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The new strategy for the University of Agder: strengthening our position as a co-creative university

On Tuesday, the University Board decided that Co-creation of tomorrow`s knowledge is to be UiA’s new vision for 2021-2024.

Rector Sunniva Whittaker holding the poster with UiA’s strategic plan for the period 2021-2024.
Rector Sunniva Whittaker holding the poster with UiA’s strategic plan for the period 2021-2024.
The University Board endorsed UiA’s new strategic plan during a meeting on 16 June at Scandic Bystranda in Kristiansand.

The University Board endorsed UiA’s new strategic plan during a meeting on 16 June at Scandic Bystranda in Kristiansand.

“We build further upon our 2016-2020-strategy and the Plan for research and academic and artistic development 2017-2027.  Now, we add research as a central theme in our strategy. We also aim to look ahead, at how the world is changing. We wish to focus on how our university can contribute to developing the knowledge needed in the future”, says Rector Sunniva Whittaker.

The new strategic plan became final during the University Board meeting on Tuesday. It will be valid for the period 2021 - 2024.

UiA's strategy for 2021-2024

Co-creative university UiA

Co-creation of Knowledge was UiA’s previous vision. Now, this is adjusted to Co-creation of tomorrow’s knowledge.  UiA will work towards promoting its position as a co-creative university.

“Co-creating of knowledge is a term that we have all become familiar with during the last four years. Moreover, the term naturally suits the role we have in this region”, adds Whittaker.

Interdisciplinary solutions

UiA intends to focus on interdisciplinary expertise to find sustainable solutions. Six interdisciplinary priority areas are part of the new strategy. These are Technology in a changing society, The green shift, Democracy & active citizenship, Public health & living conditions, Education & formation, and Art & Society.

“We wanted to make it clear to the outside world in which direction we are heading. At the same time, internally, these interdisciplinary priorities can be used as a tool to gather scholars from other academic environments with common fields of interest.  In this way, we will benefit from different perspectives in every priority area”, explains Whittaker.

Diversity and respect

The four values openness, trust, academic quality and respect form the foundation of the new strategy. UiA’s academic culture is characterised by academic freedom, sustainability and diversity.

“These values and our academic culture already define UiA at present, but we should continuously reinforce them. Diversity, for example, is highly relevant internationally as well as at home in Norway, as clearly illustrated by the latest events involving ethnical diversity.  There is zero tolerance for racism at UiA, and we must contribute to the fight of racism in our society, says Whittaker.

A year-long process

The preparation of the new strategic plan started last year. In the first stage, notes for discussion were sent out for public review and feedback from the organisation in September 2019.  Based on this, a strategy draft was published internally and externally, with a deadline for comments on 30 April 2020.

After reviewing all comments from faculties, administrative departments and several external parties, the UiA Board put together the preliminary version of the plan during their May meeting.  The final version of UiA’s Strategy 2021-2024 was endorsed today.

Implementation and plan of action

From autumn onwards, there will be a lot of activity around action plans and the implementation of specific measures.

“This is where the real work starts. We need to make sure we involve the entire organisation in this phase too so that the strategic plan is experienced as relevant and meaningful. We should clearly define the organisational goals we aim to reach”, says Whittaker.