Delivering our strategy together

Professor Sir Gerry McCormac in the Cottrell Building

Professor Sir Gerry McCormac, Principal and Vice-Chancellor

If you want a sense of what Stirling is about, then the words of novelist and philosopher Iris Murdoch are worth considering: she said, education “opens our eyes, our ears”. Murdoch believed “the educated mind” is liberating and transformative. We know this to be true from the experience of seeing more than 100,000 Stirling students graduate.

Murdoch, who died of Alzheimer’s, is an inspirational part of the University’s story. Honorary graduate Judi Dench, who played her on film, opened our Iris Murdoch Building in 2003. The UK’s first dementia-friendly building, it has become an international centre of excellence and is one of the pillars of research that helps define our purpose as a university.

Although we are a young university, our research and teaching is making a tangible difference to the world. At Stirling we value ability, not background. We take students with potential and add value to their learning; we are an international hub for learning and research, attracting the best to our vibrant community; we are a place where people transform their lives and the lives of others.

People, Place and Purpose

Our supporting pillars are People, Place and Purpose, and our determination to make an impact is reflected in our strapline - Be the difference. Through the pursuit of excellence, we have done just that. Our alumni are leaders in business, public service and the third sector; our researchers provide solutions to global problems, and colleagues across the University enable our students to find the best in themselves.

The objective of this strategic plan is to build on those successes, it empowers our people to go further and encourages a culture where they can produce work which is considered among the best in the world. The plan’s success will be measured by our enhanced research profile; through quantifiable improvements in learning and teaching outcomes, including graduate employability; and by recognition that we have made a material difference to our community and the wider world. 

We were founded in 1967 to lead a nation through the “white heat” of a technological revolution. Today we are living through a new digital revolution; but we are also facing environmental challenges of unprecedented proportions, and a crisis in health and well-being. Our research strengths are in areas critical to negotiating these challenges, and our purpose is to find solutions to deal with them.

Putting our students and staff front and centre

This strategic plan puts our students and staff front and centre – by encouraging them to perform at the highest level individually, we will deliver our ambitions collectively. By providing the best environment for them to innovate; to carry out pure and applied research; and to learn effectively, we will also be equipping future generations with the tools to lead our city, our region, our nation and the wider world.  

Our core values inform what we do and how we do it. We use our agility and sense of common purpose to embrace opportunities. We are an international community supporting one another to achieve great things. We are a distinctly Scottish university focused on meeting global needs. And we are a university here to “Be the difference”.