University of Dundee Strategy 2022-27
The launch of a new strategy gives us the opportunity to remind ourselves of who we are and what we stand for Dundee is a globally significant, triple intensive University, proudly rooted in our city and region, of Dundee, and for Dundee. Our sense of being one Dundee means that we look to work together purposefully as a community in the relentless pursuit of our goals, of our social purpose, and to transform lives all underpinned by our values.
Our new strategy aims to create focus to our delivery of these ambitions.
It has been developed over the past year in conversation with staff, students and stakeholders.
And I want to take this opportunity to thank every one of you for your input to the development of the strategy.
Our strengths are many. We've demonstrated world leading research with impact. We have brought growth and regeneration to Dundee and the education student experience we offer are among the best in the world.
We really are a tremendous team.
Now is the time to invest intellectually and financially in our future, to grow our success, reinvigorate our academic endeavors, and make our social purpose real.
We'll do this by ensuring our academic excellence growing our reach, particularly through internationalisation, as well as widening access and transforming our University to be a truly digital community.
Active partnership also will be key to our success and indeed the partnership between staff and students between the University and Dundee University Students Association.
DUSA is fundamental to who we are.
This partnership approach extends to how we work with others across Tayside, but also around the rest of the world.
The challenges we face in delivering this, though, shouldn't be underestimated.
We've reported operating deficits every year for the past nine years and probably this year for a 10th. We're anticipating a reduction there are research excellence grants of up to £2 million a year.
And our core teaching grant is also tightening significantly as the Scottish Government deals with their economic pressures.
We need to be fiscally responsible as we look to secure the future of our triple intensity across research, education and engagement.
We need to be more permeable, more open to new ideas, understanding, changing needs, collaborating across boundaries, widening access to education, and fully realising the breadth of people who have a stake in what we do.
We need to tune our size and shape to the challenges and opportunities we face in delivering on our mission to transform lives our social purpose will require a lot from us.
We will face difficult decisions, big questions, and we'll be called upon to be resilient and adaptable. I'm confident we can and will succeed.
I encourage you all to engage with our new strategy and to rearticulate what it means to be at the University of Dundee.
(Muriel Duncan, Receptionist) I think it's very important. The staff are nice to each other and pleasant. And I think if they get a good start in the morning, probably with me saying, good morning, how are you this morning? That probably kicks them off to a good start.
(Dimitris Vidakis, President DUSA) The student voice has been particularly important with regards to shaping the University strategy, and that's a theme that runs throughout the actual document itself. And predominantly it's something that defines, if you like, the University of Dundee. The fact of how great of engagement we have with our student community and how important their voice is on other matters, including the strategy.
(Professor Norin Arshed, School of Business) Being an entrepreneurial University is so important. And as a University we have seen the impacts enterprise has on our local and global communities, both socially and economically. And with this strategy the University reinforces supporting and collaborating with businesses, industry leaders, policymakers, communities, and within our students to ensure we have a thriving society. I'm very much looking forward to being part of the strategy.
Take the Strategy quiz
My name is Naomi Jeffery. I am head of Strategic Intelligence, which is a unit within the Strategic Planning Office at the university. And I'm delighted again to welcome you to this launch of the University Strategy, which is the culmination of a consultation and development process that's taken about a year. And I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for all of your inputs to all of that consultation process, either directly through the sessions or through conversations that you've had with others. And your inspiration and your ideas have been reflected in the strategy. This launch isn't the end. The strategy is ours as a university community, and there are going to be various ways in which the strategy continues to live on as a developing document which which we own as a community.
Firstly, External Relations, Emma Shea in particular, is going to be leading on engagement with the strategy and in increasing recognition of the work that we're doing towards our strategic aims represented on the website and in other ways throughout the university. Strategic planning, the unit that I'm in is going to be leading on how the strategy becomes embedded with operational work around the university and the interface with operational planning, for instance.
Also, our Strategic Planning Unit is soon going to be incorporated into a new directorate of Strategic Change and Delivery.
The other unit within that new directorate is going to be the Change unit led by Julie Christie and her unit is going to be focusing on partnership working with Schools and Directorates on particular aspects of strategic change.
So without further ado, thank you everybody for your attention. And I'm going to hand you over to the Principal.
