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New four-year plan for the University approved

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Publié le jeudi 08 février 2018

At its meeting on 27 January 2018, the Board of Governors approved the new four-year plan for the University of Luxembourg.

The plan will guide the strategic development of the University over the period 2018-2021 and will determine the future direction of the UL with regards to research, teaching and learning, and outreach. In developing the document, different stakeholders from throughout the University were involved including the Vice-Rectors, the acting Director of Administration, the Directors of the Interdisciplinary Centres and the Deans of Faculties.

One major development in this plan in comparison to the previous four-year plans will be adoption of additional focus areas. For the refinement of its strategic priorities, the University management took the excellent results and recommendations of last year’s external evaluation into account. For the next four years, the focus areas of the University include

  • Materials science;
  • Computer science and ICT security;
  • European and international law;
  • Finance and financial innovation;
  • Education;
  • Digital and contemporary history;
  • Health and systems biomedicine;
  • Data modelling and simulation.

“This fourth edition of the four-year plan continues the pursuit of excellence across every aspect of the University’s mission,” commented Professor Stéphane Pallage, Rector of the University. “However, we will not limit this pursuit to the areas in this list. Excellence must be a goal in all our actions, our teaching, our service to the community, our research – whether or not it appears above.”

The four-year plan states three main objectives for the University: “[…] to be an international leader in selected areas of research to provide high quality interdisciplinary teaching and learning programmes; and to positively contribute to shaping Luxembourg’s society and strengthening its economy.” In this sense, the University will align with national and international research initiatives, such as “Digital Lëtzebuerg”, “The Third Industrial Revolution in Luxembourg”, High-Performance Computing and Big Data Enabled Applications, Space Resources, and the National Strategy on Cancer Research.

With regard to teaching, the university will start new initiatives to prepare students for rapidly changing qualification requirements. The cornerstone of these activities will be the new Learning Center that is set to open in fall 2018 offering not only a scientific library but also a cutting-edge digital learning environment open to students and researchers, but ALSO to the Luxembourg general population. Furthermore, the University will develop new digital tools allowing for new forms of blended and collaborative learning. Far from being an isolated ivory tower, the University aims to make its learning infrastructure available to other social and economic groups in the country.

In addition to providing students with the specific subject content of study foci, the University aims to foster transferable skills that helps them to adapt to rapidly changing social and economic environments. That includes not only the language skills, in line with the multilingual character of the University, but increasingly also digital literacy and entrepreneurial skills, both of which are taught as interdisciplinary activities. 

The University also aims to improve transparency and efficiency in its administrative processes. “The pursuit of excellence applies not only to researchers but also to University administrative services. We must be a model of university management,” Stéphane Pallage said. Among the envisaged measures will be to establish cost accounting and a risk assessment system, to digitise key administrative processes, and to develop a new procurement management system.

Finally, the University will implement and support initiatives to improve gender equality in science and higher education. In collaboration with the other Luxembourgish research institutions, it will develop a national platform for Gender that will include the development of more family friendly policies.

© Michel Brumat / University of Luxembourg