When launching our previous plan, Pioneering & Connected, I offered the view that its title “reflects both the history of this wonderful institution and my ambition for its future”. Looking back over the last five years, it is clear that Pioneering & Connected was highly successful in directing UL’s strategic development during that time. It resonated deeply with our staff and students, and the significant achievements during that period were recognised when we were named as Ireland’s University of the Year in the 2015 Sunday Times University Guide. The title of this new plan, Broadening Horizons, reflects our intention to further raise the level of ambition of our staff and students. This plan is very much outward facing. It reaches out to communities and employers, to Limerick city and the local region, to our alumni, to external collaborators and to the international scene in a particularly forceful way. Firstly, I believe that lasting transformation will be achieved by sustaining and building on our achievements. We therefore commit ourselves to embedding in Broadening Horizons the activities that have incrementally gathered momentum under Pioneering & Connected. Secondly, we will focus on accentuating our distinctiveness. As a research-led university, we will remain distinctive through our relentless focus on research with impact, graduate employability, industry engagement and the provision of an outstanding campus environment. Finally, we will continue to raise our international profile. This will be achieved by further internationalising the UL student experience, improving the global currency of UL degrees, attracting more international students and staff and accessing leading international research networks. This will enable our staff and students to bring their particular UL story to the world and create new opportunities to invite the world to Limerick. This is a highly ambitious and challenging plan. My view is that we have competitive advantages in the quality of the student experience we offer and in the way we contribute to our communities. However, we also have competitive challenges in terms of research performance and international profile. The essence of this plan, therefore, is to maintain our competitive advantages while simultaneously facing our competitive challenges. Our innovations have been imitated by many but surpassed by none. By bringing our creativity to the new challenges we face as educators and producers of knowledge under this new plan, I am confident that we will continue to be a pioneer in higher education and to shape our identity as a modern, confident, self-steering university.
In January 2011 University of Limerick published its Strategic Plan 'Pioneering and Connected'. The plan commits to developing a stronger international focus in all areas of UL activity and forging new ways of teaching and learning for students as well as seeking innovations in research that will attract resources while advancing the economic, educational and social development of the Shannon Region and the country over the next five years.
In September 2014 University of Limerick launched its Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 'Engaged Learning'. 'Engaged Learning' builds on commitments in 'Pioneering & Connected' and represents a more detailed articulation of UL's stated commitment to provide an outstanding and distinctive learning experience to every one of its students.