Beyond Vision 2020

A new strategy for NUI Galway

As we approach 2020, the University must look to the future and plan for our success beyond the strategy laid out in Vision 2020, our Strategic Plan for 2015-2020.

With this in mind, the University President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, convened a Strategic Development Group and an External Advisory Group to lead the development of our strategy beyond 2020.

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Strategy Development Group

The group is chaired by the President and comprises 24 staff and student representatives, each one nominated by a member of the University Management Team and by the directors of the University's seven largest Research Institutes. In addition, the Registrar and Deputy President, Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, sits on the group, as well as our Institutional Research Officer, Claire O'Connor, and our Internal Communications Officer, John Caulfield, who acts as Group Rapporteur.

Strategy Development Group - Terms of Reference

External Advisory Group

A separate group, chaired by former EU Commissioner, Dr Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, comprises over 20 individuals from outside the University. The External Advisory Group members share a diverse range of perspectives and experiences, and many have served at senior positions in public and private organisations across Ireland and the world. They will offer important counsel and expertise throughout our strategic planning process.

External Advisory Group membership

University Values

President Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh is keen for our strategic plan to be grounded firmly in the values that our University community shares - and the values that we strive to grow into the future. For this reason, the Strategy Development Group has developed a number of value statements on which we can base our success in the coming years. These value statements were defined by the group in two workshops early in 2019, following the consideration of other work carried out by staff and students on our values: in the recent brand values exercise coordinated by the Marketing and Communications Office, in the development of our Sustainability Strategy coordinated by our CUSP team, and in the values exercise recently coordinated by staff of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.



A consultation process with staff and students was launched in February 2019. In the video below, University President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh; Professor of Strategy, Esther Tippmann; and Students' Union President, Megan Reilly, call on our campus community to get involved.

Almost 1,500 staff, students and members of Údarás na hOllscoile took part in the survey.
The results of the University Values Survey can be found here: University Values Survey results


Values-led Strategic Themes

Based on the results of the University Values Survey and following input from the External Advisory Group, the Strategy Development Group identified five values-led strategic themes to guide our new strategic plan:

  • Respectful NUI Galway
  • Expert NUI Galway / Excellent NUI Galway
  • Accessible NUI Galway / Inclusive NUI Galway
  • Distinctive NUI Galway
  • Sustainable NUI Galway

The group worked together to describe these themes in meaningful ways that will identify with staff and students, as well as external stakeholders who engage with the University. Download a slide of the themes here: Five Values-Led Strategic Themes

Imagine NUI Galway

On Thursday 28 March 2019, the University hosted a day-long online discussion called Imagine NUI Galway. Students, staff, alumni and the general public were invited to contribute to one of 18 discussions, which were scheduled throughout the day from 11am-midnight. The discussions were structured around the five values-led strategic themes identified through previous consultation with staff, students and external stakeholders.

Find out more about Imagine NUI Galway:

Unit Submissions

In May and June, Colleges and major Research Centres, Units and representative groups, were invited by members of the Strategy Development Group to make a submission to the strategy development. The submissions template drawn up by the SDG included a series of questions and prompts, asking each unit to respond to each of the five values-led strategic themes with:

  • A University-level priority
  • Three actions that their unit could lead/support over the life of the plan
  • Measures that would show the impact of these actions


In total, 55 Unit submissions were received, most of which included input across all five values-led themes. The Strategy Development Group would like to sincerely thank those staff who took time to take part in the process. The SDG held two workshops to filter through the University-level priorities and Unit-level actions/measures to identify common themes and new thinking on how the University should evolve over the coming years.

  View all Unit submissions to strategy development

Strategy Drafting and Editing

Members of the Strategy Development Group volunteered to join two sub-groups to aid with the drafting and editing process. See membership of the two groups here: Membership of Strategy Drafting and Editing Groups

Strategy Drafting Group: This group will bring together all of the various submissions - from all stages of consultation - to articulate the University's strategic priorities and objectives. They will draft a strategic plan structured around: an introduction, mission and vision statements, context on the values-led themes, and the strategic priorities, objectives and targets. They will provide drafts for review and revision by the Strategy Editing Group.

Strategy Editing Group: This group will work to review and revise drafts of the strategic plan as provided by the Strategy Drafting Group. Members bring different perspectives and skills to the task, including years of experience of writing and contributing to strategic plans at various levels. They will provide feedback on the drafts to the Strategy Drafting Group so that group can factor in input from these different perspectives.

Draft Strategic Plan

A full draft of the strategic plan was published online on 3 October 2019 for a feedback period of one month.

  Read the Draft Strategic Plan, October 2019

Staff, students and external stakeholders were invited to share their feedback in a number of distinct ways:

  • Staff: through their nearest Strategy Development Group member
  • Students: through the Students' Union Council on Monday 14 October
  • External stakeholders: the External Advisory Group and members of Údarás shared their feedback directly on the draft plan at their October meetings

A special Strategy Feedback Workshop was organised on 23 October to encourage staff, students and Údarás members to take part in a group feedback session on the draft.

Full and Final Draft

Following a month-long consultation period in October, a second full draft of the strategic plan was completed, and further feedback was sought from the External Advisory Group, Standing and Strategic Planning Committee of Údarás na hOllscoile, the University Management Team and Academic Council. With some final amends based on their feedback, a full and final draft of the plan was presented to Údarás na hOllscoile on 12 December where it was ratified (with some final tweaks)!

Following 13 months of consulting, drafting and editing we have arrived at our strategic plan. We hope you will take time to read it below - and share in our vision for the years ahead.

  Read the University of Galway Strategy 2020-2025

  Léigh Plean Straitéiseach Ollscoil na Gaillimhe 2020-2025

  See how we are implementing the strategy in our Strategy Halfway Report - Dec 2022