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Strategic Vision

Strategic Vision, 2018-2030

Pembroke College is a community of scholars, researchers, students, teachers, alumni/ae, and staff members; this plan looks to the future for all of us, and will help to inform the big decisions the governing body has to take in the years ahead.

Our Mission is to:
bring together the brightest students, from the broadest range of backgrounds; nurture outstanding research; provide the very best educational opportunities; and by doing so help to make a difference to the world.

Our Purpose:

  • To be academically outstanding
  • To be an integral part of a world-leading University
  • To support and care for every member of the College
  • To be a strong and cohesive community
  • To nurture the trust and mutual confidence that lead to learning
  • To engage actively with the wider world
  • To be careful stewards of a historic institution.

Our Values:

  • We are welcoming and inclusive
  • We are supportive and nurturing
  • We show respect for all, and value diversity
  • We promote free expression and discussion
  • We are outward and forward looking
  • We are unafraid to challenge received wisdom.

Our Strategic Priorities:

  • Strengthen the academic success we seek to achieve as a College.   We believe that academic success comes not only from the excellence of teaching, and the leading research that underpins it, but also from the supportive and caring environment we provide for all members of our community. For our students in particular, we will sustain and enhance the pastoral support available to them, the range of non-academic activities they can enjoy, and the self-understanding and confidence that can grow as a result.   We will aim to lead the way in developing how we teach, and pioneer new forms of academic engagement.  We will strive to provide genuine value to our students for the whole of their University experience as undergraduates or postgraduates.
  • Draw our students, undergraduate and postgraduate, from the widest possible range of backgrounds.  We will strive constantly to broaden the range of backgrounds from which our students come, especially seeking to draw in the brightest students from less advantaged backgrounds, and we will do this through our outreach and widening participation work, by having a fair and transparent selection process, and by the support we offer to those who come here.
  • Enhance the cohesiveness of our College community.   We are proud of the welcoming, friendly traditions that we have as a College. We wish all our students, Fellows, and staff to be and feel a part of the College family, and to be drawn from a true diversity of backgrounds, and we will work constantly to strengthen the collegiality and interconnectivity of our day to day life. We will encourage the fullest engagement of undergraduates, postgraduates and Fellows in the life of the College.
  • Provide the best buildings and facilities for our needs.  At present we do not have the space or facilities we need in order to provide the full range of academic and recreational opportunities for our students and Fellows. We are committed to making such provision; and we will seek to improve, renovate, and expand the physical spaces that will enable this to happen. We will improve the availability and quality of our student accommodation.  We will maintain the excellence of our garden spaces.  By 2030 we will aim to have increased our endowment to at least £150 million.
  • Take a leading role in commitment to the University, the UK, and the world.  We are proud that we are a constituent part of one of the leading Universities of the world; we will help Cambridge University to sustain and improve that national and international standing. We will draw strength from the quality and interdisciplinarity of our research, discussions and learning.  We will attract outstanding international students here to Pembroke, to enhance educational opportunities and experiences for all our students, and to generate international intellectual and cultural exchange.  We will develop collaborative relationships with other universities around the world, with industry and business, with governmental and non-governmental organisations, and with other national and international institutions. We will seek to make an impact far beyond the walls of the College.

Our Five-year Implementation Plan: Academic Success

  • We will aim to be amongst the top Colleges in academic ranking each year.
  • We will expect and support the highest standards of academic research amongst our Fellowship and within our postgraduate community.
  • Through the excellence of our teaching and pastoral support we will help our undergraduate and postgraduate students to achieve improved success through their years at Pembroke, and to realise their full potential.
  • We will not expand the overall number of our undergraduate and postgraduate students beyond the 2020 level agreed with the University.
  • We will offer the whole range of available subjects to those who seek to study here.
  • We will maintain a balance between the sciences and the humanities, aiming for a 50% undergraduate STEM component.
  • We will ensure that the size of our Fellowship does not grow to a position where it is no longer possible to take decisions as a holistic governing body.

Widening Participation

  • We will seek constantly to exceed the University’s Office for Students targets for the proportion of our incoming UK undergraduates from the widest range of state schools, whilst insisting on selection by merit.
  • We will aim to draw more of our undergraduate and postgraduate students from the most disadvantaged and diverse of backgrounds and areas.
  • We will pursue an active programme of outreach and widening participation for potential applicants, and constantly monitor its effectiveness.
  • We will provide added support to ensure that those of our students from less advantaged backgrounds can participate fully in the life of the College.


  • We will take a pioneering and leadership role in providing the very best pastoral and wellbeing support for all our students, staff and Fellows.
  • We will commit to offering generous and appropriate financial and in-kind support for all our students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, who need it.
  • We will ensure that there is a rich variety of music, drama, discussion, and sporting opportunities available for all our members.
  • With the Chapel close to the heart of our College life, encouraging the search for the spiritual beyond the ordinary, we will build respect and understanding for people of all faiths and none within our community.
  • The members of our community include all students, all our staff, and our alumni/ae; we will promote their diversity; and we will support and respect all of our members.


  • We will aim to house at least 100 more of our students (undergraduate and postgraduate) on the College campus.
  • We will levy fair levels of rent and catering charges, aiming to provide good value to our students.
  • We will ensure that adequate resources are devoted to a clear programme for the efficient improvement of all our accommodation on a rolling basis, as necessary.
  • We will maintain the excellence and variety of the food we provide.
  • We will strengthen our commitment to environmental sustainability in our buildings and our activities.

Outside Engagement

  • We will maintain and where possible strengthen our provision of programmes for international students.
  • We will provide support for, and will help to disseminate the success of, the academic research of our Fellows.
  • We will aim to be in regular contact with at least 80% of our alumni/ae community.
  • We will champion good practice in our role as a corporate body and as an integral part of the University.
  • We will play an active role in helping Cambridge University maintain its global pre-eminence in higher education.

Chris Smith
9 February 2018