ANU Strategic Plan 2018-2021

Published 2018

Inspiring Leadership for Our Time

For over 70 years, 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 culture 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.

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.

Australia today remains in transition. We face economic and societal change, and international instability. Government, industry and social institutions all face challenges to their legitimacy and longevity. In response, ANU must innovate in research, teaching and learning, and elevate our understanding of contemporary Australia and our world.

This is the fundamental purpose of the national university, which we will remain as long as we continue to serve Australia with distinction. Our unique place in the nation is inseparably linked to this contribution.

To fulfil our mandate, we must invest in, and insist on, excellence everywhere at ANU. We must be ready to adapt what we do and how we do it wherever our performance is not the best it can be. We must diversify our funding sources.

We must dismantle once and for all the barriers, real and perceived, between ANU and the society we serve. In other words, we must be a contemporary national university and a valuable global resource.

Our ambition for the future of ANU is as great as the ambition of our founders, and reflects the special national responsibilities we have as beneficiary of the National Institutes Grant. This Strategic Plan sets out how we will ensure that this unique and remarkable institution is able to meet its contemporary mission as Australia's national university, and one of the world's greatest.

Professor the Hon Gareth Evans 

Professor Brian P. Schmidt
Vice-Chancellor and President