Mission Statements Blog

In this blog post, I will reflect on the mission statements of the two public universities where I pursued or pursuing my higher education. I completed my bachelor’s from the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IIT-H) in 2016 and have been pursuing my graduate studies at Virginia Tech (VT) since 2016.  IIT-H is fairly young research and teaching university (~12 years old) in the southern part of India. On the contrary, Virginia Tech is a very well established and internationally renowned research and teaching university. As such, I expected that both the universities will have a different outlook for mission statements. I will share the mission statements and compare them in the remainder of this blog post.

Mission statement – Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad [1]  

“To be recognized as ideators and leaders in higher education and research, and to develop human power with creativity, technology and passion for the betterment of India and humankind.”

Mission statement – Virginia Tech [2]

“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.”

Contrary to my preconception, both the mission statements of these two universities have a similar underpinning objective – the betterment of humankind in the case of IITH and improving the quality of life and the human condition in the case VT. One reason could be that younger universities in third world countries such as IIT-H are being influenced by the leading universities in the west and are adapting their ways and values.

Another interesting feature that I noticed is that the mission statement of IIT-H is aimed directly towards the improvement of the whole country and beyond, unlike VT, which is aiming first in the state and then throughout the world. It is relevant to mention that IITs are premier institutions in India, and almost every state has an IIT [3]. Therefore, I was baffled to notice that the mission statement is not aimed for the state first and country and beyond later. I think the reason behind this is behind the factors that motivated the birth of respective universities. IITs were launched to support and pioneer post-war development in India in the 1950s. At that time, only a handful of universities were proposed (4-5) to prevent regional imbalance, which is now expanded to 23 to meet the growing demands. On the other hand, VT is a land-grant university, and each state was facilitated at least one land-grant university [4].

Finally, in line with the findings of Cortés-Sánchez [5], both the mission statements aspire a global influence and do not possess any quantitative elements. I think the mission statement does not need to provide quantitative details and that the statement should guide the university’s strategic plans, goals, and initiative, which often include quantitative and measurable metrics.


[1] https://iith.ac.in/about/aboutiith/#vision

[2] https://www.president.vt.edu/Office/mission-statement.html

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Institutes_of_Technology

[4] https://www.britannica.com/topic/land-grant-university

[5] https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2017/12/20/what-do-universities-want-to-be-a-content-analysis-of-mission-and-vision-statements-worldwide/

6 Replies to “Mission Statements Blog”

  1. Thank you, Vamsi for sharing your blog. Actually, it’s a great idea that chooses the university mission statement for institutions that you have experiences with. It is interesting these universities you reflect met in the development of the countries. It’s a great idea to compare two universities from different countries. From your post, I have learned one of the Indian institutions and let to take a look at the VT statement mission. Thank you again.

  2. Hi, Vamsi. I enjoyed reading your post comparing the mission statements of two universities that you have personally attended. I’m interested to know how you feel these mission statements are manifested in the environments of both universities as you have been a part of both. I also think it’s interesting that both universities commit to having a global impact. I think this is something new that many universities are including in their missions as the world is becoming more and more connected.

    1. Thank you for your comments, Zakia. I think both the universities are performing inline with their mission statements, but I believe VT has more resources to make a higher contribution to my undergraduate college.

  3. Hey Vamsi, I really enjoy reading your post. As someone who has experienced life as a student in both universities, which university do you think lives by their statement the most?

    1. Thank you for your comment, Nicholas. As I mentioned in response to Zakia’s comment, I think both the universities are performing inline with their mission statements. Still, I believe VT has more resources to make a higher contribution to my undergraduate university. Also, as my undergraduate university is still a young university, I think it is not easy for it to become “To be recognized as ideators and leaders in higher education and research.” However, I think it is an admirable goal.

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