Development Plan of EuroAcademy up to 2019

Development Plan of EuroAcademy up to 2019

Introduction

This Development Plan of EuroAcademy has been designed for the period until 2019, being an updated version of the previous plans (approved by the decision of the Senate of EuroAcademy on 5.02. 2014, updated 12.12.2014).

The Development Plan is a strategic document consisting of two parts. The first part comprises general principles governing the development of the Academy, the second comprises the goals and development areas of faculties. The action plans, reflecting the near future of the faculties, were approved together with the Development Plan of EuroAcademy.

Development Plan is complemented by setting up short-term objectives and tasks for each year.

Short historical overview

The predecessor of EuroAcademy, EuroUniversity, was established in 1997 as a private higher educational establishment. In 1999 NPA Eesti Euroinfo Ühing became the manager of the Euroacademy due to the amendments in legislation. EuroAcademy provides instruction in five faculties: the Faculty of International Relations, the Faculty of Translation, the Faculty of Business Management, the Faculty of Environmental Protection and the Faculty of Design. In all faculties instruction is provided on the basis of curricula of the professional higher education, in the faculties of Business Management and Environmental Protection also on the Master’s studies level. EuroAcademy has established active international relations, inter alia, EuroAcademy has participated in the performance of the projects of the European Commission. The Academy has project-based cooperation agreements with a number of foreign partners and research institutions, enterprises and universities in Estonia.

1. Concept.

  • To provide, with the help of private education, the high-quality higher education on different higher education levels which enables opportunities of different options.
  • To involve private capital in the education and research activities.
  • Creation of multilingual learner-centred instruction system.
  • Developing modern and friendly IT-environment for study process.
  • Implementation of life-long learning and personalised instruction system.
  • Development of sustainable development-centred valuation attitudes.
  • Development of innovative international cooperation in the sphere of education.
  • Setting up high-level competence centres in the directions under development.

Key words: private education, private capital, multilingual education, life-long learning, education in sustainable development, IT applications, innovative educational process, competence centres.

2. Mission, vision, values, development areas and objectives

2.1. Mission, vision, values

The mission of EuroAcademy is to be an institution contributing to the development of a knowledge-based society.

EuroAcademy promotes science, education and culture and develops society through learning and research activities, creating prerequisites for the development of important research areas in international cooperation. EuroAcademy ensures high-level education and shapes of responsible and initiative citizens that gives the students of EuroAcademy a competitive edge.

In its activities, EuroAcademy is guided by the objectives set forth in the educational and research policies in the European Union and Estonia. The educational establishment brandishes innovative attitude towards shaping of the policies governing research and higher education policies in Estonia.

Instruction in the Academy builds on research activities and application of scientific achievements in the study process. EuroAcademy maintains close relations with the society, introduces research outcomes and implements them.

EuroAcademy responds flexibly to the needs of the society, developing its curricula. EuroAcademy develops cooperation with the enterprises, its partner universities and public sector, and facilitates international cooperation by participating in programmes and projects. Academy cooperates with non-profit organisations and non-profit associations in order to pursue development activities.

The relations between the Academy and the society are realised through projects and programmes and the selection of topics for research and student works that are topical and have practical value, in cooperation with different stakeholders. The EuroAcademy provides life-long learning in compliance with the need of the labour market.

EuroAcademy develops knowledge base and facilitates publishing of research papers and study materials.

Vision for the year 2019

EuroAcademy maintains a considerable position in the network of the European establishments of higher education among 20 best smaller universities (according to the EBA the Best Universities Ranking 2014 – Best Regional Universities, Europe; Western, Eastern and Central), targeting interdisciplinary curricula and research areas, supporting the developments in the Estonian society and the competitiveness of Estonia and gains international recognition.

Values

Academy deems necessary to value knowledge and education, shaping of a scientific world outlook, improving the quality of life, sustainable development and preservation of the environment. Academy underlines and shapes values in the society that build on ethical values.

Academy preserves and facilitates traditions.

2.2. General development area

EuroAcademy is a holistic and sustainable private establishment of higher education that is acting on the international level in the areas of humanitarian and social sciences, natural resources and sustainable use of the environment, an internationally recognised study and research centre supporting innovation and engaged in the areas that concern the European Union or are related to that.

The important development area is the assurance of study quality and development of the system of interdisciplinary modules of secondary specialties while proceeding from the knowledge potential of Academy.

