The Strategic Planning Committee discussed the values, mission and vision of the university
The main discussion topic at the Strategic Planning Committee meeting of 23 September was the first version of the mission, vision and values of the university, which was prepared under the management of the Centre for Ethics of the University of Tartu, involving the representatives of the academic and support units. The wording was based on earlier value-related studies at the university as well as the opinions of the Strategic Planning Committee and the youth think tank. There are two values at the core of the mission: the pursuit of truth and eruditeness. The serious work done especially by the young people involved was also highlighted.
There were some thoughts that the role of the University of Tartu as a national university and the desire to be a leader and a trendsetter in Estonia should be reflected. Some members of the Committee found that the wording of the mission could be shorter. The idea to create an interactive web version of the Strategic Plan was well-received; clicking on the parts and chapters of the plan would open explanations, goals, responsible persons and activity plans.
During two weeks, until 6 October people can assess the values important for the university by answering a short questionnaire in the intranet or on an UT website. The mission, vision and values worded by the Centre for Ethics can also be found on UT website.
In addition, the representatives of the International Cooperation Unit gave an overview of the most important ranking lists of universities and their performance indicators to be considered. It was found that many of the indicators used in the ranking lists are justified, while the formation of a place in the ranking list and the corresponding trends cannot be interpreted in a homogenous manner from the viewpoint of the university’s development. This led to a discussion about the need to highlight the issues of internationalisation in the Strategic Plan, which, according to Erik Puura, is one of the most important tasks for the university in the upcoming years.
One of the topics discussed in relation to a specific clause in the university’s development plan was how to motivate the best pupils to study at the University of Tartu. It was determined that a clear division of labour and responsibilities should be made between the support and academic units.
The Committee will meet again on 9 October. By the following meeting on 18 October the research areas, led by their representatives (Jaak Vilo, Marju Lauristin, Ruth Kalda, Anti Selart), will formulate development plans for their respective areas. According to a proposal of the Committee’s members from the senate, the period for preparing the development plan should be longer, since involving all the participants and the discussions within the university require more time. The Rector’s Office discussed this proposal on 24 September and found it to be justified.
It was agreed that in the second half of November or in December, a discussion about the Strategic Plan would be organised with the alumni in order to receive broader feedback from the partners of the university and the public.
Additional information: Erik Puura, Vice-Rector for Development, email: Erik.puura [ät] ut.ee