To be honest, I personally have never heard of the concept of the mission statement of the universities before taking this course, all the criteria I use to judge a university’s value and the target is from its motto, which, of course, is less informative than the mission statement.
As the mission statement of one university can be very useful, I choose to list the two mission statement from the two universities I am/was in to make a comparison and give some comments based on my own experience. The first one is Xi’an Jiaotong University located in Xi’an China where I had my undergrad research:
“Xi’an Jiaotong University is committed to cultivating outstanding students who advocate pursuing science, make practical innovations, work hard and steadily, and have noble-minded virtues and a strong sense of social responsibility, and to preserving, generating, and disseminating knowledge so as to contribute to science and technology advances, social development, and human civilization in China and the world.”
The first sentence of the statement (occupied more than half of the length) has stressed on the character of the student, which clearly states the requirement for being a qualified student. The second half of the statement stresses on responsibilities of the university to the country and the world. As one of the top engineering universities in China, with strong support from the government, the university has very good resources and can recruit very good students across the country. After that, the university tends to build a very competitive environment that encourages students to compete for the resources, of course, the students can build their character through this process. However, sometimes it makes the students feel very stressful and much pressured, for the teachers as well. The second part of the statement shows that the university really cares about its social responsibilities and it is also doing very good work on that by sending out more than 4000 engineers with a solid foundation to the society every year.
Now we can take a look at the mission statement of Virginia Tech:
“Inspired by our land-grant identity and guided by our motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech is an inclusive community of knowledge, discovery, and creativity dedicated to improving the quality of life and the human condition within the Commonwealth of Virginia and throughout the world.”
As a land-grant university. Virginia Tech definitely has a more inclusive and open spirit and it can be felt that the environment is less competitive and more encouraging, being a faculty probably would be more flexible and more creative. It also stresses on the social responsibilities of the university by quoting the university motto and by mentioning improve the quality of life and the human condition in the statement. In addition, as a public university funded by the state of Virginia, the university put the Commonwealth of Virginia ahead of the world, which is also reasonable.
The mission statement of one university can be very informative and here I listed the two I have experienced to share with you.