UG Mission and Strategy
THE UNIVERSITY OF GDAŃSK DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY THROUGH 2020
(unified text of September 26, 2013)
1. THE UNIVERSITY OF GDAŃSK –TRADITION, CORE VALUES, MISSION, AND VISION
Tradition: From its foundation in 1970, the University of Gdańsk has shaped its own distinctive structures and systems of academic work, thereby integrating the humanities, social studies, biological sciences, and exact sciences in the Pomeranian region. To its academic inheritance it has brought new and enduring cognitive and educational elements, becoming one of the leading Polish centers of scholarship, science, research, and education, and one that is recognized as such throughout the world. This is the case both in areas of research and education that flourish under the banner of in mari via tua (in the sea lies your path), and in others that constitute fields of research and education typical for modern universities.
Values: The core values of the University of Gdańsk are: rational pursuit of the truth through innovative research; pursuit of the best models of scholarship, science, and research available in the world; innovative education serving the development of civilization and society; mutual respect and trust; tolerance of diversity of views; and the solidarity of the entire academic community.
Mission: The mission of the University is to educate highly-valued graduates who possess broad knowledge, abilities, and competences that are essential in an economic-social life based on knowledge, and to make a permanent contribution to the scientific-scholarly knowledge of the world and toward the solution of its central contemporary problems.
Vision: The next decade of the University’s development will be marked by the achievement of new levels of quality in education, research, and co-operation with the environment. Education will comprise a broader range of courses of study, enriched with new valuable and useful program contents, delivered through innovative teaching methods. Research will be pursued using advanced methods, and will take in new subject areas that are relevant to the needs of the contemporary world, Poland, and the region. A strengthening of material potential and intellectual capital will be achieved within the framework of increasingly close links with foreign and Polish partners.
2. AIMS AND BASIC ELEMENTS OF THE STRATEGY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF GDAŃSK
The strategy of the University of Gdańsk is sets out the aspirations for development of the academic community. It is based on the SWOT diagnosis and analysis contained in an internal document from 2009. It aims at the coordination of long-term activities in the areas of research and education, and it constitutes the basis of the University’s relationship with its environment and of the development of links with partners. It also defines the premises for evaluating investments, and modernization and organizational plans.
The Strategy draws inspiration from ideas formulated in the national science strategy and the recommendations of EU science and research policies, the Innovative Economy Operational Programme 2007-2013, and the Polish government’s report Polska 2030 (Poland 2030) of May 2009.
The Universitiy’s development plans complement the Pomeranian Viovodeship’s Strategy for Development, and also Pomeranian initiatives based on scientific-scholarly potential, such as the creation of regional clusters, or campaigns promoting enterprise, innovation, and creativity.
3. WORLD-CLASS ACADEMIC EDUCATION
The University will continue the active implementation of the Bologna Process and of EU recommendations in the area of education. The University’s existing system of instruction will be developed in accordance with world-wide trends, such as: the timely exploitation within education of the results of the most recent scientific and scholarly research; the continual adaptation of the range of courses of study and specializations to the interests of those studying and to the expectations of the economy and society (the needs of the employment market); the creation of elastic teaching programs; the creation of interdisciplinary studies; the introduction of up-to-date educational technology; the development of new forms of education – e-Learning, Lifelong Learning, Individual Studies, an open university, transferable courses of study; and harmonization with international principles concerning the recognition of qualifications.
The University will devote its best efforts to ensuring the high level of its graduates’ qualifications, and their solid preparation for a career in an integrating Europe. Raising the level and quality of education will be achieved through a continual up-dating of knowledge transferred, following the latest achievements of science and scholarship and the transformation of social systems, through an increasing flexibility of the education process both in terms of choice of field of knowledge and form of its transmission, through widening the forms of education (the evolution of education from a traditional model to one of self-education, and facilitating parallel, permanent, and transferable education), through supporting student mobility and the mobility of academic staff, through the introduction and promulgation of an internal educational quality control system, through implementing the National Qualification Framework Program, and through introducing an up-to-date and transparent system of grading and promotion of teaching staff.
