Universities Mission Statements

This blog comes from an assignment which asks me to find mission statements from two different universities. In my case, I found the mission statements from Cambridge University and Virginia Tech.

Cambridge University’s mission is:

“The mission of the University of Cambridge is to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning, and research at the highest international levels of excellence.”

This is the simplest mission statement I have seen during my search. Cambridge University is located in Cambridge, England. It is the world’s fourth-oldest surviving university. One fact that I noticed about this mission statement is that it does not address the local community. Most mission statements that I saw address the regional interest and then wider interest. I think the reason why Cambridge says “contribute to society” rather than “contribute to England and the society” is related to its location and its long history. Europe has many countries with small areas (comparing to U.S.). Low travel cost between Cambridge and other countries leads to stronger communication between them. The international communication has been established throughout its long history. So, I think, that explains why there is no regional interest addressed.

Virginia Tech’s mission is

“Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) is a public land-grant university serving the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world community. The discovery and dissemination of new knowledge are central to its mission. Through its focus on teaching and learning, research and discovery, and outreach and engagement, the university creates, conveys, and applies knowledge to expand personal growth and opportunity, advance social and community development, foster economic competitiveness, and improve the quality of life.”

Its land-grant property needs it to address global interest as well as regional interest. One point that catches my eyes is that Virginia Tech acknowledges individual’s “growth and opportunity” and “quality of life.” Comparing to Cambridge, Virginia Tech has more dimensions in its goal.

In most universities’ mission, teaching, learning, and research are mentioned. I think that’s the role of higher education: deliver the human knowledge until its boundary and expand the boundary.