All-staff email and video message from the Vice-Chancellor | Our new University values

Email sent to all staff on Wednesday 9 February

Dear colleagues, 

Values are essential to our University. They define our behaviour, our actions and our culture. In short, they embody who we are.  That’s why I am so thrilled to set out our new values, co-designed by our entire community through the biggest online engagement exercise we have ever undertaken.

In my video I talk more about our new values and how they will help us become the values-led institution we want to be.  


Last year, every student and member of staff was invited to take part in The Big Leeds Conversation to say what they thought our new institutional values should be. Today we publish the results of that work.  

Our values underpin our 10-year strategy – which sets out how we want to be a values-based institution – and will help us build a fairer future for all. More than 3,700 people – including 32% of all colleagues – took part in The Big Leeds Conversation, sharing more than 9,400 ideas and comments and casting nearly 75,000 votes.  

This gives me real confidence that our new University values are representative of our diverse community of staff and students, and what we want to achieve together.  

Our new values 

  • Collaboration: We work together to achieve our goals and ambitions  
  • Compassion: We are caring and considerate in our words and actions  
  • Inclusivity: We are a community where everyone is welcome and belongs  
  • Integrity: We are open and honest in our words and actions.  

Our University mission and vision 

We also took the opportunity to refresh our University’s mission and vision statement.    

Our new University mission statement is:  

Through collaboration, we harness our expertise in research and education to advance knowledge, transform lives and shape a better future for our communities, our region and the world.  

 Our new University vision statement is:   

Working with others, we will use our collective talents, expertise and shared endeavour in research and education to address local and global challenges, achieve social justice, reduce inequalities and help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  

We will enable our students to thrive through a sense of belonging. They will be partners in shaping their own dynamic and innovative educational experience, characterised by active learning, digital technologies and collaboration. Students will feel valued for their unique contribution, and they will graduate equipped to make a difference as true global citizens.  

Embedding our values 

With the values, mission and vision statement now endorsed by our University Council (our governing body), we can start the journey of embedding and living them across our organisation.

Culture change doesn’t happen overnight – and it is going to be a shared effort. Over the next few months, we are going to think carefully about how our new values can help us become the values-led institution we want to be. A group of colleagues are already looking at how we can best do this. From how we recruit, to who we partner with as a University; how we offer student education, to how we talk about ourselves; our new values will help inform much of how we operate and the decisions we make.   

We will of course share progress on this important work when we can –  watch out for more information in the coming months. In the meantime, I want to thank all of you who took part in The Big Leeds Conversation and helped shape the future of our University.  

I strongly believe that staying true to our collectively-defined values will make us a kinder and stronger community – one that celebrates collaboration over competition and in which everyone is welcomed.  

With best wishes, 

Professor Simone Buitendijk  

Vice-Chancellor, University of Leeds  


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