, school, faculty and other traditional boundaries, and will frame and develop the University's distinctive teaching, research and public engagement endeavours. They will contribute to local, national and global challenges, with a particular emphasis on Wellington, New Zealand and the wider Asia–Pacific region.

  • Advancing better government
  • Cultivating creative capital
  • Spearheading our digital futures
  • Enabling our Asia–Pacific trading nation
  • Stimulating a design-led, high-value manufacturing region
  • Enhancing the resilience and sustainability of our natural heritage and capital
  • Improving health and wellbeing in our communities
  • Enriching national culture, civil society and global citizenship.

Primary strategy 2

Enhance research quality, quantity and impact

Victoria University of Wellington will enhance its research quality and will retain and build upon its position as the first-ranked university of the Performance-Based Research Fund. The University will improve the international profile and impact of its research by increasing the quantity of top-quality research and scholarship performed. The University will undertake more collaborative, translational, multidisciplinary research to complement its strengths in investigator-led, fundamental, discipline-based research. The University will double its research revenue, invention disclosures, patent applications, licences and technological innovations, as well as the citations from its quality-assured research outputs.

Primary strategy 3

Provide a holistic learning, teaching and student experience that is second to none

The quality of the student experience at Victoria University of Wellington, both in and beyond the setting of formal learning, will be second to none among its peers. It will be highly valued by students and graduates of all ages and stages, giving them a sense of belonging to vibrant and inclusive student, university and civic communities. The University’s research-enriched learning culture will be characterised by professional course and programme design that fosters a high level of student engagement, by excellent learning opportunities and facilities and by effective use of digital technologies for learning and teaching. Staff will provide students with attentive supervision and will enhance their personal development, wellbeing skills and commitment to lifelong learning. Teaching practices will be inclusive and continually refreshed by attention to evolving methodologies and technologies. The University will draw upon its capital city location to provide students access to extracurricular programmes that extend their learning and deepen its relevance to career opportunities. A distinctive Student Charter and Graduate Profile will guide the development of resilient, capable and confident graduates whose critical thinking, creativity and highly developed communication skills will prepare them well for dynamic career outcomes and for global citizenship.

Primary strategy 4

Secure the intellectual potential put at risk through experience of disadvantage

Victoria University of Wellington will endeavour to increase enrolments of talented students currently denied access to university study by their social, cultural or financial circumstances or by disabilities. The University will enrol 1,000 Māori students over and above the current number and reach a similarly increased proportion of Pasifika students. The progression of students from under-represented groups to postgraduate study is vital if the University and New Zealand more generally are to have the opportunity to employ additional talented and qualified staff representing the diversity of New Zealand society. The University will maximise its efforts to recruit such students and retain them through to successful Master’s and doctoral degrees. In addition, the University will do all it can to help the nation to secure the intellectual potential of these ‘missing thousands’ through collaboration with schools and communities, through the focus and quality of its teacher education programmes and through the outcomes of each of the distinctive academic themes identified under Primary Strategy 1.

Primary strategy 5

Deepen engagement with alumni, benefactors and communities

In keeping with its global-civic university character, Victoria University of Wellington will build closer ties with alumni, benefactors and communities. More opportunities will be provided for involvement in advisory board, mentoring, volunteer and advocacy roles. There will be more regular celebration of alumni success. The University will strengthen its involvement with communities, including the public service, the diplomatic community, the professions, the business community, cultural organisations, non-governmental organisations, iwi and Pasifika groups. There will be greater community involvement in the development of learning outcomes, advice on educational relevance and the provision of workplace experience. The University will extend the practice of enriching teaching with practitioner perspectives. In support of stakeholders, staff will increasingly conduct applied research, consultancy and professional development. Entrepreneurial engagement with communities to achieve social, cultural and commercial objectives will be commonplace. A philanthropic campaign will be launched to provide alumni and benefactors with opportunities to achieve community outcomes through their engagement with the University.

Primary strategy 6

Deepen the University’s intellectual influence in the Asia–Pacific region

Victoria University of Wellington will enhance its contribution to the resolution of global challenges. The University’s biggest contribution will be made to those challenges that align with its areas of academic emphasis and that have a significant impact on the wider Asia–Pacific region. In this regard, as New Zealand’s globally ranked capital city university, the University is ideally positioned to influence government policy and practice in the region. The University’s contribution to policy will be derived from its strengths in the relevant academic disciplines and from effective engagement with local, national and regional concerns. Effective engagement with policy in the Asia–Pacific region requires the University to strengthen its relationship with the public sector and the diplomatic community in Wellington while retaining the independence to engage critically with government in a non-partisan fashion. The University must also have a leading law school and be the university of choice for the humanities, social sciences and education. It must continue to develop its world-class faculties of Business, Science, Engineering and Architecture and Design in order to enhance its ability to convey reliable scientific knowledge and modern business practice to government officials, communities and the business sector throughout the region.