Nobel Prize winning poet and honorary graduate Seamus Heaney has described the University of Dundee as "having its head in the clouds and its feet firmly on the ground." The ability to be both aspirational and down-to earth, to blend ground-breaking intellectual achievement with practical applications, has given the University its distinctive character. There have been many changes since the University became an independent institution in 1967 following a 70 year relationship with the University of St Andrews but the fundamental aim remains. The aim has been rearticulated in our Transformation Vision. It’s what we do today and it’s what we have always done. It is to: "transform lives locally & globally through the creation, sharing and application of knowledge." Today this aim translates as excellence in teaching and research and contributing to the social, economic and cultural life of Scotland and the wider world. We will continue to focus the University as it powers forward to become Scotland’s leading university with excellence in teaching, research and the wider impact of both these key areas of activity. To help us complete the first stage of this journey we need a route map covering the five years to 2017. The University Strategy to 2017 fulfils this requirement.