Purpose and values

Changing lives through revolutionary learning and research with real impact.

Meet our leadership team
Student group smiling on Gold Coast campus
Portrait of Chancellor Sandra McPhee

Our strategic plan

Southern Cross University is inspired by a powerful purpose. With values that guide our choices and a strategy which puts our students at the centre.

On behalf of the University Council, I invite you to explore and connect with our purpose, values and strategy to discover what they mean to you.

Sandra McPhee AM

Our Purpose

Changing lives

We are proud of how education and research at Southern Cross can be life-changing. For the brightest young minds, the career-changers, the ambitious, those who are first-in-family at University, Indigenous scholars and internationals from across the globe, the impact can be profound.

Research Centres

Revolutionary learning

The Southern Cross Model is a revolution of the traditional University curriculum that delivers immersive learning experiences for superior student outcomes.

Student in auditorium with laptop

Research with real impact

From the sustainable production of food, improving the health and wellbeing of our community, or building resilience through education, we deliver genuine impact.

The Analytical Research Laboratory (ARL) provides specialist capabilities in applied phytochemistry, crop quality and herbal medicine quality control.
Portrait of Vice Chancellor Professor Tyrone Carlin

Pursuit of opportunity

As a University community, we have in recent years confronted a series of profound challenges. It has often been necessary during this period to work with determination and focus simply in order to attend to the matters immediately before us. But as we have done this, we have also taken the time to reflect on the things that most deeply define us and how we might with reference to these build a vision for our future. In myriad conversations over many months we have distilled a sense of our purpose, and found ways to evoke the values that will stand us in good stead as we go forward. These are the bedrock of our strategic plan. They will guide us in adversity and enliven our pursuit of opportunity. Above all they will remind us of the virtue of being bold and ambitious as we strive to realize our enormous potential.

Professor Tyrone Carlin
Vice Chancellor

Our values

We strive for excellence

We apply the highest standards. We're always seeking to be at our best.

We are bold

We're ambitious. We're dynamic. We make bold decisions.

We care

We care for our people. We champion our communities. We respect our planet.

We own it

When we commit, we keep our word. When we fail, we learn.

We build trust through action

We tell the truth. We do what's right.

Our strategic priorities: how we will achieve our purpose

Create outstanding student outcomes through our revolutionary Southern Cross Model and a seamless student journey

  • Implement the Southern Cross Model and transition to continuous improvement​
  • Align our course portfolio to our strategic priorities and research strengths​
  • Develop a service model and student proposition that meets the differing needs of our students​
  • Work with our educational partners to ensure SCU standards of excellence are achieved​
  • Uplift student success, with a particular focus on closing the Indigenous success gap​
  • Develop a proposition to grow quality school leaver applications and enrolments

Deliver a step change improvement in student engagement, retention, and success rates. Grow overall enrolments, including a higher proportion of quality school leavers.

Deliver transformative research that makes a real impact locally, regionally and globally​

  • Develop and grow our Research Impact Clusters to increase partnerships with industry and community​
  • Develop an investment model for research that supports growth in our focus areas​
  • Attract high-impact researchers in growth areas and invest in the development of all researchers and research candidates​
  • Produce a research excellence framework that rewards high performance and supports researcher development

Achieve world standard research across the majority of our portfolio. Continually grow citations, PhD completions, and research income.

Engage with our alumni, partners, and communities across all that we do to harness collaboration​

  • Build SCU’s market position as an institution of excellence and celebrate our strengths​
  • Strengthen and align relationships with industry, community partners and alumni​
  • Diversify our international student pipeline, both direct and via partners​
  • Simplify and modernise our digital presence and other student journey touchpoints

Improve brand sentiment across key stakeholders such as Principals, Alumni, Placement Partners, and Parents. Grow our brand excellence and digital presence. Attract  a quality international cohort that is more aligned to our research and education strengths.​

Invest in the development of our people, empowering them to live our values​

  • Embed our purpose and values across the organisation to create a high-performing culture​
  • Invest in capability and career pathways for all staff​
  • Deliver an engaged workforce that is focused on what matters by removing bureaucratic processes​

Enable a high-performing and engaged workforce. Position SCU as an employer of choice.

Consistently deliver financial results that enable us to sustainably invest for excellence and growth. 

  • Diversify revenue by increasing investment returns and income from adjacencies 
  • Ensure returns from our partnerships reflect our costs, brand value and risk​
  • Embed commercial excellence to manage procurement costs​

Consistently achieve positive base operating results. Increase and diversify revenue streams.

Transform our digital and analytics capabilities to deliver outstanding digital experiences​

  • Transform technology in teaching and learning to deliver outstanding digital student experiences​
  • Refocus our capability to solutions development to realise change
  • Build data and analytics capabilities to improve student and research success​
  • Transition to cloud-based systems to reduce internal support reliance and provide greater accessibility​
  • Redesign our tech service model to meet student and researcher needs 

Continual improvement in digital experience for students and colleagues. 

Invest in modern, flexible spaces that promote collaboration, community and environmental sustainability

  • Expand capacity to enable growth at the Gold Coast​
  • Activate Lismore campus by modernising facilities, and positioning as an education hub
  • Complete Coffs Harbour Stage 2 development
  • Develop campus infrastructure and operations that minimises impact on our environment 

Improve the student and colleague experience across all campuses. Attract education and community partners onto our campuses. Reduce our climate and environmental footprint.

Download our Strategic Plan

Southern Cross University, Strategy 2030

Strategic plan