Last Word: Professor Kathryn Mitchell CBE DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University

There is much to feel excited about at the University this year, as we see long-term projects come to fruition and new initiatives on stream.

At Derby, we recently received the results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, which is an opportunity for universities to demonstrate their research capabilities and put forward the impactful and ground-breaking work they are conducting.

Research at the University of Derby has been internationally recognised across all the submitted Units of Assessment, but more importantly our academic themes and subject areas. Our growth in the research quality rating is one of the largest step changes in the sector and all our subjects are underpinned with significant amounts of research ranked world-leading or internationally excellent.

Professor Kathryn Mitchell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, stood on the balcony at the Kedleston Road campus

These results reflect our ongoing drive to become a more applied research institution and our commitment to delivering excellence in research at an international level, while positively impacting our high-quality teaching and learning.

Professor Kathryn Mitchell CBE DL
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby

We are moving forward at pace with plans for Derby Business School. We recognise the need for the University to be more centrally located and our business school will bring vibrancy and appeal to the city, and enable a much closer working environment with stakeholders and businesses, providing increased opportunities for knowledge exchange, research, and collaboration.

The Derby Business School supports Derby city plans for growth and regeneration and wider plans for the University, which include a City Masterplan; our proposition for how we wish to develop and transform the University estate through our city centre footprint and improve connectivity between our sites in Derby.

Finally, we are delighted to be launching our Civic University Agreement on June 15, setting out our long-term civic ambitions. Whilst we have supported many different organisations and projects over the years, this agreement will see the University taking a more strategic approach which reflects and responds to the needs of Derby, Derbyshire, and the communities within them.

The success of the Civic University Agreement relies us on working collaboratively across the city and county and therefore we have been overwhelmed by the number of organisations who have come on board as signatories of the agreement.

I would like to extend a huge thank you to signatories, our stakeholders, partners, staff, and students, for their continued support and commitment.