Victoria University's 2016–2020 Strategic Plan was launched on 27 May 2016 with a strategy comprising three key elements:

  • position ourselves as an open and excellent university
  • pursue a transformational agenda
  • ensure financial sustainability.

Our refreshed Strategic Plan extends our focus beyond 2020 to the end of 2021 and provides an updated view of our transformation in action. As a strategy, it will help us continue to prioritise and focus our efforts and resources to deliver on a change agenda that is reshaping our very understanding of what is possible in tertiary education in Australia.

Key initiatives such as The VU Way, our institution-wide commitment to place-based planetary health, and the move towards a precinct-based Campus Master Plan will firm the foundations for VU to become a great university of the future.

We want VU to be a great place to learn, a great place to work and do great things within our community.

Our moral purpose: vision & mission

Victoria University has a moral purpose to transform the lives of any student from any background and to transform our communities, in partnership with our students and communities. Our vision and mission capture this intent.


As the University of Opportunity and Success, we will be open and excellent, creating exceptional value for any student from any background and uplifting the communities in which we operate.

Our mission

We will achieve this vision by in the following ways.


Providing high quality, engaging career-based tertiary education at all levels of vocational and higher education with flexible entry and exit points, appropriate pathways, engaging and rigorous curriculum and contemporary delivery; while maintaining rigorous standards and ensuring that all students are supported to meet those standards.

Research & engagement

Undertaking high quality and innovative applied and translational research which results in healthier, smarter and sustainable communities in the west of Melbourne and beyond, and connecting deeply with industry and the community, in turn enhancing the quality of teaching and learning.

VU Values

The VU Values are that we are always:

  • welcoming
  • ethical
  • shaping the future
  • together.

They form the acronym ‘WEST’. So, we are ‘always west’ and this is symbolic of place. The west of Melbourne is the heart of VU – the centre from which we serve communities across Australia and overseas.

While we have always taken a values-based approach to our work at VU, our new values are an opportunity to express and further articulate our moral purpose more distinctly.

Our values are a living set of actions that underpin our moral purpose, this is The VU Way, which is to transform the lives and communities we serve.

VU’s values go beyond vocabulary they are a reflection of our beliefs and our ethics which in turn influences our practice.

The four big ideas

In The White Paper (2017) we articulated four big ideas that shaped our strategy and consequent, transformation agenda.

Big idea 1

Our moral purpose: transforming lives and transforming communities.

We are a university with heart. Focused on the success of our students and the health and wellbeing of the industries and communities of the west of Melbourne and beyond.

Big idea 2

Reconceptualising tertiary education: a university without boundaries.


  • are committed to supporting any student from any background
  • take an integrated view of tertiary education
  • embrace cultural diversity
  • forge deep connections with industry and community.

Big idea 3

Developing 21st century skills and confronting 21st century challenges.

We will help students, industries and communities to thrive within an increasingly disruptive world. We will champion interdisciplinary approaches to the complex challenges of our time.

Big idea 4

Agility, productivity and growth: an agile, dynamic, innovative and growing university.

We will be agile, dynamic and innovative in our approach. We will ensure that our campuses, our technologies, our products and our operating model are fit for the modern world. VU will be a great place to work.

The VU Way at a glance

VU is a dual-sector institution with a powerful moral purpose: to provide vocational and higher education that transforms the lives of students and the communities it serves. It has a culturally diverse population of students and staff from a wide range of backgrounds.

In 2018, VU implemented a revolutionary approach to learning and teaching in response to changes to traditional industries and workforces in its core constituency.

Large impersonal lectures and passive learning in semester-long units of study were replaced with small group lectures and students studying one subject at a time over a four week period. With a greater focus on the individual and their learning success, many students, including those from low socioeconomic backgrounds and non-English speaking backgrounds, have seen improved pass rates and better grades. As a result, VU is seeing increased student satisfaction and higher retention rates.

VU Block Model – an Australian first

The VU Block Model

Find out more about VU's Block Model.

The VU Block Model (formerly the 'First Year Model'), an Australian first, was introduced in 2018 and was extended to all undergraduate students in 2020.

This revolutionary model allows students to study their degree in sequential blocks, completing one unit at a time, over three to four weeks, before moving to the next.

Engaging with our heartland, the west of Melbourne

VU was born in, and proudly remains part of, the west of Melbourne. While our reach and our aspirations are now global – we remain focused on our vision – to uplift the communities where we operate.

We have a particular focus on engaging with industries and communities which live and operate in Melbourne’s west. For VU, an institution that is deeply connected with our region, fostering interdisciplinary problem solving is a distinctive feature of our approach to learning and teaching, and research and translation.

We ensure our graduates are prepared to address contemporary and emerging challenges. We give them skills that can be used in their future workplaces in the west and beyond.

Our research, leveraging from its local context, is known for generating outcomes of national and global significance.

Focused on strengthening economic development in the west, WoMEDA is a collaboration between Victoria University, State Government and key stakeholders in the west of Melbourne, including local government and the business community.

Footscray University Town is a bold and innovative partnership between Victoria University and Maribyrnong City Council to revitalise Footscray as a hub of knowledge, learning, creativity and opportunity, with benefits for the whole community.

Engagement with key partners such as Sunshine Hospital will provide opportunities to establish Sunshine as an employment hub.