Exploiting its specialized didactic potential and its knowledge of the requirements of the employment market, the University will introduce new first-cycle and second-cycle fields of study in interdisciplinary areas, organizing education within unitary subject fields and macro-subject fields, and also inter-field, inter-faculty, and inter-institution studies. A new form of studies will be those in English within the subject areas most likely to attract students from abroad.
Third-cycle (doctoral) studies will be introduced in all disciplines for which the University possesses the right to award doctoral degrees. Already existing full-time/day and part-time/ weekend studies will be supplemented by studies for students from abroad and by studies undertaken within Polish and international university networks. An attractive range of studies and supervision of doctoral students will be offered. Mechanisms will be introduced to ensure that an increasing number of doctoral students complete their studies and prepare suitable doctoral dissertations.
The transmission and popularization of knowledge, of both cognitive and utilitarian value, will be served by a constant updating and development of post-graduate studies and of courses targeted at representatives of regional and national economic and institutional spheres. The effect of the University on the wider Pomeranian community will be achieved through innovation and expansion of education in the form of the Open University and the University of the Third Age.
4. RESEARCH QUALITY AND INNOVATION
At the University of Gdańsk, research will be continued in those area in which the University has already achieved a strong position both in Poland and in the world. The University will be open to new currents of research that expand the horizons of science and scholarship. Essential for achieving this goal will be process of adaptation, which will entail both a reorientation of focus and the introduction of advanced methods and research tools. It will also entail accessing non-traditional methods of financing science and scholarship, participation in scientific-industrial structures (technological clusters and platforms), the concentration and integration of research potential by creating interdisciplinary teams, and the focused and active presentation of scientific/scholarly results in international fora.
Financial constraints and the needs of society and the economy mean that there has to be a rational distribution of emphasis among research fields and interests in the sphere of applied research. The academic community of the University of Gdańsk will support the concept of flexible research priorities, which are established based on a rational adaptation of the recommendations contained in the Polish government’s strategic plan for the development of science in Poland up to the year 2015 and in the National Program Foresight Polska 2020. Substantial effects will be ensured by the research efforts of the representatives of various disciplines, concentrated on such issues as: new materials and products, new information and communication technologies, responsible exploitation of nature and its limited resources, renewable sources of energy, improvements in quality of life and health, improving state institutional and organizational structures, and the enrichment and protection of the cultural heritage of the region, Poland, and Europe.
The University will be involved in practically-oriented research drawing on its intellectual potential and making essential infrastructure investments in support of such research. This are of science will become an important element in the University’s activities. The University will actively contribute to the creation of innovation as conceived in broad terms, particularly through the application of knowledge to technological innovations that serve the development of the Pomeranian region.
The University will make a substantial contribution to the international competitiveness of Polish science and scholarship through introducing advanced methods and means of research developed by the University itself or via the transfer of knowledge and technology from abroad. The University will support research that lends itself to the implementation of EU priorities, especially in the area of intelligent (knowledge-based), balanced growth that favors social engagement. The achievement of this aim will be served by such activities as: emphasizing methodological innovation of research activities undertaken at the University; modernization of equipment, laboratory facilities, computer programs, library resources and data bases; a focused concentration on research (EU framework programs and other international research programs); raising faculty qualifications in cooperation with institutions abroad; supporting the use of modern technology to promote the results of research (publication in English-language journals, purchasing electronic access to the best journals); and advertising research opportunities at the University through acquisition of certificates of quality.
The University will introduce and implement procedures and mechanisms toinduce research teams to obtain research grants from the Polish state budget or non-state budget sources, and also EU financial support (through Operational Programs).
Higher ranking and quality of research will be attained by introducing and implementing new management forms and instruments, including: a long-term program of research using the methods of the university Foresight system; organizing in Gdańsk every three years an interdisciplinary, international scientific congress; effective support mechanisms for research at an administrative level (creating internal regulations to facilitate and encourage University employees to take part in projects, adapting administrative structures to research needs, and simplifying procedures), supporting younger scientists/scholars who are undertaking research (facilitating access to relevant international literature, assistance in seeking financing to purchase IT equipment and up-to-date scientific equipment), and organizing training sessions in order to promote the use of advanced technology and research methods.
