Mission Statements

Mission statements are commonly known as a summary of the aims and values of an organization or individual [1]. In the HigherEd context, mission statements represent the goals and direction that the respective academics institutions undertake, or its fundamental purpose. To expand more on these complex statements, the following sections analyze mission statements from two different universities: The University of Melbourne in Melbourne-Australia, and USFQ University in Quito-Ecuador. I chose those two universities among all others because although both universities are from very different contexts, I found a lot of similarities within their missions. And because I was lucky enough to attend and experience both institutions.

The University of Melbourne:

‘The University of Melbourne aims to be one of the finest universities in the world. Growing Esteem is the University’s strategy for achieving high regard and for making a distinctive contribution to society.

The Triple Helix metaphor describes the character of the University and the importance of its core activities — ResearchLearning and teaching, and Engagement programs. These three strands of the helix are supported and enabled by our leadership and by our people, infrastructure, polices, planning, administration and resources.

The Triple Helix metaphor represents the tightly bound nature of our academic programs with each strand shaping and reinforcing the other”. [2]

 USFQ University:

“La USFQ forma, educa, investiga, y sirve a la comunidad dentro de la filosofía de las Artes liberales, integrando a todos los sectores de la sociedad”

 Translation:

“USFQ forms, educates, researches, and serves the community within the philosophy of the liberal arts, integrating all sectors of society” [3]

 Although this mission statement specifies the areas where The University of Melbourne concentrates its efforts (research, learning and teaching), and the overall aspects that contribute to the strategy implemented to achieve its goal, it also highlights the main purpose of all the mentioned efforts: “Making a distinctive contribution to society”. As an alumnus of this institution, I can testify that it is during my years in this university when I realized how to pursue social justice from my own career. The classes that I was exposed to had two main components: Theory or knowledge distribution, and application examples of it. This was a very helpful strategy to understand of all the diverse ways of how I could apply my training to tackle practical cases with the cities in which we live. I found that this mission statement is not only inspiring (for the purposefully efforts to contribute to social justice), but also very applied to the everyday experience the university provide to its students.

 Similarly, USFQ university specifies its efforts promoting a liberal arts system in order to form its students within a multidisciplinary philosophy. Besides the contribution of this statement to the current global issues regarding the lack of diversity awareness, USFQ mission statement highlights its aim to both serve the community, and to integrate all the sectors of it. This is a research statement that is applied in the daily experience the university promotes to the students, and I can testify that as an alumnus of that university because it is because of this institution, that I was able to access a lot of abroad opportunities that has definitely broaden my perspective of the world and strengthened my passion for social justice.

Finally, despite all the information that mission statements provide regarding the different universities, the provided analysis is just another example of all the great impact that higher institutions have (can have) in induvial lives, communities, and why not the world.

 References:

[1] https://www.thebalance.com/mission-statement-2947996

[2] http://about.unimelb.edu.au/strategy-and-leadership

[3] http://www.usfq.edu.ec/sobre_la_usfq/Paginas/sobre_nosotros.aspx

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