Living our values

These three exemplars indicate how, in core areas of strategic development, we will put our values to respect each other, build strong communities and create positive change at the heart of what we do.

The wind turbine and greenhouses at Bailrigg Field Station

Positive change: carbon net-zero by 2035

In November 2020 and following engagement sessions with staff and students, the University’s Council announced its aim to become carbon neutral by 2035. Our aim is to be carbon net zero for carbon emissions from electricity and heating by 2030 and net zero from all other emissions by 2035.

The University is already the highest producer of renewable energy of all UK universities and has already reduced its electricity and heating emissions by 50% since 2005. Our community’s collective commitment to tackle climate change will draw on our world-leading research and engagement with external partners to achieve our sustainability goals.

Achieving our ambitious targets will entail significant financial planning to improve activities and infrastructure across many areas of the University. The continued commitment of staff and students, recognising that this may at times entail difficult choices and changes, will be critical to delivering positive change, particularly in relation to our travel and energy consumption in line with our KPI in this area.


Respect: a diverse and inclusive community of communities

We aspire to an inclusive community of communities, where people are treated with dignity and respect and where no one is disadvantaged because of who they are. Valuing diversity of thought, belief and background is fundamental to our collective intellectual development and enables the University to challenge convention, push boundaries and shape agendas.

Our motto, Truth Lies Open to All, indicates the University's founding commitment to be an open and inclusive community. The University has attracted staff from around the globe and has a proud history of delivering opportunities to those less likely to participate in higher education. We will now work to extend the inclusive nature of our staff and student community. In support of creating a more open and inclusive University we will:

  • Seek to secure a Race Equality Charter award within the period of this strategy.
  • Work with our regional FE and HE partners to articulate Lancaster’s position in a broader 'ladder of opportunity' in the northwest UK.
  • Through our approach to safeguarding in research, we will maintain the highest standards in organisational culture, systems and practice to prevent and tackle incidents of exploitation, abuse and harm
  • Build on our Athena SWAN Bronze award with the submission of departmental Athena SWAN plans in line with our wider plans to promote gender equality.
  • Increase participation from underrepresented neighbourhoods and reduce the attainment gap for ethnic minority students in line with our published Access and Participation Plan.
  • Promote accessibility and inclusion through a 'digital by design' approach.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Lancaster
Three students near the Sports Centre
5 students celebrate their graduation

Strong communities: our colleges

We are a community that challenges and supports our students in delivering an education that transforms lives. Our distinctive collegiate structure and close-knit academic communities provide overlapping networks for pastoral, academic, social and sporting activities that support individuals and underpin interdisciplinarity.

As we continue to develop, the colleges and our 'community of communities' will play a more central role in how we operate and work together. Colleges underpin the Lancaster student experience and we will explore how this might deepen students' sense of community in what is now a larger institution with a global footprint. In particular, we will:

  • Consult on offering new postgraduate taught students the option to join any college, supporting a greater diversity within colleges and a more positive student experience for all.
  • Examine the potential to enhance the role colleges' play in academic life and embed a stronger sense of a collegiate academic community for staff by:
    • considering physical space within colleges and how this might support students’ academic activities;
    • exploring the potential for colleges to provide a meeting ground for academic staff from different disciplines and career stages to support interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary working.
Lancaster's colleges

Go back to the main page for the Strategic plan 2021-2026.

Back to the strategy