Wow. It's been a long time since I have been in a room with so many people in it with such a background buzz
It is fantastic to see you all. And thank you so much for coming. It's as Naomi said, we've got a series of these conversations through the next couple of days, this one here on Main Campus. And then tomorrow, a similar conversation at our Kirkcaldy campus and at Ninewells. so, you know, if you don't get everything and you want to come back we'll be at Ninewells tomorrow afternoon. It's not so far. But it is we hope the beginnings of a conversation about our strategy and actually developing and delivering a strategy which is meaningful for us and which we think about maybe not absolutely every day in what we do, but from time to time and when we try to configure ourselves around what we're about as a university.
And we really do want people to kind of mix up and come together and think about how we deliver on our mission.
Our mission has been the same for a long time. It's transforming lives here in Dundee, globally, around the UK, wherever you like, and that transformation of lives is I think, most universities can talk about being that. My briefing actually tells me to get you all up, to stand up from you know, number yourselves and the even numbers move backwards and forwards.
But if we did that, it would take us half an hour to reassemble because I think we've got enough people and enough buzz in the room to work without that.
So let me say a couple of words about framing the strategy, and then I've got a few bits and pieces that I want to unpack before we get into the real detail. So the first thing for me is the strategy should be pretty simple.
And have a small number of key messages and be something that we actually all recognise and can identify with, and live and not be something that we keep going. What's the strategy again? I can just look up and see what's going on? So it's got to be meaningful. It's got to land with everyone.
And so as Naomi said, over a period of the last year, we've been talking a lot about what the strategy is. And actually when I go out and around Schools now and listen to presentations and get involved in discussions, already some of these concepts of strategy are coming through in just the way people are talking, which is brilliant because that means it's meaningful.
Frankly, that diagram is just about it, it's just about it when I came into Dundee, people said to me, So what kind of university do you think Dundee is?
And I thought's an interesting question. It's the University of Dundee. Are we a mini Edinburgh? I thought no. We're Dundee?
Are we like Strathclyde? No, we're Dundee. And grabbing and understanding and trying to channel what we think we all are as a University of Dundee and for Dundee is a central purpose of what this strategy's about. So we've captured it in this device of creating ripples and having impact around this concept, this thought of triple intensity.
It's not exactly a difficult concept, it's not even particularly original. Those who have spent time in Australia and New Zealand will have definitely come across the triple helix model of a university. It's not really very different, is it? We are incredibly research intensive I think John told me we are something like number three in terms of research intensity in the UK, which is just a measure of how much of our income comes from research compared to our overall income. But nevertheless we are a really, really intensive research university and in different Schools there's different levels of intensity.
Some Schools are really really huge amount of research and other Schools there's excellent research going on, but maybe not quite so much. We're certainly intensive in our learning and teaching and it's always a delight when it's the students that take a view on on how effective we are. And I don't just mean the NSS I mean through various students' own pulse surveys where we came top in Scotland this year, voted by students and just a couple of weeks ago, number seven in terms of student experience across the UK and actually its really, really interesting what students think and in the experience in the learning and teaching that we deliver And our engagement and enterprise.
Not only are we gold charter winners around our amazing engagement work, but we are what, number one in Scotland, number four in the UK in terms of taking our research and turning it into value propositions through industry, through from spin out. So we are a university with incredible impact, but in the institute I was in before in Leicester, I used to talk about Leicester hiding, it's light under a bushel and unfortunately what we've been doing is we've been hiding our bushel under a whole pile of bushels and we do need to be more confident actually about talking about the things that we are really outstanding at as a university.
We genuinely are of Dundee and we genuinely are for Dundee and if you walk away with nothing else for what our strategy for our university is about, it's triple intensive. We've got variable geometry in that intensity across different schools. So not everybody is incredibly intensive in research, incredibly intensive in research and teaching and learning, incredibly intensive in enterprise engagement. It's a mixture and it needs to be a mixture.
That's the nature of a university and the different disciplines that we're engaged and the different courses we teach, the different purposes we stand for. So we're triple intensive and we pull together that triple intensity in making the difference in our social purpose. Of Dundee, for Dundee and and beyond. And you might think, Yeah, well, you know, Iain, but lots of universities see that and my view is `well. so what? We're not talking about what we're not. Who we're like, what we're talking about is who and what we are so triple intensive, social purpose is what drives us, and we're going to pick up on that during the course of this afternoon and actually call in some colleagues around the room to say a little bit about what they think on this triple intensity and social purpose So let's talk in a little bit more detail about how we might put that strategy into action.
