Strategy 2016 - 2020 - Universitetet i Agder
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Adopted by the UiA University Board 20 June 2016

Strategy 2016 ⟶ 2020

The vision: Co-creation of knowledge

UiA seeks to be an open and inclusive university that is characterized by a culture of cooperation. Knowledge is successfully co-created when staff, students and the larger community challenge each other.

UiA wishes to further develop education and research at a high international level. Knowledge development will take place in a field of tension between close cooperation and critical distance. Together with the larger community, UiA will develop new methods for internal and external cooperation.

Regional, national and global cooperation set up new perspectives and solutions for the society of the future, and UiA is to be a driving force for developing society, culture, and industry and commerce.

The strategy and the university’s social mission

The University of Agder shall offer education and disseminate knowledge as well as carry out research and artistic development work at a high international level. Our vision of “co-creation of knowledge” and our priority areas will clarify the university’s profile and provide a direction for practicing our social mission.  UiA will widen the scope of its dissemination assignment through new forms of cooperation with the community at large.

  • The priority area Learning and Education for the Future shows that we have high ambitions for the students’ learning for the working life of the future, ability to critical reflection and personal development. UiA has similar high ambitions for the staff’s commitment to teaching and research-based education as basis for renewal of our study programmes.
  • The priority area Global Mindset strengthens our position as an attractive partner for cooperation as well as our international profile. UiA shall integrate global issues in study programmes and research, and contribute to solving global challenges. We will encourage cooperation, dialogue and mutual cultural development.
  • The priority area Community Involvement and Innovation provides a direction for how UiA can help in finding solutions to the complex challenges of the future. We will contribute to the development of society by promoting a culture of innovation, take an active part in public debate and develop new models for co – creation of knowledge.

In research, and in scholarly and artistic development work, we co-create with our students, with the wider community and with our international partners. A culture for excellence in research also means a culture for learning, openness and critical thinking. High-quality, international research is the basis for all the priority areas, but will at the same time itself be developed by a successful implementation of strategy. This entails aiming for long-term research goals, high-quality research management and solid research groups.

Further developing research at UiA requires a long-term perspective, beyond this strategy period. The university therefore needs a plan for research and scholarly and artistic development work which incorporates the priority areas of the strategy, but which also looks forward to 2025. 

Focus area

Learning and education for the future

UiA will be an excellent university for studies and teaching. We have high ambitions for the students’ learning and for the staff’s commitment to their teaching.

Our study programmes will be developed in the span between the uniqueness of the subjects, the challenges of society and changes in working life. In order for our students to succeed in a future labour market, they must acquire new knowledge, have the ability to reflect critically and use their knowledge in new ways. A dynamic learning environment will facilitate competence development and personal formation.

Through our study programmes the students’ learning will be characterized by research and development work, and artistic development work. We will develop and implement future-oriented, varied, involving and practice-oriented teaching and learning methods which will give the students good learning conditions and a foundation for life-long learning and community involvement.

UiA will intensify its efforts in the field of further – and continuing education, emphasizing the needs of the region and developments in society at large.

Learning and education for the future

UiA aims to strengthen the links between education, research and artistic development work

Co-creation of knowledge through studies, research and artistic development work will be central to all activities at UiA. Our study programmes and our teaching shall be based on a high scholarly level. Our students will meet, and be included in, research activities at an early stage of their education. The outcome is enhanced ability to reflect critically, learning and scholarly competence. UiA will further develop its study programmes through research-based knowledge, and through research focused on own programmes and teaching activities.

UiA will have clear and future-oriented management of education

Emphasis on clear education management will enhance the quality of study programmes and teaching. We will work strategically and systematically in order to develop the programme portfolio, also within further – and continuing education. UiA will establish a joint system for programme management at all levels, including the PhD programmes. Programme management will ensure unity and coherence in the programmes. This includes facilitating variation in teaching methods, assessment methods and learning activities as well as to establish arenas for scholarly discussions.

UiA will strengthen the teaching competence of its scientific employees

UiA remains committed to high-quality teaching and to providing optimal learning conditions for its students. We will further develop the competence of the scientific employees within teaching, supervision and the use of digital tools through a binding and general programme for competence- raising. A pedagogical merits system will be established and the university will strengthen the Associate Professor – career path.  

UiA shall be characterised by an inclusive learning environment and be at the forefront in using varied and future-oriented work – and assessment methods

An inclusive and living learning environment is an important precondition for the development of knowledge and personal formation. We have high ambitions for our students’ learning and learning outcomes. We will further develop and implement future-oriented, varied and involving teaching and learning methods. In order to give additional weight to the aspect of working – life relevance, the students will take part in practice-oriented learning activities. We will also involve the students in the academic community by participation in research projects and research-like learning processes.