2.3. Objectives

To integrate EuroAcademy in the international network of establishments of higher education so that it would be an important centre of education and research in Estonia, internationally recognised and addressing EU issues, having an international membership. To integrate research and educational activities of EuroAcademy with the various areas of society in Estonia, thus facilitating the competitive edge of Estonia, to develop the quality of living and the environment, to implement the principles of balanced sustainable development, public health and environmental conservation. To ensure the competitiveness of the research and educational potential of the Academy and the graduates. To respond flexibly to the needs of the society in education and research and development activities. The Academy schedules activities for the development of human potential, study and research work, infrastructure and organisation in order to implement strategic objectives.

3. Academy and the society

The aim is to participate actively in the academic analysis and solution of the issues of the society. The bodies and associations active at the Academy provide an opportunity to improve the understanding of the topical processes of social life and to respond to them adequately. The Academy offers applications to various organisations. Academy provides lifelong education in compliance with the need of the labour market.

Desired state by 2019

Each specialty develops cooperation with various organisations, especially with professional organisations and associations and citizens’ associations; participation in the local, national and international decision-making bodies; participation in the networks enterprises-establishments of higher education; research outcomes are disseminated in the press and academic publications.

4. Organisation

The organisation of EuroAcademy must ensure stable organisation of studies and a democratic decision-making process that are supported by the professional qualities and sense of responsibility of the motivated leaders. The strategic management of the Academy builds on the analysis of social processes and demands.

  • The Academy prepares, applies and develops quality management system of its core activities.
  • Academy develops academic, administrative and financial management of its structural units, improves the requirements for fulfilling senior posts and the in-service training system of the managers.
  • Academy preserves academic values and traditions, develops the Academy as a learning organisation.
  • Academy prepares and develops branding, improves the action plan of marketing and external communication, introducing, inter alia, its achievements in Estonia and abroad.
  • The Academy improves constantly the opportunities of the development fund, inter alia coordinates the acquisitions of equipment and technical aids.
  • Academy develops infrastructure, extends access to the international databases.
  • Academy provides research works and expertise to the national and local governments and to the enterprises.
  • Academy facilitates Estonian domestic and international cooperation through international programmes and upon its own initiative.
  • The structural units of the Academy develop professional scientific terminology and knowledge base.
  • The professorship and employees of the Academy promote research outcomes.

The management of the Academy must be open, structural units are engaged in the problem-solving processes.  The students are represented as members in the councils of faculties, the senate of the Academy and other decision-making bodies. The organisation of administrative work, movement of information, feedback, the accounting of study and research work are improved.

The responsibility of the structural units for the quality of learning and improving of performance is increased. Planning and financial accounting is improved and the legal documents of the Academy are updated in accordance with the amendments in national regulations and the aims of the society.

The faculties aspiring to achieve interdisciplinarity form the core unit of the structure of the Academy. Academy may establish area-based laboratories, institutes and other research and development institutions.

The Academy reinforces professorship and facilitates raising the qualification of the lecturers, elaborates the plan of action for preparing a new generation of young lecturers and researchers.

The responsibility of the faculty council for the development of the study and research areas is increased. The system of coordination of studies in Academy is improved; the accounting of learning outcomes, coordination of study activities, incl. preparation of timetables, purposeful use of classroom and coordination of studies between different structural units is facilitated.

The Senate of the EuroAcademy establishes common funding principles that must ensure the transparency of costs and expenses and the transparency of the economic activities of the Academy as a whole. Transfers to reserve capital are increased in order to mitigate potential financial risks.

The development of the library is continued, while paying special attention to collection and processing of information required for research and study activities, using modern IT means. The system of ensuring academic quality is improved. The priority in the coming years is the development of digital library and digital knowledge base for facilitating ordinary and e-learning.

The administrative structure of the Academy is improved, including the resource-efficient document management system (e-document distribution, digital document catalogue, document archive, arrangement or re-use of materials etc.).

Desired state by 2019

Heads of curricula complying to the post of a professor; two laboratories and two centres; knowledge base covering the whole study and research activities; quality assurance system complies with the changed requirements and standards.

5. Studies

The quality of the higher education is the priority of the EuroAcademy. The studies build on the use of research outcomes and are based on the appropriately qualified lecturers. The results of study and research work must be competitive compared to the outcomes of other Estonian and European universities. The studies conducted under the curriculum must be supervised by the council of the curriculum that is the functional structure of the faculty council. The curriculum is implemented under the charge of the head of curriculum. The head of the curriculum is an active specialist, recognised in his or her area of specialty.

