The vision process: TU Vision 2025+
What is the desired position and purpose of Vienna University of Technology (TU) in 2025 with respect to its employees, students, and national and international context? How should we conduct research, study, and teach at TU in order to achieve these goals?
To answer these and similar questions regarding research, teaching, and the societal role of our university, Rector Seidler initiated the TU Vision 2025+ process in the fall of 2014. This process aims to help develop long-term strategies for our university.
In a first preparatory step, the concept for the TU Vision process was prepared by a core team convened by Rector Seidler. What discussion formats will be used and at what time? How much preliminary work is necessary to provide a basis for an internal TU discussion so that a concentrated and focused, ultimately efficient, and beneficial exchange of ideas can take place? These and other questions were discussed in the core team and ultimately merged into a discursive framework.
In preparation for the workshop week in March, three theme boards were established between November 2014 and January 2015, each focused on research, teaching, and the societal role of universities. During these meetings, questions were posed, discussed, and consolidated into position papers. These position papers were subsequently summarized by the core team into a statement paper, which served as the foundation for the discussions.
As part of the process, a series of public lectures were organized in which external speakers were invited to share their insights on the three core areas and their significance for shaping the future of the university. The purpose of these lectures and the preceding meetings was to provide a framework for a comprehensive internal discussion among the members of TU during the workshop week held from March 2-6, 2015.
During the workshop week, the previously developed theses were presented to the TU internal public and then put up for discussion. This allowed every TU member to analyze, amend, complement and improve the input in smaller focus groups. Additionally, it offered a platform to exchange ideas and future visions for the design and direction of the university beyond the established structures and across different faculties.
External speakers delivered evening lectures during the workshop week to contribute to the ongoing discussions. The proposals developed by the individual working groups were then summarized by the core team, and the final results were discussed in a large group on the last day.
The vision paper that emerged from the workshop week is intended to serve as an essential reference for the rectorate in making strategic decisions regarding the university's long-term growth and progress over the next ten years.
Development plans, which are usually more focused on individual faculties rather than the TU as a whole, mainly cater to the short-term goals for a performance period and thus are more aligned with the ministry's needs than with the university's own objectives. In contrast, the vision paper is designed to provide a roadmap for the entire TU towards a sustainable future.
The initial output of the "TU Vision 2025+" project is a status report, opens a file in a new window in the form of a vision paper, which includes:
- 12 theses outlining the future of TU Vienna,
- a summary of the discussions held during the workshop week,
- and 5 action points describing how the visions can be realized.
The vision process is ongoing, and the TU Vision 2025+ forum is a continuation of this effort.