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What are the benefits of reviewing institutional values and how they are lived?

Benefits, as well as the inevitable challenges inherent in this process, will depend on the starting point and particular circumstances of each university. Ultimately and ideally, a Living Values exercise enables a university to enhance its performance in teaching, learning, and research and strengthen its sense of community. In addition, the exercise helps to demonstrate to the outside world why the university makes certain decisions and which values it hopes to instil in its graduates.

More specifically, benefits identified from the pilot sites and other experience include:

  • an evaluation of current and desired values, the extent to which they are relevant and are put into practice, and how they might enhance what the university does and how it does it;
  • identifying where there might be a gap between the values espoused and their actual implementation and how they might be more effectively and beneficially implemented;
  • an externally facilitated opportunity to reflect on institutional culture and ethos as exemplified by its value system;
  • an opportunity to build and strengthen the academic community and its engagement within the university as a whole, leading to an enhanced appreciation of an institution’s values and mission (if done well, this should stimulate innovation and commitment, leading to improved performance in teaching, research, and service to the community);
  • an opportunity to engage with external stakeholders, communicate the values and mission, and strengthen engagement;
  • identification and removal of barriers to the realisation of an institution’s values;
  • a closer alignment of individual and institutional values;
  • enhanced social engagement and building of trust, internally with staff and students and externally with stakeholders.

The changes and benefits reported by the pilot universities can be found here.