I compiled a list of university mission statement examples and fed them through a word cloud to find out some words and phrases that would be good to include in a higher education mission.
Some of the most common words in university mission statements are:
- Global / International / World
- Classroom and beyond
Here’s the word cloud in visual form:
These words give us some idea of what’s are the center of a university’s purpose, and what you should include in your own university mission statement. Connectedness appears to be a central theme (community, global, international, beyond the classroom). Excellence also appears important (excellence, leadership, leading)
Similarly, learning and research remain two central pillars of a university’s purpose and are two common themes within a mission statement.
University Mission Statement Examples
1. Teaching Focused University
We are a university with a strong emphasis on student-centered education that prepares our students for a life of service to their community. Our classes are led by leading practitioners in their fields to provide students with real-world skills and enable them to complete their degrees job ready.
2. Research Focused University
The mission of the university is to be at the forefront of the advancement of knowledge in the 21st Century through ground-breaking research agendas that inform policy makers, the business community and our teaching.
3. Teaching and Research Focus
Our mission is to be a leading educational institution where our teaching is underpinned by the ground-breaking research of our academic staff so students can enter the workforce with innovative skills and knowledge in their chosen fields.
At the core of all we do is a focus on our students’ needs as we prepare them for their careers. Our educators are leading educators in our community who work side-by-side with our students in hands-on, innovative and creative learning environments.
5. Prepare Students for Work
We are a leader in our community, preparing future leaders for careers within health, education and scientific fields that will serve the community in which we practice. Our educators are focused on skill readiness so all students regardless of background will be able to become successful, competent and confident practitioners.
6. Global Leaders
We are a university with a focus on developing leaders with distinctively global perspectives on social, cultural, economic and environmental issues affecting the 21st Century.
7. Community Service
Our mission is to develop community-oriented professionals who have the social, emotional and cognitive skills to contribute to our thriving and diverse city. Through job readiness programs underpinned by the latest research, we prepare our students to be connected, empathetic and inclusive members of society.
8. A Liberal Arts College
Our mission is to develop critical and creative thinkers who can address the complex and unsolved challenges of tomorrow. We support our students’ creative talents within a diverse and inclusive environment so they can become forces for social justice and humanitarianism at home and abroad.
9. A Christian College
Our mission is to promote God’s word through christ-centered teaching. We dedicate ourselves to the pursuit of God’s truth in everything we do while preparing tomorrow’s leaders to serve their community in the name of Jesus Christ.
10. A College that Serves a Diverse Community
We are committed to equipping students with the critical thinking skills, intellect, resourcefulness and knowledge to be improve the livelihoods of themselves, their families and their community. We foster an environment that is inclusive, diverse and committed to social justice on campus, in our city, and across the nation.
The university works every day to be an innovator in teaching and learning. We bring together the latest technologies, research-informed knowledge and dynamic learning spaces to identify solutions to the complex global problems of the 21st Century.
12. A Global Perspective
Our mission is lead global debates in areas including education, climate, the economy and industry. We do this through pursuing outward-looking blue skies research, collaborating with international research and business partners, and creating learning environments that pursue knowledge from a global perspective.
13. University of Technology
We are a technology university that employs creative solutions to address complex problems facing business and industry across the nation. Through innovative information technology systems, our faculty progress the excellence in both research and teaching that we are renowned for.
14. Holistic Education
Our mission is to be the institution of choice for liberal arts students seeking a holistic education that assists them to tackle the big questions that our society faces this decade. We encourage our students to pursue a philosophical, spiritual, theoretical and practical education.
15. Business Engagement
We connect business, community leaders, researchers and students to create a dynamic community designed to serve all stakeholders. Through pioneering research we help businesses become innovative world leaders and prepare students to become the business leaders of tomorrow.
16. A Progressive College
Our mission is to be a leader in pursuing social justice and equality in the communities we serve. Through critical, collaborative and interdisciplinary scholarship we seek solutions to inequalities that affect progress in our community and research avenues for a more inclusive America.
17. A Conservative College
Since 1921, our college has been a pillar in the community supporting businesses and enterprise to succeed. We seek excellence in all our teaching and research endeavors and uphold our commitment to free speech and liberty. Our students leave with the leadership and skills
18. Independent Thinkers
Our mission is to prepare creative and independent thinkers who are capable and confident global citizens. We provide a public service to our community and nation through generating, collating and preserving interdisciplinary academic knowledge.
19. A Rural University
Our university is committed to serving our state’s rural community and the unique needs of our region’s industries. We progress research and education in agricultural and raw minerals industries with the goal of developing innovative solutions to meet the challenges of food and energy security that are key concerns to our region.
20. A City University
We are a metropolitan university committed to pursuing solutions to the economic and cultural needs of our internationally connected city. We leverage our position within a world-class city to attract internationally recognized faculty and educate students from across the world.
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Real-Life Examples of University Mission Statements
21. Harvard University
The mission of Harvard College is to educate the citizens and citizen-leaders for our society. We do this through our commitment to the transformative power of a liberal arts and sciences education. (See Here)
22. Yale University
Yale is committed to improving the world today and for future generations through outstanding research and scholarship, education, preservation, and practice. Yale educates aspiring leaders worldwide who serve all sectors of society. We carry out this mission through the free exchange of ideas in an ethical, interdependent, and diverse community of faculty, staff, students, and alumni. (See Here)
23. Kings College London
To provide staff and students with an excellent service in all aspects of academic and student administration. (See Here)
24. University of Melbourne
25. University College London
London’s Global University: a diverse intellectual community, engaged with the wider world and committed to changing it for the better; recognised for our radical and critical thinking and its widespread influence; with an outstanding ability to integrate our education, research, innovation and enterprise for the long-term benefit of humanity. (See Here)
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Difference Between Mission, Vision and Values
You may also see that some universities have university vision statements rather than mission statements. While I don’t think there’s a right or wrong about whether you have a vision or mission statement, it’s worth observing the subtle differences:
- Mission Statements – What we do and how we do it…
- Vision Statements – Where we’re going and how we’ll get there…
- Values Statements – What we believe and how that informs everything we do…
You could have all three of these statements for a holistic set of guiding principles, and in fact many universities do.
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The above university mission statement examples demonstrate how different universities each have their own approaches to teaching and research. Depending on the communities you serve and the founding principles of your institution, you will likely have a slightly different university mission, vision and values. By looking at the statements of other universities, you can develop an idea of what it is you and your stakeholders value so you can create a mission statement that reflects your position within your own community.
Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education.