Features | By Eleanor Waithe-Arnold

We are the University of business,
practice and the professions

“City’s vision and strategy 2022-30 will set out a framework of priorities for us to work towards that will enable us to deliver the best experience for students, staff and alumni; ensure the world around us understands what makes City special; and will enable us to live our mission” Professor Sir Anthony Finkelstein, President of City.


Following a period of enormous change, including leadership, learning, teaching and working practices and emerging from a global pandemic, in 2021 City embarked on an ambitious journey to develop a new and distinctive Vision and Strategy which will guide the University’s future successes.


A collaborative approach


In order to capture the voices and views of as many people from across the City community as possible, including staff, students, alumni and partners, City launched its most collaborative and consultative strategy development process to date.


“The online staff session I took part in made it possible to have a frank, open, public discussion with City individuals across the board about what matters to us. This is how you build a learning culture” says Dr Jutta Tobias Mortlock, Senior Lecturer in Organisational Psychology, who attended an online staff engagement session.


Over 2,000 members of City’s community took part in the innovative stakeholder engagement programme, sharing over 13,500 ideas and contributions through a series of in-person and online staff sessions, focus groups, workshops, a student engagement day and the interactive and anonymous online platform, the Big City Conversation. These were compiled to produce the draft vision and strategy outline which was approved by City’s Council in Spring 2022.


“We are a University of London college with a diverse student body, educating and researching in relation to the professions.” Anonymous stakeholder comment.

City’s vision

Students learning at CitySight, the University’s dedicated optometry practice.

Through extensive analysis, the wide variety of thoughtful and insightful feedback received through the consultation enabled City to define its strategy headlines, as well as understanding what it is doing well and what could be done differently:

1. We build successful and fulfilling careers and develop leaders for the world of work


  • Understanding, celebrating and empowering our students – the students who choose us, and whom we choose – and delivering enriching and personalised educational experiences.
  • Creating a diverse and vibrant community of learning that reaches far beyond the University and is sustained through powerful networks.
  • Providing relevant skills, attributes and approaches that enable our graduates to succeed in their future careers and life pathways.

2. We undertake research at the frontier of practice


  • Fostering important, impactful and engaged research.
  • Educating professionals for whom evidence-based thinking is integral to their practice.
  • Challenging practice and redefining the professions.

3. We are a flexible, high-performing learning organisation


  • Building a great place to work that is inclusive, supports wellbeing and is a fun place to be.
  • Creating an accountable, socially responsible, efficient and responsive organisation that can deliver this strategy.
  • Operating a robust and sustainable financial margin that ensures we have the space to achieve our mission.

4. We are open and outward-facing


  • Comfortable with partnership and happy with co-creation – the opposite of an ivory tower.
  • Ambitious, innovative and risk-taking – not afraid to be different.
  • Embedded in London, a world capital and proud of our deep connections with the City of London.

Moving from strategy to implementation


“The strategy sets out the blueprint for City’s development through to 2030 and work on eight supporting implementation workstreams is already underway. I am grateful to all those who have worked so hard to get us to this point,” Professor Sir Anthony Finkelstein, President of City.


Eight workstreams have been identified to form the details of the Strategic Plan including the sequencing, prioritising, interdependencies and resource requirements to deliver City’s objectives over the next eight years.


Students are at the heart of City’s Strategy. An immediate focus is to improve the experience of students and staff through reviewing existing infrastructure, processes and systems to enable members of the student community to dedicate as much as possible of their time to academic study and for staff to support or deliver City’s core mission of education and research.

An academic member of staff supporting a student.

This will be supported through the continued work on City’s sector-leading employability programme and internationally excellent research outputs. Other priority areas which have been identified as part of the strategy implementation include enhancing the education and international offer and an overall examination of the University’s culture, encompassing equality diversity and inclusion, values and sustainability.

What’s next?


The next eight years will see the full implementation and delivery of the Vision and Strategy 2030.


City already has some very strong assets, which if aligned appropriately, could see the University establish a distinct place within the market, within London.


The vision and strategic priorities will be embedded through various small- and large-scale projects across the University. Progress is already being made which will bring the strategy to life and help City achieve its ambitious vision.


As was established through the consultation phase at the beginning of the process, this is, and continues to be, the mission of all members of City’s community and relies on a joint effort to successfully drive this work forward.