ANU Corporate Plan 2021-2024

Published 2021

Inspiring Leadership for Our Time

For nearly three-quarters of a century, The Australian National University has worked to realise the ambitions of the visionary Australians who founded it.

Our journey so far has validated their courage and vision. Our distinctive research excellence is renowned: of the seven Nobel Prizes awarded for work undertaken in Australia, ANU can claim four.

We rank among the world's very finest universities.

Our nearly 100,000 alumni include political, business, government, and academic leaders around the world. We have graduated remarkable people from every part of our continent, our region and all walks of life. ANU hosts some of the nation's most influential Indigenous researchers and researchers on Indigenous issues, and our newly-launched Kambri student scholarships reaffirm our commitment to Indigenous Australians.

While our focus is Australia, our horizons are global. The legacy of our long-standing international engagement and expertise has delivered us unrivalled impact beyond our borders, particularly throughout Asia and the Pacific.

The University's achievements are remarkable, given its uncertain beginnings. Founded in a time of post-war reconstruction, social dislocation, hardship, rapid changes in society and in the expectations of institutions and government, the University's role was to develop new capability for a nation seeking its place in the world.

Our world today remains in transition. Economic and societal change, international instability, and the impacts of climate change are challenging our institutions - academic and governmental - to show renewed leadership. ANU must innovate in research, teaching and learning, and elevate our understanding of contemporary Australia and its region.

This is the role of a national university, a unique mandate reciprocated by the trust Australians place in ANU. To retain that trust, we must continue to serve this nation, its people, and their government with distinction.

To fulfil our mandate, we must invest in, and insist on, excellence everywhere at ANU. We must be ready to adapt and improve our performance wherever it is not the best it can be. We must dismantle once and for all the barriers, real and perceived, between ANU and the society we serve. And, we must work to diversify our funding sources, our collaborations, and our community.

Our ambition for the future of ANU is as great as the ambition of our founders. This Corporate Plan sets out how we will ensure that this unique and remarkable university is able to redefine its role for these changing times, as Australia's university, and one of the world's greatest.

The Hon Julie Bishop


Professor Brian P. Schmidt
Vice-Chancellor and President


We, as the accountable authority are pleased to present The Australian National University's Corporate Plan, for the four-year period 2021-2024, as required under paragraph 35(1)(b) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. This is the 2021 Corporate Plan for the ANU.