Information for Council Members

Mission and Profile of the College

Mission and Strategic Aims

Goldsmiths Mission Statement was revised during 2005-06 and is now as follows:

We offer a transformative experience, generating knowledge and stimulating self-discovery through creative, radical and intellectually rigorous thinking and practice.

A statement of Strategic Aims, Mission and Values of the College, including re-affirmation of the above Mission Statement, was approved by Council on 29 November 2012 [Strategic Plan and Mission  - download pdf].

The College publishes a more detailed version of the Strategic Plan on the dedicated Strategic Plan Website.

Scope of the College's activities

The College's teaching and research is conducted through academic departments and two other independent academic units, as follows:

Educational Studies
English and Comparative Literature
Media and Communications
Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies
Theatre and Performance 
Visual Cultures
Centre for English Language and Academic Writing (formerly Language Studies Centre)
Centre for Cultural Studies
Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship
Confucius Institute

Outline statistical information is also available on the website.



All members of the academic staff at Goldsmiths are expected to conduct original research as a major part of their duties.

The research strengths of Goldsmiths are independently judged and graded in periodic national assessment exercises conducted by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (most recent exercises in 1996, 2001 and 2008 - known as the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE)). The grades awarded have a direct effect on the allocation of public funds to institutions for subsequent years. The next assessment exercise (under the new Research Excellence Framework (REF)) will be conducted in 2013-14 (submissions: Autumn 2013).

The outcomes for Goldsmiths of the 2008 Research Assessments have been published.



Details of the College's degree programmes are set out in the prospectus which is sent to Council members annually, and on the College website.

Overall, about half the College's students are aiming for qualifications at postgraduate level. Mature students form a significant proportion of the student body. An increasing proportion of students comes from outside the UK.

The College obtained degree-awarding powers at the meeting of the Privy Council on 11 May 2010, following an application and assessment process launched in 2007 and involving many visits to the College by a panel of auditors from  the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), who also conducted an extensive review of documentation over this period.

In conjunction with the assessment of the degree-awarding powers application, the QAA also conducted one its regular audits of provision (carried out at all universities): the 2009 Institutional Audit Report is published on the QAA website. The emphasis of the institutional audit process is on the procedures by which the institution assures its own standards, rather than on direct assessment of the standards attained. 

The next visit by the QAA is expected in 2014-15.

For the foreseeable future, Goldsmiths intends to use its degree-awarding powers for collaborative provision only, and to continue to award University of London degrees to its New Cross-based students and its honorary graduands.  The College is about to launch a partnership with LASALLE Institute of the Arts, Singapore, and Goldsmiths' own degrees will be awarded to students on those programmes.

The Estate

The College's buildings are concentrated in a relatively compact area within New Cross, and are of a wide-range of types dating from the mid-nineteenth century onwards. While this gives us a more stimulating working environment than most higher education institutions enjoy - the College being particularly fortunate in possessing the Deptford Town Hall building (Lanchester and Rickards 1903-5) and Laurie Grove Baths (Dinwiddy, 1898 - see bottom of page indicated by the hyperlink) as well as the Richard Hoggart Building (formerly Main Building: Shaw, 1843) - the practical problems arising from a historically diverse estate which is not purpose-built are significant. In recent years Council has placed a high priority on funding backlog maintenance work of the older buildings.

A recent College building project is the Ben Pimlott Building designed by Alsops and opened in 2005. The facilities of this landmark building include a combination of new studio and lab spaces designed to facilitate creative interactions between the visual arts, psychology and computing. In 2007 and 2008 the College completed a major refurbishment project on the late-1960's Whitehead Building (originally designed by Enthoven & Mock).

The most significant recent building project has been the new academic building on the backfield site (completion August 2010), the main occupant being the Department of Media and Communications. Internal improvements have also recently been made to the Rutherford Building, which houses the Library and IT facilities. Future Developments will be guided by the Estate Master Plan, which is in course of updating.

Please see also the website of the Estates and Facilities Department, which includes information about environmental projects.


Content last modified: 04 Jul 2014

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