So the first thing I need to get out of the way is some of the challenges we face.
Because if I stood up here in front of you all and all I did was talk about positives, you'd all think `yeah, but...' So let's just throw some of the challenges out there so that we've been honest, we've talked about them, and I don't want to get caught into lots of conversations, about these today, we've got another Principal's Question Time a week on Monday.
We can pick up on them there, but let's put them out on the table.
Money is tough. So when I talk to our students and, as you will recall, we had a sit-in, a 24 hour sit-in outside our office a few months ago. And my comment at the time was I'm delighted that our students have the sense of values that they want to demonstrate in that way, but please don't do it too often. But I do continue to talk to the group of students that had the sit-in, and they are an incredibly driven, focused, conscientious group of students. And I think we were all students. once, and we all liked to think that, I hope we still are, but certainly were then, very conscientious. But this generation students and you know, you deal with so many of you very, very directly, most of you very, very directly. This current group of students really care, really care about the future of our society and the future of our world and really, really wants to be in a university that has this kind of purpose.
But one of the things that comes up in that is the concern about the shift towards marketization of the higher education sector. And we have long conversations about this. And what we generally get to is a situation where I say, look, a third of the things you say, I agree with and I'll stand up and say them with you. A third of the things you say I agree with, but I'm more effective if I do it behind the scenes and a third of the things I probably don't agree with. But it's right that you stand up and speak about them. So one thing I do agree with is a real concern about the push towards marketization and indeed a bit of a push towards some elements of quasi privatization of universities in this country and I mean the UK, but I particularly mean Scotland. So we've seen the teaching grants.
The, the money that we get for delivery of teaching programmes essentially deflates. The actual number hasn't changed, but it's not kept up with inflation, either in real terms or indeed nominal terms. And also government's tucked under a few extra things you want us to do. So the amount of money that we actually get to do. our business is reducing and we can bang on, and I do and I know many of you do, bang on with government all the time about this, but the fact of the matter is governments as we all know, whether we vote for them or not, governments have got a lot on their plates just now. The amount of money has gone down. Amount of money for research, through the research excellence grant, REG, which is part of the dual support system, that's going down and it's going down despite excellent performance. I've just seen the results of of the REF and there's a mixed picture in some ways. But the thing that isn't mixed is the quality of our research and the volume of our research have both increased and increased really significantly. But the amount of cash we get through the REG goes down, so we're constrained there as well. And inflation affects all of us. It affects us as people, affects us as an institution. I mean, just looking at the the cost of keeping the lights on for all of us, whether it's at home or whether it's here, is tough. So the money situation is tight. And as you know, this university has been running a deficit actually running a deficit for... Peter? This is your 10th, your ten straight year of a deficit.
Now, the plus is that deficit is coming down and all going well, if we continue to do all the things that we are doing together, we will cross into surplus next year. It's not going to be a big surplus, but my view is tuppence ha'penny surplus, I'll take it because it's a huge inflexion point. But we nevertheless have a financial platform that we need to grow and we need to understand it's there.
But the way for us to grow and the way for us to succeed is to invest in ourselves and our future with confidence and with clarity and with direction. And that's what this Strategy has got to do. So that's a doom and gloom bit. I know there are many, many, many challenges around for all of us as individuals and as collections of employees in the university. But we, in order for us to deal with these, we must have confidence, we must have direction, we must invest around this notion of triple intensity
So if it's all about triple intensity, is that it? Well, we talk a bit about priorities.
So I come back to the conversation with students, but with all of you too. What are our big priorities as a society?
What are our strengths as an academic institution?
Where can we make that difference of social purpose and broadly speaking, we've come up through discussions with these three, and they're not a bad match actually with what the Scottish Government thinks.
They're not a bad match with what UK Government thinks. But that's not why we got to them. We got to them because these are the right things to do and they are a very close match to what our city is about and our city is engaged in.
