Tuesday, 3 May 2022

A roadmap for the University of Trento

Versione stampabile

The Strategic plan 2022-2027 will guide the development of the University for the next six years through 52 actions grouped in four clusters across three dimensions. The document is the result of a year-long discussion within the academic community and with local organizations and entities. A plan to maintain quality education and services while keeping the pace with a world that has changed profoundly. The plan will be unveiled today

The 178 proposals presented within the University were reduced to 52 actions and grouped in four clusters across the three dimensions academic activity. These are just some of the numbers of the Strategic plan 2022-2027. The document, drafted by the Rector with the Academic Senate in compliance with the general rules and financial constraints defined by the Board of Directors, is the result of a year-long discussion within the academic community and with local organizations and entities.

Adopted by the Academic Senate on 27 April, and approved by the Board the following day, the plan will be presented today to the academic community at the Paolo Prodi Building by Rector Flavio Deflorian and the Vice-Rector for Organisational and Resource Planning Andrea Fracasso, who supervised the drafting phase with the Vice-Rector for Teaching and Learning, Paola Venuti, and the Vice-Rector for Research, Francesca Demichelis.

The University aims to become an innovation laboratory in terms of size, efficiency and flexibility. Like a map, the document will guide the development of the University for the next six years, defining its objectives and directions. 

Compared to the previous plans, the new one aims to help the University evolve and adapt to a rapidly changing world. It will capitalize on the progress achieved and past experiences to tackle the challenges that have emerged in recent years. The pandemic, that suddenly forced the University to make changes to ensure teaching and learning continuity, and the opportunities unexpectedly offered by the Recovery and Resilience Plan, have revealed the importance of adopting a dynamic approach to medium and long term strategies. In this way, to continue to ensure quality education at UniTrento, the directions envisaged and the 52 actions of the plan, as well as the resources allocated to implement them, can be updated and reviewed, at the end of the first three years and then in the following years, based on needs and on the stage of development. The budget of the plan is up to 10 million euro for the first 3 years and a similar amount for the 3 years that will follow, and includes investments by Fondazione Caritro and the Italian Ministry of Education and Research.

The plan’s layout
In about 120 pages, the strategic plan 2022-2027 illustrates the mission and vision of the University through 52 actions grouped in four clusters across three dimensions, with two enabling factors.

The three dimensions: teaching and learning, research, third mission
The dimension of teaching and learning is focused on quality and the needs of the university community. One of the objectives to achieve in this area is to innovate teaching, in particular as regards the approaches, methods, contents, settings and the use of technology. Another objective is to strengthen the link between teaching and learning and research. FormID, the competence centre for teacher training and innovation in teaching and learning, must be strengthened for better education and to discuss new collaborative, inclusive and flexible teaching methods.

In the research dimension the goals are: to promote quality in line with the highest international standards; to encourage participation in national actions (the National plan for research and the Pnrr); to strengthen and renew the research system of the University (support services, technological infrastructure); to make the University a point of reference at national and international level for the integrity of research, open data and open science; to make UniTrento a leading institution for the innovation and virtuous relationship between research and entrepreneurship.

In the third mission area, the University is committed to participate in the evolution and development of a territory and society based on the principles of sustainability and widespread innovation. To renew the role of the University as a strategic partner of the education system of the Province, more attention will be given to the committee for teachers’ training and relations with schools (Formazione insegnanti e rapporti con la scuola - Firs) as an ideal space for the sharing of strategies and good practices, in collaboration with FormID. UniTrento also believes that research outputs need more visibility and that more must be done to build a “scientific citizenship” based on shared knowledge. 

Four clusters: well-being, skills, life sciences and medicine, sustainability

These four themes are labelled as “strategic clusters” in the plan.

Well-being is key to promote and ensure equity and equality and inclusion for the entire university community. Investments are necessary in the area of individual and organizational well-being, counselling services, socialization activities, healthy, inclusive and safe working environments. Another goal is to generate good practices that can be exported at national level.

In the area of skills, the University aims to provide for the education and training of students in view of their future employment, to strengthen the continuing education of its staff (teaching staff, administrative and technical staff, executives), and to offer more courses and activities for continuing education. To achieve these goals, the University will consolidate the School of Innovation and FormID (competence centre for teacher training and innovation in teaching and learning), and launch new PhD programmes in collaboration with private and public entities to promote the development of the economy through research partnerships with companies, better technology transfer and the development of research outputs. Innovative training solutions such as the microcredentials and digital badges, together with challenge-based education initiatives, will also help achieve the goals.

In the area of life sciences and medicine, the University of Trento aims to strengthen quality education in the area of human health by completing the Master’s degree in Medicine and surgery and health professions and expanding its programmes to other health professions in collaboration with academic and institutional partners. The University also aims to become a national point of reference for technological and interdisciplinary innovation in medical sciences, maintaining a focus on knowledge and skills transfer. Other goals: take advantage of interdisciplinarity and give visibility to contributions from different disciplines, encouraging dialogue between the different disciplinary areas of the University, and help develop, with the Autonomous Province of Trento, a local technological hub of life sciences.

For sustainability, the University aims to better coordinate its activities in the field of the ecological transition and sustainable economy through an interdisciplinary approach to energy and the environment; the training of experts in sustainability; the development of an environmental conscience and activities to raise awareness among the population of the need for ecological transition; a new Sustainability plan for the University. That is why a project will be launched to create a hub to increase aggregation and expertise in the areas of the EU Green Deal and Energy, Climate, Environment, and to train school teachers on environmental and sustainability issues and increase programmes aimed at citizens.

Two enabling factors: internationalization and technology
Internationalization, a theme that cuts across different areas, is the ability to make the most of the University’s international collaborations and attractiveness in terms of human and financial resources.

Technological infrastructure is what can enable a dynamic University that includes up-to-date processes for a gradual digitization and a new development plan.