Focus area

Global mindset

A global mindset will be an integrated part of UiA culture, while at the same time we will be conscious of the beneficial preconditions we enjoy as a Norwegian university.

Global issues will be integrated in both study programmes and research. In both national and global cooperation UiA will present research at a high international level. This is one of the preconditions for being able to offer excellent education and for maintaining our role as a significant actor in society at large.

Our campuses shall make visible that UiA is an inviting and inclusive host for Norwegian and international students as well as for employees and cooperation partners. The campuses will be an exciting and dynamic arena for co-creation.

Global mindset

UiA will strengthen research quality by developing a strong international profile

In order to produce high-quality, international research we will develop our networks in all areas. Academic environments will increase their participation and visibility in the international research discourse. We aim to strengthen our participation in the global arenas and in international projects and research programmes. UiA will attract, support and keep talented researchers. Through recruitment, infrastructure and facilitation we will further develop research groups to be at the forefront internationally.

A global mindset will be an integrated part of the university’s environment and culture of self-formation

Meetings between people and cultures across borders enrich research, study programmes and our role as an institution for self-formation. Students, staff and guests from other countries must be met with openness and feel themselves included. We will establish meeting places which stimulate to dialogue and mutual cultural development.

UiA’s study programmes shall integrate global perspectives and invite to an international environment for learning – and co-creation

In a steadily more globalized world the demand for both global insight and experience is growing; in working life as well as in society in general. All our study programmes will therefore comprise both Norwegian and global perspectives and include possibilities for student exchange. We will develop more studies which may attract an increasingly international student population. For the staff, global culture – and competence building will be facilitated.

Our study programmes, research and artistic development work will be internationally visible

Strengthening the visibility of our study programmes and research will contribute to making UiA into a preferred partner, educational institution and employer. UiA needs an active dialogue with the world, and will gradually increase its use of interactive media for research dissemination and sharing of knowledge.

UiA will actively contribute to providing answers to global challenges through purposeful building of capacity and exchange of knowledge with international partners, especially in the global south

We will strengthen our involvement in the global south in long-term cooperation with Norwegian and international partners. Through joint educational programmes and R&D both UiA and its partners will increase their competence and their contribution to development. 

Focus area

Social involvement and innovation

The University of Agder will make a difference for students, staff and the community. In close cooperation with the region, UiA will meet the complex challenges of the future. UiA will strengthen its relevance and visibility by challenging, supporting and improving society.

UiA will conduct research and artistic development work and provide research based knowledge for developing the society of the future.

UiA will have a clearly defined role as facilitator and contributor for promoting innovation in community, culture and enterprises and strengthen research based innovation in the region and beyond. This will take place in close cooperation and co-creation with local public and private enterprises.

Staff and students at UiA will be active participants in the public debate. The university wishes to ensure a free, critical and open debate and to contribute with analyses for the culture, trade and industry and public life of the future.

UiA will increase its commitment to developing regional culture, commerce and industry and other public and private enterprises. Staff and student will meet in various forums in order to maintain the university’s position as an active participant in discussions of important societal challenges like sustainability, economic development, plurality, gender equality, migration and social justice.

Social involvement and innovation

Research as well as scholarly and artistic development work will be more closely linked to the university’s public involvement

Research and scholarly and artistic development work are the basis for the university’s social involvement. In cases where better solutions to the challenges of the future can be found through interdisciplinary approaches, UiA will facilitate for these.  Students will be involved in research projects and artistic development work that are relevant to the community at large.

The University of Agder will contribute to innovation

New ideas and innovation are decisive factors for the development of the region, both concerning competitiveness, a dynamic cultural life and for ensuring future-oriented welfare solutions and other public services. UiA will have a clear role as facilitator and contributor for increasing both research-based and experience-based innovation. Furthermore, UiA will offer relevant teaching for life-long learning and future-oriented needs. The university will also be an active participant and contributor to the development of ideas and knowledge, and increase its efforts in commercialization of research-based business ideas.

The University of Agder will be promoting new ideas in the social debate

Students and staff at UiA will be active in the public debate. The university will challenge the various participants with new questions and problems and contribute with relevant knowledge, critical reflections and in-depth understanding. We will be part of a culture that is characterized by courage, clarity, respect and integrity in the social debate.

The University of Agder will interact and co-create with the community

Staff and students will follow closely social challenges and problems like sustainability, economic development, plurality, gender equality, migration and social justice. UiA will develop further and establish new arenas and forms of interaction and co-creation. Jointly, UiA and the community must have the courage to experiment and try out new solutions and forms of cooperation.

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