So global health and wealth, we all know very, very well the challenges here at home in Dundee once you go north of the Kingsway. But we also know and are very much involved in the challenges around global health and wealth writ large and I'm very fortunate and I'll be visiting Malawi in August in the run up to COP27 and in thinking about launching a new Africa initiative that many of you are being incredibly influential in driving on how can we work much more closely with our African colleagues around this triple intensity and social purpose. And in fact just, I'm losing track of days, this is Wednesday and this week, we have colleagues from the University of Lagos here working with us in Dundee and I had the pleasure to host Professor Ogundipe, the Vice-Chancellor of Lagos University on Monday and we've launched a number of initiatives. So around population health and wealth, huge amount we can do. Climate change and and net zero if we'd had this conversation back in March, I'd have been able to say because I said it to the UK Climate Change Committee and many others, we were ranked number one in the UK and number five in the world for our contribution to climate action, through Times Higher impact rankings now we've come down a bit since then because more and more institutions are being involved. It doesn't mean we're doing less, it just means there's more competition out there.
But climate action, net zero is a huge requirement, an opportunity. And as we look at the new School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Law, an incredible, incredible opportunity there for us to really invest in a vibrant new School. And then finally, equity and wellbeing. Well, sorry equity and inclusion. Equity and inclusion, it is deliberately equity rather than equality because it tries to be as broad as possible. And that picks up across these dimensions.
Again, one of the big conversations going on just now around the research community, particularly with the, the heads of UKRI and with government ministers and indeed, in conversations about trying to get us to a point where we can associate with Horizon Europe, with the European research programmes, the impact of social science and humanities equity and inclusion in making a journey not just to a just transition, but health and wealth are very, very key and they are making a difference. They are our social purpose. And if you're not absolutely in any of these three, it doesn't mean what you're doing is not incredibly relevant and important. But just trying to brigade as much of our thinking together to give us some sense of clarity and direction point the right way Iain Rookie error!
In terms of how we deliver well, again, there should be nothing new here to anyone.
So if I look back to the financial situation that we're in, what's making a difference is a huge efforts that all of you are making in trying to do sometimes it's more with less, but what it needs to be is not more with less, but better with what we've got. And 's that's not going to happen like that. That is something that Shane O'Neil, the Senior Vice-Principal, will be leading on as we go into next academic year.
But we do have to invest in our academic excellence. We're an academic institution, so it's our academic excellence that must come first.
Our academic excellence will drive our sustainability. We can't cost cut our way to excellence.
We must invest in our excellence, and through that excellence deliver sustainability. So academic excellence with sustainability is what we talk about.
A lot of the cash that's helped us come out, begin to move out of that situation of deficit. It's been through the amazing work that all of you are engaged in, in international recruitment. But we're not just a university that's looking for international recruitment. Internationalization is incredibly important. It's got to be a two way street. So is widening access. So it's growing our reach into new communities and helping those in particular like many of us in the audience who are first in family ever to go to university, to excel, and then finally and I think here our colleagues have made amazing progress. All of you have in moving in a somewhat adaptive way to having a much more hybrid experience in what we do and that digital-first that digitally enabled transformation of what we do. I know transformation is a dirty word, but I'm going to reclaim it. That digital transformation for what we are in our university is absolutely crucial to us.
So there you go. I mean, in effect, that's the majority of what's in the strategy. It's picking up on the powers of three. It's triple intensity. It's for social purpose. It's about being of Dundee and for Dundee. It's who we are and always have been. So let's stop worrying about who we are and just be ourselves because ourselves is quite incredible.
It is about social purpose making that difference, that transforming lives. It is about focusing on some of the big, big things that we've always done and we're good at anyway, in our journey.
Population health and wealth climate action, net zero equity and inclusion. And we've got some pretty simple messages about how do we get there?
So excellence through widening our reach. And of course it is also that digital journey I'm going to come ultimately to the most important thing about all this: You. People. because at the end of the day, what the university does is try to enable you and empower you and hold all of us accountable for what we do against a strategy I think we've got a pretty mixed track record in this university of that empowerment and accountability and I think some of you think `mixed?' that's positive but we do have a mixed track record and we need to change that.
So we have a people and talent strategy as well as the research strategy, the learning one, the digital one, the engagement and enterprise one. We have a people and talent strategy. We have to come together to invest in people in order to deliver on this strategy and to create that culture of empowerment and accountability.
That's a five or ten year journey, folks. That's not a switch
So if we're going to really live this strategy and be the university that I believe we are, but be that university in a more confident way, then we have to come together and we have to remind ourselves what this idea, what our idea or your idea of One Dundee is that we come together and have purpose if we are to deliver on our goals and we look to equip people, all of our people sorry, our people is a very patrician thing. I've been told off for that, I apologise. But everybody, the whole community in enabling us to deliver on that strategy. But it's going to take time and it's going to take dedication and it's going to take all of you to want to do it.
