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UiA launches ten-year plan for research

A new plan for research and academic and artistic development forms the basis of the university’s development towards 2027.

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University of Agder main building, photo
The University of Agder has been working at the R&D plan since November 2016.

The University of Agder (UiA) is launching a plan for research and academic and artistic development (R&D plan) in autumn 2017, with a designated period from 2017 to 2027.

The plan contains the vision and measures related to six different areas of the university’s operations:

“We are a young university, working continuously to develop and improve as an education and research institution,” says Vice Rector for research, dissemination and innovation, Stephen Seiler.

He points out that delivering research and artistic development of a world class standard requires effective infrastructure, good partnerships, and first-rate researchers who collaborate both from within and across the subject branches.

portrett Stephen Seiler, bilde

Vice rector Stephen Seiler.

Six areas

The plan is a supplement to, and a continuation of, UIA’s strategy for 2017-2020, and shows how the structures surrounding research and academic and artistic development can be built in order to equip the university and its staff to give the research the best possible conditions for growth.

The work with the R&D plan has been going on since November 2016. It was then that dialogue meetings were held at all of the Faculties. From these meetings, six areas emerged that were particularly important for further work.

“I am very happy with how this plan has developed. We have worked from the bottom up and involved those people who actually carry out the research, lead the research groups, apply for external funding, and think about these issues daily,” says Seiler.

Prioritising career development

Seiler emphasises UIA’s work with recruitment and career development as one area with the potential for improvement. This is particularly important since the university competes for the best staff in a global market.

“The people are the most important resource that our organisation has. The next ten years will be particularly important in this respect because many of our colleagues will retire.”

The R&D plan lays the foundations for developing the university independent of academic initiatives, staff and other circumstances.

“To succeed in reaching our goal about delivering world-leading research in some fields, we need to prioritise at different levels of the organisation. But we want to ensure that all of our staff have access to good support and development opportunities regardless of where they are today,” says Seiler.

Career development important

portrett Simone Heinz, bilde

Resarch director Simone Heinz.

Research Director Simone Heinz at UIA is also satisfied with how the R&D plan has been implemented and integrated into the organisation. She stresses the importance of career development for academic staff as an area that the university should work on.

“This is an area in which we have great potential. If we offer a good career development path, we will also become an attractive workplace for international researchers. We want them to come to us to work, but it is equally important that they want to remain,” says Heinz.

Whilst UIA’s strategy is followed up with a series of measures in the organisation, the R&D plan will be implemented through the action plans of the various university units.

“All Faculties and units work further with the measures in this plan, and this work is also something which UIA’s Board will emphasise,” says Heinz.

Unusual with a ten year plan

“The challenge with the plan is that it is a ten-year plan, and that the university as an organisation is not used to thinking so far ahead. We must work in a dedicated fashion to get to where we want to be in ten years,” says Vice Rector Seiler.

Seiler calls the R&D plan a road map, which will become more detailed in time.

“The plan is important for everybody who wants to work in a dedicated manner in order to make UIA a really good university and a good place to work,” he says.