Mission and Vision of Higher Education Institutions

Mission statements, as Dean DePauw mentioned during the class, usually provides guidance for the development of higher education institutions.  As mission statements focusing more on the university’s current performance, status, and targets, vision statements outline a university’s future goals, motivating and inspiring all its faculty, staff and students to push their boundaries and achieve more accomplishments. In some universities, mission and vision statements are combined together to demonstrate a consistent development.

Interestingly, most of the Chinese universities I originally come from do not have mission statements, largely due to a culture difference. Chinese universities usually aim at becoming a world-class university or a top university in China while fostering and reserving talents for the development of society and country. The university spirit tends to embedded in the motto. For example, the university motto of Tshinghua University is “Development of self in accordance with celestial principle of consistency; Cultivation of amplitude in emulation of earth’s benevolent support of man and nature.” Some Asian universities do have mission and vision statements, and below are two examples:

University of Tokyo    University-of-Tokyo-Logo


The University of Tokyo aims to be a world-class platform for research and education, contributing to human knowledge in partnership with other leading global universities. The University of Tokyo aims to nurture global leaders with a strong sense of public responsibility and a pioneering spirit, possessing both deep specialism and broad knowledge. The University of Tokyo aims to expand the boundaries of human knowledge in partnership with society.

Link: http://www.u-tokyo.ac.jp/en/about/mission.html

Location and country: Tokyo, Japan

Type of university: Doctoral granting university

Highlights: University of Tokyo is among the top 3 universities in Asia and also one of the best among the world. In the mission statement, it emphasizes on three internally connected points, i.e. leadership, knowledge and society. Students admitted to UTokyo are educated as future leaders in every field. These future leaders with a strong sense of public responsibility will contribute more to local community, society, and the whole country. A pioneering spirit will urge leaders to push their boundaries for self-development while seeking the truth and facts, which in return advances the technical development and social welfare. A pioneering spirit also implicates a spirit of bold and sacrifice that is embedded in traditional Japanese culture.

National University of Singaporepartner-national-university-of-singapore-7gkfredv9i


To transform the way people think and do things through education, research and service.


A leading global university centred in Asia, influencing the future.

Link: http://www.nus.edu.sg/about

Location and country: Singapore, Singapore

Type of university: Doctoral granting university

Highlights: NUS is also a top 3 university in Asia. Being a concise statement, the mission focuses on people, research and service, besides a university’s basic function of education. Through education, NUS wants to foster an innovative way of thinking, i.e. to think outside of box or from different perspectives. An innovative campus also encourages students to step out of their comfort zone and collaborate on interdisciplinary research projects. The second part of the mission expects students to actively engage in service. The campus is just a small part of society, and students need to apply what they learn into the real world for self-realization. This education-research-service nexus can greatly benefit the community and society, and that is probably the reason why NUS can have so many accomplishments in such short years.

The vision is more concentrate on the future influence of NUS. Currently, it has many collaborated colleges aiming at developing cutting-edge techniques and producing well-educated leaders, such as Duke-NUS and Yale-NUS colleges. I was lucky enough to study here as a graduate student for 2 years, to feel the dynamic campus, diversified teaching approaches and collaborated with talents from all over the world on team projects. I believe that, with abundant government investment and nourishing academic atmosphere, NUS will certainly move beyond a leading global university.


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