And all of us have to be leaders. And we've got people in the room. Well, probably all of you, who lead in something, but you know, let me just pick a few people around the room. I've got a list of people, that I want to start a conversation with what folk in our community are doing around this idea of triple intensity with social purpose, and what this means for us. So Chris and Divya. Yes, your somewhere. Top of my list. I'm going to call you out. There's this microphone going right there.
You are going to come to the front. Can we just hit a little bit from Chris and Divya?
hello, everybody. I'm Professor Chris Murray, and I'm Chair of Comic Studies in the school, the Division of Humanities. I am Divya Jindal-Snape. I am Professor of Education in the School of Education and Social Work.
Cheers. What we're going to talk about just a little bit today is interdisciplinary research with impact, particularly around the projects that we've been doing for the last several years, public information comics.
So this is a cross-School initiative which has involved Humanities, the art school, Health Sciences, Medicine, Dentistry, Law and Psychology, right across the university. We've worked with a range of partners and charities, and the work is really driven by principles of social purpose, active partnerships, engaging with the community and fostering creative skills and transforming lives. The aim really has been and remains to drive multiple, overlapping and layered impacts as part of an interdisciplinary approach.
We'll talk a little bit about what that means and how we've done that, and we're really quite excited about the ways in which the new strategy can further embed and propel that work. So we've been co designing and I emphasize the word co-designing, and Chris will come back to it. We've been co-designing educational comics for the last seven years, and all of our comics are actually embedding our research, our research priorities, as well as our impact alongside that, we are also looking at how it feeds into our teaching. So all of this aspect, whether it's research impact or teaching and learning, it is interdisciplinary. So for example, our comics and our work feeds into a module called Medicine in Literature, but other comics, other modules like that as well.
So the key about this work is it's designed to make a difference. It was really propelled and created to the project to what was initiated in response to the Transforming Lives agenda. And, you know, we're quite excited to see the new university strategy emphasize the focus, the values and the principles that have driven that work. So in this work on public information comics, we're particularly passionate about social purpose and interdisciplinary research with impact, particularly around partnerships and using applied approaches. One of the methodologies we've developed is around the comics jab, as we call it, which is really a process of co-design process, which brings partners, comics, creators, researchers, policymakers, lots of people together to think about how we will deploy creative skills to communicate these messages. To the wider public. So the comics we've been designing or co-designing a lot of them are focused on healthcare issues and these are around sort of areas where it's invisible disability or hidden health care. where there are misconceptions around.
So we've for example, designed comic on, wait, we'll just quickly get here, on fibromyalgia, for instance, and a recent one has been on ME, but we've also designed other comics in the past which have looked at coeliac disease as well as policies around organ donation and so it links quite closely. With one of the key areas of priorities around population health.
But we've also been involved in creating comics around science communication as work with Niamh on that for instance, the Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science We've also developed a series of comics around issues of sustainability and the climate emergency, which then responds to the targets around climate action and net zero. Also, these comics have dealt with issues such as human rights, diversity and inclusion, grief, and have used the power of comics as a medium to be able to portray the voices of people who've been silenced for too long. So whether it's to do with disabilities or whether it's to do with student voices in particular ways, about people in the general public professionals and looking at how their voice can be magnified in different ways. In terms of the priorities like population wealth and so on.
We're very much engaged with the creative economies. We work a lot with comics creators, comics industry and so on.
So really over the last seven years, we've upskilled dozens, many dozens of comics creators, both locally, nationally and internationally. We've worked with policy makers in the UK and also around the world, and we've helped grow and support comics as a creative economy. So the work has been really impactful in that sense. Not just in terms of the messages that we promote to various communities and the work that we do with professionals. So that really supports the work around social enterprise and entrepreneurship. And our work really has been responding to the priorities of the new strategy, and we're really looking forward to the ways in which the new strategy can strengthen the focus and distinctiveness of the whole university. As I say this as being a cross-university project, one of the things that's been most interesting over the course of the project in this interdisciplinary way of working has been the layered impacts that we see emerge from this interdisciplinary working. Often when I'm working with colleagues in education or in dentistry and other places, the impacts they're deriving from the work or working with professional aides or engaging the public in a particular message.
