Our strategies and values

Our strategies are rooted in our desire to make a difference in the world.  

Our academic strategy for 2020 to 2030 ‘Universal Values, Global Change’, sets a blueprint for a values-driven university that harnesses expertise in research and education to help shape a better future for humanity, working through collaboration to tackle inequalities, benefit society and drive change. 

Our values underpin our 10-year strategy and will help us build a fairer future for all.  

Our mission

Through collaboration, we harness our expertise in research and education to advance knowledge, transform lives and shape a better future for our communities, our region and the world.  

Our vision

Working with others, we will use our collective talents, expertise and shared endeavour in research and education to address local and global challenges, achieve social justice, reduce inequalities, and help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  

We will enable our students to thrive through a sense of belonging. They will be partners in shaping their own dynamic and innovative educational experience, characterised by active learning, digital technologies and collaboration. Students will feel valued for their unique contribution, and they will graduate equipped to make a difference as true global citizens. 

Our values

  • Collaboration: We work together to achieve our goals and ambitions. 
  • Compassion: We are caring and considerate in our words and actions.
  • Inclusivity: We are a community where everyone is welcome and belongs. 
  • Integrity: We are open and honest in our words and actions.  

Our strategies

Enabling strategy

The academic strategy is supported by our Enabling Strategy.  

We will organise the University’s intellectual, operational, digital and physical assets to enable our talented, diverse, digitally-literate, collaborative and empowered community to deliver our academic ambition, and underpin our sustainable societal impact. 

Equality and inclusion

We believe that every student, staff and other member of our community should be treated with dignity and mutual respect. We should all be part of a learning and working environment that is free from barriers, regardless of age, caring responsibilities, disabilities, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity status, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.   

As an international, research-intensive university with a strong commitment to student education we will create an inclusive environment that attracts, develops and retains the best students and staff from all backgrounds from across the world and supports them in delivering their ambitions, contributing to our institutional strategic aims.   

Read our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and find out more on our Equality and Inclusion Unit website.

Access and student success

Find out what progress we are making towards a fairer university through our Access and Student Success Strategy.

The strategy is set out across four pillars of the student lifecycle: Access, Continuation, Attainment and Progression. Our fifth pillar, Enablers, outlines where we focus our efforts to support the successful delivery of the strategy. 

Our access and participation plans set out how we will improve equality of opportunity for underrepresented groups to access, succeed in and progress from higher education. 


Sustainability is embedded in our Enabling Strategy and means creating value for society by taking responsibility for our economic, cultural, social and environmental impacts.

Our planet and its population face unprecedented challenges and we have a responsibility to do our part – in terms of our direct impact, our research and in developing our students as global citizens ready to tackle global issues.

We use the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to help frame and guide our activity. And everything we do is inclusive, making sure everyone’s voice is heard and considered along the way.

Our Climate Plan is an important part of our approach to sustainability, alongside our impact on biodiversity and the environment, how we source and use resources, the way we engage with our community and how we build positive social impact.

Find out more at the Sustainability Service website.

Climate action

Our Climate Plan, published in 2021, maps out how we will deliver our key commitments for each principle. It outlines our single biggest investment of £174 million, and sets out exactly how we, as a university community, will play our part in the global effort to address climate change. It links to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and supports a just transition, by considering the impacts of climate change and our actions for all groups and members of the University and the wider community. 

Read our Climate Plan and view updates on delivering our key climate commitments.

Engaging with the community

We understand that what we do can have an impact on the wider community, which is why we take our social, economic and environmental responsibilities seriously. 

The University serves the community in a number of ways: 

  • Over 3,500 of our students and many staff work as local volunteers with over 350 students helping in local schools. 
  • Residents and visitors to Leeds can access the University’s facilities including sport and fitness centre The Edge, the Stanley and Audrey Burton Art Gallery, the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery, the Library Special Collections and the Michael Marks Building which houses the Marks and Spencer Company Archive. 
  • Members of the public can participate in events including the University’s Be Curious festival, the Leeds Festival of Science and Yorkshire Sculpture International which is coordinated by the University and partners across the city. 

Find out more about how we engage with the community on our Sustainability website.

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