Become an independent university for Ipswich and have 50% of top jobs occupied by women: The new UCS five-year vision

UCS Waterfront building, Ipswich Campus

UCS Waterfront building, Ipswich Campus - Credit: Archant

A fully independent university for Ipswich by 2020 – that is the target announced today in University Campus Suffolk’s new five year plan.

The institution has revealed its ambitious vision for expansion which includes the “bold” aim of filling 50% of its senior roles, including on its board of directors, with women.

Currently all degrees offered by UCS are validated by the University of Essex and the University of East Anglia.

However it is now undergoing an assessment by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) to be given its own degree awarding powers, meaning it would no longer have to rely on its neighbours.

The strategic plan also says the university will place the improvement of the regional community at the heart of everything it does.

And Richard Lister, provost and chief executive, said he wanted UCS to become a model for a new type of civic university.

“Like all universities UCS will have national and international reach,” he said.

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“Our network will continue to reach out to communities locally, nationally and beyond, connecting with people and organisations to create relationships, collaborations and partnerships that can make a real difference.

“It is important to us that we create an organisation that is built for the communities it serves, as well as for our students and staff.”

Another key aim for the university by 2020 is improving the number of women in top roles with Mr Lister saying it is determined to be a national and international leader in this area.

He said: “We have made significant progress with 55% of our management group and 53% of our senior lecturers female but there is still work to be done. The period of this strategic plan offers great opportunities for economic growth in our region.

“We should be instrumental in driving the economic agenda and playing a key role with our partners in ensuring the skills needs are fully met.”

Deputy chairman of the UCS board, Celia Edey, said: “I am delighted that UCS is moving confidently towards full independence.

“The board believes strongly in its ability to be a leader in the field of higher education, and particularly in its aim for a proper gender balance throughout the organisation.”

The full five-year strategy document is available to view on the UCS website under the “Recent Publications” section of the “About UCS” page.