For me, the impacts are often working with the comics creators, developing comics as a mode of communication and education, and also supporting that creative economy for the people that we work with, they acquire certain impacts and skills from the work. So it's not that one impact emerges, but there's actually a layered series of impacts emerges, not just from the work that we produce and the outputs, but actually from the way of working and I think that's one of the things we found most valuable is this quite flexible and multi-layered way of working, which we can see in strategy is going to really help propel that kind of thing.
OK, so finally, just to say that the interdisciplinary nature of this work is really important, it has fed into for example, REF impact case studies, but of course about making a real difference. And it has also come through For example, in some of our projects. I've got one here which is just hot off the press, which is around our health care graduates transitions due to COVID.
So there are lots of different ways in which we have engaged. But I think the real value comes from the interdisciplinarity, whether it's in terms of research or teaching and learning. And finally, we do have some comics down at the front. So if later on afterwards you're interested and want to have a look at the kind of work we've been doing, please do come and grab one. And if you do have a project that you think would benefit from a comic, come speak to us. Thank you, guys. Thank you.
It's not every strategy launch. When you've got freebies you think you might actually want to look at.
So so I've got a list of ten people willing to, you know, ready to speak up.
I'll probably do three, but so that we can all enter into this. What we're trying to do here is start to live this.
So it's not just some kind of top down thing, but actually something that's meaningful.
Let's hear from another team, Dominic and Anna
Thank you. And my name is Dominic Smith. I'm from Philosophy. And I'm Dr Anna Robb and I work in the School of Education as a lecturer.
I've got some notes here. I'm not multitasking or being rude, I hope. So Anna and I have collaborated on a project called Localizing Philosophy since 2018 and very much consistent with Divya and Chris's work.
And my work has a social purpose at its core localising philosophy, I suppose you could say, is our concept or brand. And to underline, we don't mean localising in the sense of making things narrow or provincial, and we mean it in the sense of focusing philosophy or making it hit home. So our approach involves going directly to local schools and to local education authority and asking them quite simply what challenges do they face that we can help them with. And from here we create bespoke workshops to blend arts education and philosophy to address challenges that are identified by these partners.
So we have, consistent with the strategy, public engagement impacts and employability vectors as part of this project. for our students. You could call them ripples if you prefer. So all of this led to a project on democratizing technology, which was conducted under the straitened circumstances of COVID. And it was looking at issues to do with digital inclusion and exclusion and more recently, it's involved a Transitions Project with Morgan Academy and its feeder primary schools, which Anna is going to tell you about. Thank you. Yeah. Our projects evolved organically over the years.
We've been involved in little projects here and there, we've worked with some secondary teachers, primary teachers, and then the comics club actually and most recently we're involved in this transition workshop literally just in the last four weeks. And so we've been working, we reckon about 250 pupils. I think, we've worked with, P7 pupils, we went in and did two workshops in each of the feeder primary schools and then last Friday we were in Morgan Academy where we ran three workshops through the day. So we met a lot of children that day and I'm glad we don't have a PowerPoint. I'm actually a little bit frazzled in the photos because they were taken at the end of the day.
The workshops consist of philosophical discussion and visual arts activities. So we've got evidence of their thinking really. And the key thing about I think for us is, as I say, this project develops organically. So we are going to go back in hopefully in October time to see how these sevens have settled. And I'm really looking forward to seeing how they've changed. And I'm a primary teacher. That was my career before I came into the university ten years ago. And this project has been great. I've missed working with the children. And I have to say that this projects on Friday in particular, I think just brought home to me how much we as adults really underestimate the children in this city. I would say because I worked in the city as a teacher and they have there are a lot of challenges like there are many for many of them actually. But the depth of thinking that was achieved, particularly on Friday, was really quite astounding. And we've just started to sort of work through the visual images that were created in those sessions. And and even today we had a few surprises when we were looking at it just before we came up here. So, yeah, we'll go back in time in October, hopefully, and work with them then. As I said, the project, it's evolving organically.
I think it's fair to say we quite enjoy working with each other. We kind of bounce ideas off each other. And so the plan is to there's all sorts of plans really One way to take the project further is to expand the transition project and to work with hopefully more clusters of schools in the city. And alongside that, hopefully set up a children's research advisory group as well so that they can help inform that process. Tracks work best when there's a clear purpose for the children. So to have them working with us, sort of having a block of time learning about research and then after Christmas going in and actually undertaking that research to find out what pupils would enjoy in terms of making that transition better, it's seems to be, I think, a really valuable project that we as a university can get involved in, while also also sharing what we do as a university with these children without it being us lecturing the children. They're finding out for themselves. So I think that's a really exciting possibility that we are going to pursue.
