The strategy of RISEN University Alliance defines HOW we plan to accomplish our vision through focus areas and priorities, both for the short and long term.
Structure and phasing are key elements in our short-term strategy for the next four years.
The RISEN partners will differentiate between ’challenge themes’, ’enabling themes’, ’cross-cutting themes’ and ’general themes’. These themes bring structure to our actions, and will allow for assigning responsibilities and tasks.
CHALLENGE THEMES are key areas of sustainable entrepreneurship in which we will expand our joint educational offer, research activities and services to society. These areas are closely linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and reflect our partners’ complementary expertise in teaching and research. The challenge themes are RISEN’s first priorities for innovation.
- Sustainable energy and environment: this challenge theme will focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy (SDG 7 – Affordable and clean energy), and the transition towards a circular economy (SDG 12 – Responsible consumption and production).
- Smart manufacturing: the focal point of this challenge theme is the role of technology in sustainable industrialisation, and the importance of digital skills for green transition and sustainable solutions (SDG 9 – Industry, innovation and infrastructure).
- Health and society: in this challenge theme we will foster innovation in the health and life sciences sector, with focus on health informatics and technology, aiming for better care delivery and health promotion (SDG 3 – Good health and well-being).
ENABLING THEMES will support and nourish our activities in the challenge themes. They set out the conditions the RISEN Alliance needs to fulfill in order be successful in its teaching, research and services.
- Learning innovation and competence validation: the core ambition of this enabling theme is to develop challenge-based pedagogical approaches to equip a new generation of learners with a sustainable and entrepreneurial mindset and competencies. This includes re-thinking our processes for the validation of skills and competencies.
- Digital platform: the development of a comprehensive digital platform will guarantee equal access (for students, staff and partners) to the services the RISEN Alliance will offer, ranging from online programmes and remotely accessible labs to mobility schemes and international internships. The digital platform will be the cornerstone of our (virtual) inter-university entrepreneurial campus.
- Mobility and European collaboration: the ambitions of this enabling theme are to cultivate awareness for diversity and inclusion, to develop sustainable and innovative pathways for European collaboration and mobility at all levels (Ba/Ma/PhD) and for all RISEN participants (students, staff and partners), and to provide support for all types of collaboration schemes (be it virtual, physical or blended).
CROSS-CUTTING THEMES are the focal points of the RISEN University Alliance, and intersect all our efforts and activities: stimulating entrepreneurship, aiming for sustainability and building ecosystems for innovation.
GENERAL THEMES refer to the functioning of the RISEN Alliance, as well as to the quality, impact and visibility we aim to achieve.
- Management and coordination: governance and decision-making structures that ensure the implementation and further development of our joint strategy, the quality of our work, the involvement of all stakeholders (including students and associated partners), and the advancement of open science.
- Impact and dissemination: monitoring of the impact of RISEN’s joint teaching, research and services on our internal and external stakeholders, dissemination of our products, and visibility and branding of our Alliance.
In addtion to structuring our ambitions and activities, we will install a PLAN-DO-CHECK-ACT (PDCA) cycle that allows for phasing. PDCA is the perfect model for carrying out change from a quality perspective, as the cycle can be repeated again and again for continuous improvement.
- Plan – Identifying opportunities for joint activities and elaborating concrete proposals.
- Do – Developing and implementing pilots and/or experiments.
- Check – Assessing whether the pilot and/or experiment is successful.
- Act – If the pilot/experiment is successful, we will fine-tune and structurally embed it in our joint offer. For the enabling themes, this step will involve mainstreaming in our support services. If the anticipated change did not work, we will go through the cycle again with a different plan.
In the short term, the RISEN Alliance will prepare for incorporating new challenge themes in its teaching, research and services.
RISEN will enable and facilitate challenge-based approaches where learners from different disciplines, cultures and nationalities co-operate with researchers, entrepreneurs, and ecosystems in finding creative and innovative solutions to local and global challenges. We aim to attract new collaborative partners and be a global Alliance in the years to come.
RISEN aims at long-term structural, systemic, and sustainable collaboration based on a common vision, mission, and shared values. The chosen Themes and pedagogical development work as a stepping-stone in a progressive approach towards interdisciplinary joint degrees and the establishment of European degrees covering all degree levels. RISEN will also offer high-quality lifelong learning opportunities for everyone to enable upskilling and reskilling, with a focus on the most in-demand areas. These goals will be enhanced by the Alliance with research, development, innovation, and mobility.
There are the three essential elements that will feed into the long-term strategy (next 10 years) of the RISEN Alliance.
First, the vision of the RISEN Alliance will remain the touchstone for our actions and priorities. It sets out the long-term goals we need to achieve in our path towards a true inter-university entrepreneurial campus, and as such allows for renewal of our strategic planning.
Secondly, the Alliance will strengthen the scope of its activities by adding new challenge themes in its teaching, research and ecosystem collaboration. In line with the PDCA-cycle that will guide our activities, these new themes will be incorporated according to – typically – three phases: a design phase (up to two years), followed by a development phase (up to two years), after which the challenge theme enters the maturity phase and becomes a core topic in our modules and programmes, research projects and cooperation with our ecosystem partners.
Thirdly, the Alliance itself will need to grow as an organisation, in order to increase our impact and reach full maturity. With evolving organisation RISEN Alliance ensures the planned transformation towards our vision as a RISEN University. We will need to invest in:
- Institutionalisation of our collaboration. This will involve (future-proof) formalisation of our governance and decision-making structures, as well as tackling organisational challenges such as the establishment of open faculties with joint staff.
- Further development of RISEN digital platform. As an integral part of teaching, learning and research, we will support the further development of high-quality virtual collaborative learning that complements hybrid and face-to-face interactions
- Development of RISEN pool of human resources. RISEN promotes flexible and attractive academic and professional staff careers. Teaching, research, entrepreneurship, management, leadership activities and staff mobility are valued and supported as a part of RISEN career development.
- Accreditation of our joint programmes (cf. ‘European degrees’) and quality framework. This will require a structural dialogue between the RISEN partners and their national accreditation bodies.
- Expansion of the Alliance with additional higher education institutions and other (associated) partners.
- Strengthening our network. Focal points are increased knowledge-sharing with other alliances and between knowledge-creating themes, growth of our RISEN alumni network, and extended collaboration within and between our local ecosystems for innovation.