Opportunities and challenges for the University

Professor S Bruce Dowton, Vice-Chancellor of Macquarie University, introduces our Operating Plan 2020–2024 to the University community, with an overview of its six key areas.

Introduction from the Vice-Chancellor

As we commence a new decade, the environment in which Macquarie University operates is shifting significantly. We enter the years ahead with both opportunity and challenge before us.

Opportunity to renew our University community, to accelerate progress towards realising our potential and to commit to new ways of working together to achieve great things.

Challenge to come together as a diverse community, to achieve more and better with constrained resources in an increasingly uncertain world, and to have the humility to recognise areas where we must be open to change and commit to it.

Some 56 years since our founding, Macquarie is a strong and resilient community. We continue to recognise the traditional custodians of the land which the University is situated. We serve and engage the world through our dual mission of providing transformative learning and teaching for our students, and of advancing discovery and dissemination of new knowledge through our research.

For some time, we have been engaged in important, challenging and costly long-term shifts – as we renew our areas of focus in education and research; adapt our approach to learning and teaching; and revitalise our campus, technology and ways of working.

Our resources in the next half decade, and beyond, will be constrained by global events and trends, with the potential for low or no growth in our traditional sources of income and significant disruption to global mobility. These constraints will require us to continue to adapt and change rekindling that pioneering spirit of innovation that founded this University and seeking new ways to work with greater efficiency, sharper focus on purpose as well as with increased agility.

In the opening months of 2020, I, along with Executive colleagues, have been focusing my attention on engaging with the University community towards the development of a structured operating plan for the whole University. This plan will be the blueprint that prioritises our endeavours in the near to mid-term.

I have also been reflecting on our shared ways of working, structures and approaches to ensure we meet our collective responsibility for a strong and sustainable future for the University. I thank all members of our community who took the time to engage in development of this plan and for your inputs that have brought us to its publication.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the globe – including our own local world, at a time when we finalise this Operating Plan for the next few years – it has shown us all very powerfully that our University community is indeed capable of remarkable and quick innovation. The plan takes into account the heightened need for focus on core areas as we chart our future together including how we must adapt in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is important work for us all, and I look forward to working with the University community as we build for our future.

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Areas of focus

See below for summary information and implementation updates for each area of focus.

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Last updated: 13 Oct 2021