Strategic aims are high level aspirations. These may be general or may incorporate aims specific to your provider, for example where you have a particular remit for an underrepresented group such as mature students or children from military families.
An example of a strategic aim could be: ‘we aim to create an inclusive learning and teaching environment in which all students, whatever their background, are able to achieve their full potential.’
Objectives are how these aims will be achieved and these should be time bound. There may be a number of objectives which are related to meeting one strategic aim.
To create a measurable objective, providers should first identify which groups they are going to target and at which stage of the student lifecycle (access, student success, progression). This should be informed by their assessment of performance.
Objectives may be over a longer time period than the duration of the five year plan, for example ‘we will eliminate the attainment gap between black and white students by XX. We will eliminate the non-continuation gap between POLAR4 Q1 and Q5 by XX.’
Targets show what progress the provider expects to make towards meeting their objectives over the five year duration of the plan. Targets should be included in the targets and investment plan excel document.