Our strategy

Arden University Vision 2025

Our Vision 2025 Strategy builds on our heritage and harnesses pioneering technology to support a leading-class learning environment that delivers high quality outcomes for our student and graduates, and their employers.

From our beginnings in 1990 as the chosen online learning partner for universities across Britain we’ve grown and evolved to offer a bespoke learning experience, offering both online and blended learning, to meet the changing needs of modern life.

Our beliefs

Technology is at the centre of Arden’s commitment to helping our students and graduates thrive in new economies.

Technology is a force for social change and provides the means to democratise education by solving the challenges of time, space and traditional inflexibility, so that people everywhere can benefit from it.

At Arden, we believe that improving the digital capability of the most marginalised and vulnerable members of our society is key to people’s ability to thrive in the economies of today and the future.

We believe that our students and future global graduates are ready to harness the power of technology, whichever career path they choose. 

Arden recognises that we, and all Higher Education providers, must proactively respond to the current and future needs, trends and expectations of employers and the economy.

Our Vision 2025 Strategy has these beliefs at its heart.

Our purpose

To become the first-choice university for ambitious, career-focused, lifelong learners worldwide and gain a reputation for delivering outstanding impact, convenience and relevance to the graduates and workplaces of today and in the future.

Our vision

We will help people thrive and succeed through ‘realworld relevant’ education that is fuelled by technology, shaped by employers and built around learners’ lives.

Our commitments

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Digital first 

To provide our learners with an innovative, ‘digital-first’ student experience that supports their career progression and well-being.

Convenience 

To challenge traditional conventions in Higher Education by pioneering new, flexible modes and options for accessing learning.

Global reach 

To diversify and expand our global offer by providing leading, digital-first programmes to existing and emerging markets across the world.

21st century business

To work hand in hand with industry partners to equip every Arden graduate with the skills they need for them to thrive in their chosen career.

Continually evolving curriculum

To continually introduce new programmes that focus on emerging professions, skills and market disruptions.

Our enablers

Our five strategic commitments will transform Arden University into a recognised pioneer in innovative, 21st Century ‘Digital First’ higher education. 
We have identified four strategic enablers that will be critical to our success. Each of these will support our strategic commitments and help us realise our vision.
 

Academic excellence

We will strive for academic excellence and high levels of student outcomes in everything we do, whatever the subject, mode or level of study. We will work in partnership with students to ensure their input informs and influences enhancements and future developments.

Our learning and teaching methods will encourage active engagement between students and academics. Students will be supported to succeed in both collaborative and independent learning and to develop digital capabilities alongside subject knowledge. We will accredit students’ recent and relevant work-based and professional experiences that align to the content of our courses at the appropriate level.

We will proactively engage with employers to maintain the currency and relevance of our programmes; ensuring our students will be work-ready and prepared for graduate level employment in a wide range of professional contexts.

We will undertake continuous improvement and innovation of our learning, teaching and assessment. Our academics’ research and scholarly activity will influence and inform our strong focus on pedagogy and content which develops students’ digital pedagogies

Quality and regulatory success

We will maintain high quality processes to evaluate and continually enhance academic quality, student satisfaction and outcomes so that students, employers, partners and employees can have confidence in the quality of our offer.

Our programmes and support will consider the diverse needs of our student body, with flexible study modes and learning, teaching and assessment methods. Personalised support alongside accurate and up-to-date information about our expectations will ensure learners have what they need to succeed.

We will offer opportunities to learners who find it challenging to engage with higher education. Whilst maintaining quality we will ensure tailored, personalised support to help learners progress and succeed.

We are committed to the promotion and inclusion of the student voice in every aspect of university life and recognise the key role of students in shaping strategy for the student experience. We will ensure student engagement in all aspects of University life to ensure the student voice is heard, listened to and responded to.

Pioneering technology

We’ll be a data-driven university using advanced analytics to support our students achieve their goals. Data Science technologies and techniques will help us make timely interventions in each student’s learning journey, whilst empowering them with information on their progress and performance.

Our leading class technical infrastructure will leverage the latest cloud-based technologies to create a scalable and flexible platform that provides a modern and secure environment to work and learn in. Our ‘cloud-campus’ is supported by a suite of class-leading solutions, integrated and designed for efficiency and to meet future needs.

A User-First design strategy will allow us to re-imagine the student experience, providing students with convenience, control and self-service access to a personalised digital learning environment. That digital experience will be intuitive and flexible to integrate our online and classroom offering into a seamless student journey.

Our pioneering and future focused technology will transform learning and teaching and the student experience into a powerful vehicle for change. Arden’s fast turnaround of new digital capabilities will foster a culture of digital engagement, digital leadership and digital skillsets.

Employer of choice

We will become an Employer of Choice for passionate academics and professionals seeking meaning and purpose and who have the dynamism and pioneering spirit to challenge traditional Higher Education orthodoxy.

We will achieve our ambition by creating a learner centric, high performing culture of trust, accountability and a can-do mindset. We will encourage innovation, and lateral thinking and ensure that colleagues understand their contribution to our Vision.

We will have a robust, transparent and highly competitive reward strategy. We will be relentless in our pursuit for attracting the best talent in the marketplace and ensuring that we have the right people with the right skills in the right roles. We will have strong brand recognition backed up by talent metrics, employee engagement, colleague retention and our Glassdoor reputation.

We will be recognised as Investors in People Gold Champions reflecting our authentic focus on talent and our people-first approach. We will have a progressive talent strategy embedded where clear career mapping, and succession planning is in place and a highly talented, diverse and engaged workforce where colleagues thrive through our investment in their personal and professional growth.

We will support our cultural transformation by clearly defining and modelling leadership excellence and upskilling where necessary. In order that we remain competitive, maintain creativity and efficiency, we will embrace agile working, whilst ensuring purposeful collaboration and connectivity using technology which will overcome the constraints of time and space, enabling colleagues to realise their own potential.

 

Our principles

Our corporate principles - SPARK - represent our bold and innovative approach to higher education, as well as our determination to help people from all backgrounds thrive in their lives and careers, and achieve outstanding outcomes. 
 

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Stand out

Our creative thinking and willingness to do things differently shines brightly on the inside and is truly visible on the outside.

Progressive

We inspire our students and one another, igniting bright futures through developing our knowledge and innovative use of technology.

Accessible

We make education truly inclusive, creating an inspiring and welcoming environment for everyone to flourish.

Resourceful

We strive for the best for our students and each other, finding ways to catalyse careers and accelerate development.

Kindness

We embrace a culture of togetherness and support that radiates through our teams.
 

Our history

Since we began our journey in 1990 as the chosen partner for traditional universities to deliver their online programmes we have constantly evolved, and in 2014 we earned taught degree-awarding powers which meant that we could also proudly award our own degrees.

In August 2015 we became Arden University – one of the few specialist, online learning universities to launch in the last 50 years. We’re now a leading provider of flexible, online and blended learning. We have 500+ employees supporting more than 23,000 students globally online and at our nine study centres in London, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, and Berlin.

From 2020, backed by the support and scale of the Global University Systems network, we’re investing in a transformative change programme that will help us further strengthen our global presence and share our pioneering and impactful learning experience with more students in more places around the world.

In the Spring of 2022 we were recognised as the fastest growing university in the United Kingdom according to HESA data. 

Arden University history timeline

Arden History Timeline