The other ideas we've had are also to perhaps look at the early years transition because we had initially wanted to do that. But it all got too big really for this version of the project. So already today in the last 24 hours, we're beginning to think of perhaps drawing on drama and perhaps developing a play or something that could be taken into schools during their transition.
And we have got lots of ideas, we could talk about this forever.
I think the other important thing we'd like to just sort of highlight as well is that alongside us working on this project, we engaged we had some volunteers, some student volunteers, so a couple of undergrads from the philosophy programme. And we had a couple of postgraduates from the art and philosophy masters, and we're really keen to support them in education, particularly on our postgrad programme.
We get a high number of students from arts programmes that come in wanting to come into teaching. For some of them, to be honest, it's a bit of a reality check of what it's actually like out there. And so to have some more experience in schools and before they make that decision, I think is really important.
So we had these four students, they were excellent. Couldn't have done particularly Friday without them, I think.
But we would also, with the variations of the projects that we're thinking of doing in the next year, like to involve more of our arts and humanities students on that as well to open up what that profession actually looks like in schools.
Brilliant. Thank you. Thank you, guys.
OK, just one more and then let's open for questions and go and have a cup of tea and a look at some of the murals about developing thinking of what our strategy is.
Now, our next speaker promised me he'd dance if I sang, but you don't want to hear my my singing voice. You don't have to see him dancing either. Bill, come and use a microphone.
You picked on somebody who’s particularly shy, didn’t you?
So I'm just thinking about the strategy over the last few days, as I thought I might be called on to talk about the three broad themes of the strategy. just epitomize what we are as as people who work in the university, everybody who works in the university cares about ethical behaviour. Inclusion, health, wellbeing, wealth creation. They also think about sustainability in the broad sense. So I feel it's a very comfortable, broad themes for the strategy. What I was going to talk about, though, is our partnership with Al-Maktoum College, and some of you know that we have a partnership with them so as to deliver the MSC Islamic Finance Programme.
It's been very successful on a business level. It's gone from five to 14 to 53. We'll have probably about 70 students next year as we go forward. But it does fit the the themes just beautifully. The underpinning of Islamic finance, you may or may not know has an ethical behaviour, it's an inclusive behaviour. It's talking about access to capital so that people can be entrepreneurs, everybody can be entrepreneurs and be innovative and move forward. It's driven by changes in technology, which allows this to bypass the old banks. And now always reminds me of 19th century economics, which came out of moral philosophy and had a view of doing things for the community, doing things for not just yourself.
It's not me, me, me. You're thinking about what the impact is going forward. On the wealth theme, of course, the students themselves benefits in terms of higher income when they graduate. But the inclusiveness and allowing access to finance drives wealth in areas in countries around the world, in areas which would not normally have access to finance as they go along. And then underneath all of that is sustainability. You're not allowed to. They've got a moral code, if you might like to say, which says how you carry out business and the sort of investment that goes on. I was at a conference yesterday and the people who it was about Islamic finance and fintech, and they went out of their way to say that this is really just part of ethical investment, ethical behaviour, which has been around for 20, 30 years. But it just happens to have Islamic finance as the moniker. So I'm completely comfortable with the strategy. I just feel that's me, that's fine. I'm not, I'm not entirely sure that, that I should feel any different, but I, it's just me.
There we go.
Guys. On my list. I could have gone to Marios and Life Sciences to talk about curriculum review. I could have spoken to Graeme in history about interdisciplinary approaches to climate research. I could have gone to Sudharshan in the School of Business talking about research partnerships in less developed countries. To Morris, also in School of Business around Co-operative research and teaching. To Seema in School of Business - you're doing well well, School of Business, certainly causing impact here! around hosting gender equality for sustainable futures, or to Emily May in Health Sciences around development of simulated partnerships. And that's just who's on that list.
But if we'd gone through everybody that was doing what's in our strategy, we would be here all week. We'd be here all academic year. It would be incredibly stimulating but it might not necessarily allow us to do what we need to do.
It's our strategy. It's yours, it's mine, it's all of ours.
We need to live it. We need to support each other in delivering it. It is a long term plan. It's us.
We're of Dundee. We're for Dundee. That's it.