• Otávio Santiago

Universities under 50 chart a clear roadmap for the future

The University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) in Australia has taken a different path from many other institutions 50 years old or less, that are the focus of this supplement. This may be in part due to its origins, reports James Mitchell Crow, whose article compares strategies between some of the fastest-rising young universities in the Nature Index.

Many young high-flyers were built from scratch with selected research teams. UTS by contrast is one of those formed by an amalgamation of teaching colleges that were previously dedicated solely to education. Most of the foundational staff had no research experience at all.

It is the right mix of agile and creative thinking, anchored to a clear roadmap for the future, that prepares such institutions to compete with their more established counterparts. For UTS, which is among the fastest-rising young universities for physical sciences and chemistry in the Nature Index, this meant developing a “strong framework around research centres, to get some concentrated effort and some critical mass”, says Kate McGrath, its deputy vice-chancellor and vice-president (research). McGrath describes how this approach was extended across campus, with a strategic focus on growing high-quality research output.

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