5. ENHANCING THE UNIVERSITY’S INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL
The University of Gdańsk boasts a competent community of active and creative academic teachers, dedicated to education at a high level and to conducting ambitious scientific/scholarly research. New challenges and trends in the world around the University will demand from it a better management of the intellectual capital it possesses and an enhancing of its potential, creativity, and innovativeness through:
- engaging young professors and those with post-doctoral degrees as a consequence of an acceleration of scientific/scholarly promotion procedures and the hiring of qualified persons from outside the University;
- offering tangible rewards to the authors of the most highly valued results of research and publications that have the widest scholarly/scientific impact, and to the most effective teachers (rewards will be both in terms of prestige and finance);
- encouraging the most outstanding graduates to remain at the University (attractive conditions of pursuing and completing third-cycle studies, or employment at Assistant Professor/Lecturer grade);
- increasing the international mobility of academic teachers within the frameworks of EU programs or university exchanges – active participation in international research projects;
- creating conditions that will allow the University to invite scientists/scholars from celebrated centers abroad (for research consultation, lectures, methodological workshops and seminars);
- facilitating the cooperation of specialists from related disciplines – the creation of interdisciplinary research teams that can cooperate with the economic and social environment.
The long-term aim of developing the University’s intellectual capital will be to offer academic teachers working conditions and salaries that dispose them to dedicate themselves as part of their employment exclusively to the University. This will be accompanied by an increased transparency and objectivity in periodical assessment procedures.
6. STUDENT AND DOCTORAL STUDENT MOBILITY
The University of Gdańsk will make every effort to make it possible for students and doctoral students to increase their knowledge, skills, and competences through exchanges with other universities (especially ones abroad). It will also make every effort to create conditions within the University itself so that students and doctoral students from outside Poland can study there. Multi-lingual and inter-cultural education of the students of this University will be a priority, resulting as it does from our membership of the European Higher Education Area, and from the need to make it possible for our graduates to seek employment in the European job market.
The University will strive to increase the international mobility of students and doctoral students through the introduction of policies that support such development within the University, and further to support such policies both on a national and European level. Efforts on the level of the University and the region include: additional financial assistance (besides existing grants) for students and doctoral students undertaking studies abroad; full and up-to-date information about programs and the organization of university-level studies abroad; a broad array of studies in the shape of individual programs of studies; a wide range of subjects in foreign languages; and integration within University regulations of the principles of the international mobility students and doctoral students. The University will support all initiatives on a national and European level that serve to remove barriers to the international mobility of students (unified, user-friendly procedures for legalizing residence abroad, the idea of creating a European mobility fund, the rational implementation of ECTS, free foreign language instruction, the guarantee of appropriate living conditions and of health care, and obtaining permission to work in the chosen country of studies).
The University will support student mobility within national programs – especially the development of interdisciplinary studies, and of studies based on individual programs developed by institutions with varying educational focuses.
The University will join in European initiatives relating to the common conduct of doctoral studies via a network of tertiary-level institutions, through the creation of legal regulations facilitating doctoral students’ residence abroad, and ensuring their access to consultation and supervision by professors from abroad.
The international mobility of students and doctoral students of the University of Gdańsk will be supported by participation in EU programs, including the ERASMUS Program.
7. EXPANSION AND MODERNIZATION OF THE UNIVERSITY
For the forty years of its existence the University of Gdańsk has continued to make substantial investments, creating from the ground up new facilities for several faculties, and modernizing buildings acquired at the time of its foundation. The last two decades have seen the building up of the University Campus in Gdańsk-Oliwa. The concept underlying this campus does not change the principal strategic premise relating to university infrastructure, which is that the University should function in three teaching and research centers in Gdańsk, Sopot, and Gdynia. However, recent spatial integration and concentration of facilities have improved working conditions and transport connections, and have lowered University running costs.
