3 Mission, vision, values and guiding principles

The first step is to establish the common ground. We start with a restatement of UCL’s mission. We then set out a statement of vision for the institution, and then a set of guiding principles. On these foundations are built nine key strategic aims, each of which is then developed in the following sections.

The mission

UCL is London’s global university.

The vision

  • An outstanding institution, recognised as one of the world’s most advanced universities and valued highly by its community of staff, students, alumni, donors and partners and by the wider community;
  • Providing an outstanding education to students from across the globe that imparts the knowledge, wisdom and skills needed by them to thrive as global citizens;Committed to leadership in the advancement, dissemination and application of knowledge within and across disciplines;
  • Committed to achieving maximum positive social, environmental and economic benefit through its achievements in education, scholarship, research, discovery and collaboration;
  • Developing future generations of leaders in scholarship, research, the learned professions, the public sector, business and innovation;
  • Tackling global challenges with confidence;
  • As London’s global university, leading through collaboration across London and worldwide in the advancement of knowledge, research, opportunity and sustainable economic prosperity;
  • Operating ethically and at the highest standards of efficiency, and investing sufficiently today to sustain the vision for future generations.

UCL’s values

UCL quad
  • Commitment to excellence and advancement on merit
  • Fairness and equality
  • Diversity
  • Collegiality and community-building
  • Inclusiveness
  • Openness
  • Ethically acceptable standards of conduct
  • Fostering innovation and creativity
  • Developing leadership
  • Environmental sustainability.

UCL’s guiding principles

UCL will conduct itself ethically and fairly, and in an environmentally sustainable manner, locally, nationally and globally.

In particular, we will:

  1. respect and promote the exercise of academic freedom through challenge and debate within the law;
  2. offer places to students on the basis of their academic merit and potential to benefit from and contribute to a UCL education irrespective of their social, economic, ethnic, religious or other background. Admission to UCL may not be bought, or secured under inducement or pressure, but granted only through an open and transparent competitive process;
  3. assess student performance and award degrees and qualifications wholly on the basis of clear criteria and fair process;
  4. be a fair and honourable employer, developing skills and capability amongst all staff; promoting, recognising and rewarding outstanding performance; promoting and celebrating diversity and ensuring equality of opportunity; promoting and supporting the highest quality academic leadership, collegiality and professional management, and challenging unacceptable behaviour; apply ethical investment and procurement practices;
  5. focus the impact of UCL education and research on improving the lot of people around the world and respect for human rights, and countering ignorance, poverty, ill-health and political tyranny;
  6. as an institution that has been strictly secular from its foundation, respect freedom of thought, conscience and religion but reject indoctrination;
  7. promote tolerance, and secure positive and open relations through dialogue between different groups on campus in relation to religion, politics, gender, disability, age, ethnicity and sexuality;
  8. be a good neighbour in London and contribute to the local community through initiatives such as staff and student volunteering, links with schools and the foundation of the UCL Academy, and through maintaining and enhancing a high-quality estate;
  9. maintain a safe and attractive campus, and work to safeguard staff, students and the wider community against violence, intolerance, disruptive behaviour and the actions of extremists.

Next: Key strategic aims