We exist because… : Mission Statements of HE institutions

Everything exists for a reason, and in the case of institutions of higher education, this reason drives how young people are prepared to be the future leaders and prime movers in their chosen disciplines. Institutions of higher education articulate the reason for their existence through their mission statements, and for this post I chose to share mission statements from institutions in my part of the world: universities from Asia.

The first mission statement is from the Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) in Davao City, the Philippines. It is a private, Catholic, non-profit Master’s University, and offers both basic (Pre-K through High School) and higher education programs. I actually studied at the Ateneo de Davao from Kindergarten through 6th grade, earned both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees there, and eventually taught in (and continue to be part of the roster of faculty of) its School of Engineering and Architecture. Needless to say, it is a University that is very much a part of me and is close to my heart.

MISSION

The Ateneo de Davao excels in the formation of leaders
for the Philippine Church and society,
especially for Mindanao. It excels further in the promotion of the faith that does justice,
in cultural sensitivity and transformation,
and in inter-religious dialogue,
particularly with the Muslim and Lumad communities of Mindanao.
It promotes communities touched and transformed by the faith,
communities of peace and human well-being,
culturally resilient yet able to adapt to the modern world.
It promotes social justice, gender equality, good governance,
the creation of wealth and its equitable distribution.
It engages vigorously in environmental protection,
the preservation of bio-diversity, and
the promotion of renewable energy.
It leads in Philippine educational reform,
especially for the peoples of Southern Philippines.

This mission statement was drafted and approved in 2011, the year our current University President, Fr. Joel E. Tabora, S.J., was installed. As a Jesuit University, the mission incorporates key elements of an Ignatian philosophy and education, and focuses on being involved in the concerns and issues of the island of Mindanao (where the University is located) and the Philippines. At first glance, the Mission statement seems a bit lengthy and wordy; it is, however, in keeping with what the institution stands for and hopes to accomplish.

The second mission statement is from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. I sought this mission statement because NTU is a highly-ranked (13th globally) research university in our region that is known for its engineering programs; as an engineering educator in the Southern Philippines, NTU is an institution that we look up to and aspire to be.

Vision and Mission

A great global university founded on science and technology,
nurturing leaders through research and a broad education in diverse disciplines.

What struck me immediately when I found NTU’s mission statement was its brevity… having gone from viewing AdDU’s mission statement, this quick three-liner was surprising. I do believe, however, that this statement reflects what NTU strives to deliver (and which, I might add, they are able to do successfully).

Both mission statements indicate a focus on science, technology, and research, and in the formation of leaders. As a religious-affiliated University, however, AdDU’s mission statement explicitly includes and articulates matters of faith and culture as well; while NTU mentions broad education, it does not go into specifics as to what this broad education encompasses.

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2 Responses to We exist because… : Mission Statements of HE institutions

  1. Karen R. says:

    Wow, what a difference in the mission statements! It is quite interesting however brief or lengthy, they really do seem to reflect the higher education institution. Thanks for the post, as I am glad to see some of the mission statements from other parts of the world. Now, you’ve made me curious to look up some others!

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