In order to ensure optimum conditions for teaching and research, further investment is necessary – in buildings, IT, laboratory facilities, equipment, and infrastructure. These will be financed from the University’s own income, Polish state funds, EU funds, and non-government sources.
The major location of University infrastructure and facilities will be the Campus in Gdańsk-Oliwa. At present it contains the following faculties: Biology, Chemistry, Law and Administration, Social Sciences, Languages and Literature, History, and Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Sciences. It is also home to the Institute of Geography, the Main Library, the Rectorate, four student dormitories, and a dormitory for junior staff. In coming years more new buildings will be constructed on this Campus: the Inter-University Faculty of Biotechnology of the University of Gdańsk and the Gdańsk Medical University, the Modern Languages Institute, the Computer Sciences Institute of the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Studies, the National Quantum Information Center (part of the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Sciences), the University Sports and Recreation Center, the Rectorate, and the University of Gdańsk Library. An Academic Park will link all parts of the Gdańsk-Oliwa Campus.
The Sopot Campus will continue to be home to the Faculty of Economics, the Faculty of management, the Teaching and Conference center, and student housing. A Computer Center will be built to enhance the work of the Faculty of Management. The Faculty of Oceanography and Geography (without the Institute of Geography) and the Regional Cyanosis Center will remain on the Gdynia Campus. Oceanography will acquire a new teaching and research vessel, which will support interdisciplinary research work and education in the fields of oceanography and maritime environmental protection. In the immediate neighborhood of the buildings of the Faculty of Oceanography and Geography it is planned to build a National Center for Baltic Research, and within the city limits of Gdynia there are plans to open a botanical garden under the aegis of the Faculty of Biology. The University will continue its expansion of the Marine Station in Hel.
The University’s efficiency in all spheres of its activities will be substantially improved by investments in IT systems comprising an up-to-date and extensive internet and intranet network and the development of up-to-date systems of electronic resource management.
The modernization of teaching and research equipment and educational facilities and resources will be implemented by faculties and other University units on the basis of their own development strategies. The University Administration will ensure effective tendering, documentation, and accounting procedures.
8. EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION AND UP-TO-DATE MANAGEMENT OF THE UNIVERSITY
The University Administration, which is an integral and complementary component of the University, working to support education and research, will actively help to raise the status and international prestige of the University. An integrated system of management will be developed and implemented; this will be based on up-to-date technological solutions.
The following steps will be taken to develop and improve management systems at the University:
- actions will be governed by the principles of rational management of University resources and rational employment practices;
- greater efforts will be made to seek funding from external sources, including revenue generation from commissioned work and from services;
- a system of motivation will be introduced to encourage administrative employees to raise their professional qualifications and to develop their skills;
- an effective system of employee assessment will be introduced, linked to a promotion and salary system;
- information flow will be made more efficient through integration and the increased functionality of operational IT systems, through the creation of an integrated IT system, and through the multi-facetted and integrated exploitation of new information technology aimed at making administrative services available electronically.
9. STRENGTHENING UNIVERSITY TIES WITH ECONOMY AND SOCIETY IN THE POMERANIAN REGION
The University’s close cooperation with economy and society in the Pomeranian region will be oriented toward mutual benefits on intellectual, cultural, economic, and social levels.
As the University increasingly becomes a center for interdisciplinary research and teaching, it will serve the region through its intellectual capital and its research resources. It will focus on the development and promotion of science and scholarship among the inhabitants of the Pomeranian region. It will join in initiatives that will help to make Pomerania one of the leading regions of Poland in terms of innovation. It will shape its range of educational courses according to the needs of the regional job market and the requirements of Pomeranian institutions.
Activities closely linking the University and Pomerania will be directed by the University of Gdańsk Konwent (Convention). The University will also actively engage in the work of the Pomeranian University Cluster. Close contact with Pomeranian society will be encouraged through such events as the Akademia Fair, cyclical conferences and scientific/scholarly events devoted to Pomeranian matters, interactive web pages, and new forms of student community practice.