About JCU Strategic direction

Strategic direction

JCU has many different strategies, plans, statements and reports that capture the University’s strategic direction across its core activities.

Strategic intent

JCU aims to create a brighter future for life in the Tropics worldwide through graduates and discoveries that make a difference.

An international University as reflected in our people, our places, and our research, we aim to support the people and societies, natural world, built environment, and health systems that the populations of the Tropics depend on.

Download the JCU Statement of Strategic Intent (PDF, 102 KB).

We are a comprehensive University. Our teaching and research focus on four themes:

  • Tropical Ecosystems and Environment
  • Industries and Economies in the Tropics
  • Peoples and Societies in the Tropics
  • Tropical Health, Medicine and Biosecurity

The Tropics is our place: a vast geographic area that Aristotle called the Torrid Zone. Our three tropical campuses are complemented and extended by regional and remote study centres and research stations.

Students are at the heart of our University and we inspire them to make a difference in their fields of endeavour and in their communities by:

  • Delivering high quality teaching and learning programs in a research-rich environment, and
  • Fostering their professional expertise and intellectual curiosity.

The communities we serve are diverse, featuring distributed populations requiring innovative and sustainable solutions.

Our world-class research generates new knowledge and understanding to meet the challenges facing the peoples of the Tropics.

Embracing the diversity of the communities we serve in two countries, we work with them to create opportunities and enduring benefits for our region and beyond.

Acknowledging the First Nation peoples of the world, their rich cultures and their knowledge of the natural environment, we pay particular respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the traditional custodians of the lands and waters of Australia.

We are pledged to achieve genuine and sustainable reconciliation between the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the wider community.

Committed to the principles of sustainability, we will ensure that our actions today do not limit the range of social, cultural, environmental and economic options open to future generations.

Values and beliefs

Our actions are underpinned by our values and beliefs.

  • Excellence
  • Authenticity
  • Integrity
  • Sustainability
  • Mutual Respect
  • Discovery
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • We recognise that knowledge has the power to change lives.
  • We ignite and support a passion for learning in our community.
  • We are enriched by and celebrate our communities’ diversity.
  • We understand that a sustainable environment is central to our lives and our work.
  • We strive to anticipate and respond to our community’s needs, delivering education and research in flexible ways.
  • We uphold our commitments.

Strategies and plans

University Plan

The University Plan expresses how we intend to respond to the challenges facing JCU and the Australian higher education sector over the 2018-2022 period. It highlights the primacy of our academic ambitions (via the Academic Plan) and identifies the services and capabilities required to fulfil these.

Academic Plan

The Academic Plan (PDF, 1534 KB) provides context and more detailed information around our academic aspirations and curriculum framework, and identifies executive and operational leads for initiatives. This plan is linked to and part of the broader University Plan.

International engagement strategy

The International Engagement Strategy commits us to achieving comprehensive internationalisation across all dimensions. The strategy sets out how we are connecting JCU to the world and the world to JCU, and ensure that a more internationalised JCU benefits our local communities and economies.

Innovation strategy

The Innovation Strategy outlines our approach to building and supporting a vibrant innovation ecosystem, developing products and processes with real commercial application and driving economic growth.

University statements

Reconciliation statement

JCU is committed to working towards the achievement of genuine and sustainable reconciliation between Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the wider community. The Reconciliation Statement and supporting Reconciliation Action Plan help articulate JCU's plans to improve the lives of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through education and research.

Sustainability statement

The Sustainability Statement formalises JCU's commitment to working towards equitable and sustainable development in Northern Queensland, Northern Australia, the Tropics, and worldwide.

Statement on eliminating sexual harassment and sexual assault

JCU is committed to fostering a community that features, at its core, respect, inclusion and safety for all. The Statement of Commitment to the Elimination of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault is part of a suite of initiatives designed to help prevent and respond to sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Modern slavery statement

Modern slavery includes human trafficking, slavery and practices involving servitude, forced labour, forced or servile marriage, debt bondage and the worst forms of child labour. The Modern Slavery Statement (PDF, 2633 KB) sets out JCU’s actions to address these risks in our business and supply chain.


Annual report

The Annual Report contains information about our activities, key performance indicators and financial statements.

Impact report

Our contribution to human capital is an important catalyst for growth, economic activity and wellbeing in regional areas. The Impact Report examines the impact of JCU’s operations on the Townsville, Cairns and Queensland economies.