Faced with the relentless evolution of our society, driven by ongoing paradigm shifts, the University is called upon not only to respond to externally determined needs but also to pre-empt, from within, the key questions around which to plan its training and research activities.
So, in order to remain true to its centuries-old mission, the University is presenting a very sound, coherent and realistic Strategic Plan, and showing the potentials that will enable it to tackle the challenges of the coming years.
The first goal of the Strategic Plan is investment in the complex range of teaching activities conducted throughout the Multicampus and across its wealth of traditional as well as new degree programmes, with a synergy that will enable them to interconnect increasingly closely with the University Departments and Schools in which they are delivered. Teaching requirements can only be met by enhancing the quality of the teachers who join the academic staff, and who need to embrace the role of new trainers and innovators. Alongside this, specific actions need to be taken to improve and expand the facilities and spaces where teaching activities take place, just as all the research facilities, from libraries through to laboratories, need to be improved.
And research itself has in turn become the lifeblood of the University, through its engagement in the process of European and international exchange and collaboration. Hence, a further goal of the Strategic Plan is to strengthen our extensive network of relations with universities throughout the world, so as to share and compare the knowledge developed within our facilities with that of other institutions and other cultures.
Furthermore, the University of Bologna needs to become more and more a great laboratory of ideas to be made available to local actors operating in the industrial, corporate and cultural worlds. New knowledge and learning, straddling the humanities, science and technology, are the focus of the research activities of the University, as it engages in an intensive exchange of ideas with all the private stakeholders who have its same concerns and share with it the ethical and independent character of research.
And this brings us back to training and education processes once again, and to the realities of the student world, which has always played a leading role in the life of the University. Training is thus the key goal which the University is pursuing with energy and determination; and what is meant by training is not just the transfer of knowledge but first and foremost an education leading to a vision that reaches beyond the present and knows how to anticipate what tomorrow is preparing for us.
The central importance of training for the development of every country, which the United Nation’s development agenda states as one of the seventeen key goals to be achieved over the next fifteen years, is the guiding principle that our Strategic Plan shares with all other universities, both nationally and internationally.
(Excerpt from the Introduction by the Rector of the University, Francesco Ubertini)