Strategies Summary

The University of Exeter has come a long way in a short time and this gives us confidence for the future. Whilst it has become something of a cliché to say that change is constant, this has never been more true than at the present time. This presents opportunities and risks for us. Our strategic choices are designed to build on our existing strengths and equip us to thrive in this new era. The most critical priorities are:


We will review and modernise our academic programmes to attract the highest calibre students of all backgrounds. We will encourage and support our students to further the Exeter tradition of active engagement in the workplace, in the community and in cultural and sporting endeavours. Graduate employment rates will continue to grow. Academic contact time will increase and we will ensure our students continue to have access to our cutting-edge researchers thereby ensuring they benefit from the latest developments in their respective fields of study.

Research and Knowledge Transfer

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework was a major milestone in our research strategy, and we have further ambitious targets for world-leading graded research across our disciplines. Collaborations of researchers across disciplines are central to our strategy, as are high-calibre partnerships in the UK and internationally - we will grow these selectively. We look to all our research areas to thrive, but will place particular focus on growing our science provision.


Exeter is currently ranked amongst the top 100 universities in the world. We will grow the total of international fee-paying students and continue to diversify by attracting more students from a wider range of countries than at present. We will deepen our research-led relationships, with universities of global standing, in particular in China, Taiwan, India and the US.

Our people

The main priority is simple – to enable our staff to deliver what they do so well. We have made the main organisational changes necessary to work effectively together, and we are recruiting outstanding staff. We look to a distributed leadership model to ensure our staff are fully engaged in our strategies.


We are planning for further steady growth to ensure we can compete globally. We aim to grow the proportion of international students towards 25% and the proportion of postgraduate students towards 30%.

Campus environments and facilities

Our Exeter and Cornwall campuses offer living and learning environments of the highest calibre. We will continue to invest in all our campuses, enhancing their facilities, whilst retaining each distinctive character. Information technology will see renewed investment. Sustainability principles will drive efficient and responsible management of campuses and operations, delivering measurable improvements in environmental performance. Decision making processes will ensure best value is achieved in terms of financial, physical and natural resources.

Our financial resources

Our financial planning and management will enable us to deliver on our core strategies. We have investment plans for our infrastructure, and encourage and reward entrepreneurial activity.

We will track our progress to achieving these ambitions through our own key performance indicators, as well as through external measures and rankings. These are summarised on the Delivering our Strategies page.