ANU Strategic Plan 2021-2025


This plan is about the future. Here, we articulate bold ambitions for The Australian National University (ANU) and the nation we serve.

The future of ANU will be built on the success of our first 75 years. Our extraordinary graduates continue to lead meaningful change in every part of the world. Our scholars maintain global standards of excellence in their research and teaching activities, and many thriving companies and transformational public policy ideas have originated on our campus.

Creating ANU was a courageous and visionary response to a time of crisis - one that also focused on the future. Ours was the first new university in Australia for 40 years, the first research-led institution, and the first national university.

Prime Minister Ben Chifley, speaking in an election address in 1949 about the value of Australia's new national university, said "scientific research is a necessity for the maintenance of our standard of living and even for our survival".

The truth in those words has never been more evident than when ANU staff and students supported the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic, using their expertise in service of our communities.

Uniquely, our ANU community is the entire nation. We engage with First Nations Peoples and Australia's modern multicultural society to help understand our nation's place in an ever-changing world. 

Our community is again looking to their university to help navigate the disruption through which we live. We aim to partner with the Commonwealth and its people to continue the work of our founders in similarly challenging global times: national renewal supported by a national university.   

At the heart of our plan is a simple principle, enshrined in our previous 2017-21 strategy: that we will invest in, and insist on, excellence everywhere. As Australia's only national university, in receipt of National Institutes funding, this is nothing less than our community expects and deserves.

We aspire to strengthen the bond that exists between ANU and Australia based on trust and engagement. We will use our expertise as a national resource, challenging orthodoxies to transform society in the spirit of fairness.

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

Our campus will be used to discuss the evidence and data underneath the most intractable issues. We will listen to, learn from and work with First Nations Peoples as we champion a just and meaningful reconciliation built on equity and engagement.

Our student experience will be equal to the best in the world. Our range of programs will respond to the needs of our nation and our students, and our institutional culture will distinguish ANU from other universities. We will innovate in the classroom: research-informed learning delivered seamlessly across physical and digital spaces.

Our research will be second to none in quality and impact. We will continue to attract the most exciting academic talent globally and support their success.

We will provide the platforms and investment to enable the co-creation of new approaches to interdisciplinary problem-solving and support our academics to realise the possibilities of their discoveries in society and business.

As we develop our research translation and business development activities, we will continue to champion the value of pure research as the building blocks of all new knowledge: "first, to know the nature of things."

We want our campus and community to be the best place to work and study in Australia, a welcoming and safe place for all.

It will be a magnet for talented people from every part of the world, built on a commitment to equity as the platform for excellence.

As we work to bring our vision to life, our values will guide and inform us, and we will continue to deliver on the mission set for ANU in 1946: "bring credit to Australia, advance the cause of learning and research in general, and take its rightful place among the great universities of the world."

The Hon Julie Bishop                                                      Professor Brian P. Schmidt AC FAA

Chancellor                                                                         Vice-Chancellor and President

Reference Documents


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