The effectiveness of studies is improved by improving the organisation of studies and increasing the responsibility of the head of curriculum and the respective faculty. Introduction of new methods, improvement of the study environment, self-analysis, incl. the development of curricula, obtaining positive experiences is crucial for increasing the efficiency of studies. The faculty council and the council of the curriculum analyse the content of the curriculum and the options for the improvement thereof, its compliance with the needs of the society, submit proposals for integrating specializations and modules of secondary specialties into the curricula. Interdisciplinarity and links between curricula are increased, incl. conditions are established for creating common curricula. The experiences of other establishments of higher education are analysed, employers, professional associations, alumni association and the representative of the students are consulted. While opening and updating a curriculum account must be taken of the fact that an Academy graduate must be competitive in his or her specialty. The quality assurance systems of the study processes and curricula are improved. The more efficient forms of study are implemented, the proportion of e-learning, video lectures, independent work and creative workshops are increased while decreasing the proportion of traditional lectures. The organisation of practical training is efficient, being based on the practical needs that proceed from the curriculum. The control over the performance of the tasks given during the practical trainings is enhanced in cooperation with the partners of practical training. The structures and facilities engaged in the provision of practical training are developed. Module studies get a bigger proportion in the study process. Teaching professional terminology on the basis of English and teaching specialty-related subjects of international importance in English are introduced into the curricula, including the foreign language teaching programmes. Academy stimulates preparation of study materials (textbooks, lecture notes, guidelines for practical trainings). The proportion of foreign students and systematic student exchange via the mobility programmes is increased. More efforts are made to motivate students to continue in Master’s and doctoral studies. The proportion of Master’s studies is increased and the integrated system of Master’s studies is developed proceeding from the existing knowledge potential. The use of opportunities of e-learning, acquisitions and development of digital study aids is extended. Counselling in study-related issues is developed.

Desired state by 2019

Master’s studies are provided for all specialties (in five faculties); integrated Master’s studies that cover the core specialties; 100 students attend Master’s studies; all Master’s curricula are provided in Estonian, Russian and English (15).

6. Research and development activities

Research must become one of the main parts of the core activity of the Academy that supports studies. The development plans of the faculties foresee priorities in the research areas that are developed. Cooperation with enterprises, research and development institutions is developed. Closer ties are established between research activities, studies and practical outcome of development activities, while students are better engaged in the research activities, particularly in Master’s studies. Master’s curricula include publication of research works as one component of the studies. More attention is paid to the development activities, incl. contractual works. More attention is paid to acquiring support from the funds and programmes financing research and development activities, also internationally, while establishing an appropriate system to that end. Publishing activities are enhanced. The achievements of research and development activities are more promoted and introduced. The objective is to restore the academic status of the university and doctoral studies.

Desired state by 2019

Joint research projects with the cooperation partners in Estonia and abroad; a laboratory of digital study aids is operating; development institutions, incl. potential bases for practical training are established.

7. Students

The lecturers act in the interests of students as in the long run the level of students determines the level of the Academy. The role of the students in the shaping and managing the life of the Academy is increased. With this in view support to the self-government of students is increased. The students’ opinions and views are integrated regarding the studies and other activities  are integrated into the development plans of the Academy. The students are more involved in the quality assessment of the studies. The proportion of foreign students in all areas that are pursued is increased, particularly in Master’s studies. Searches for opportunities of academic mobility, student exchange and practical training of students in the universities and enterprises of foreign countries are increased. Co-operation with the appropriate programmes of the European Union are developed.

The Academy’s grant fund is developed for stimulating the studies while engaging other institutions (incl. employers) in order to support successful students.

The strategy concerning the coming years for increasing the number of students is related to the more extensive application of e-learning, launching of open university and increasing the number of languages of instruction and thus fully developing the recruitment policy partly directed outside Estonia and implementation of cooperation projects and other joint activities.

Desired state by 2019

The number of students in all specialties and forms of study amount to 1500-2000, ca 100 in the open university; student recruiting through the networks in Estonia and abroad.

8. International relations

EuroAcademy preserves and develops its position as a study and research institution of international recognition. It is necessary to create an infrastructure that is suited for accepting guest students and lecturers. To find possibilities for cooperation with the international organisations, inter alia, to develop cooperation with the International Association of Universities. EuroAcademy is an institutional member of the European E-learning association EDEN. To motivate international co-operation in the field of applied research and publication of research outcomes as members of the editorial boards of international academic journals as well as distribution of publications of EuroAcademy in digital format while engaging the existing international databases. The mobility of the lecturers is facilitated, as well their participation in the international academic gatherings and in-service training. Cooperation with partner universities and research institutions in the Baltic Sea region and further. Applied research that can bring international recognition to the Academy is supported. International academic events are organised.

Desired state by 2019

30 international conferences and 30 academic publications each year as a minimum.

9. Infrastructure

The infrastructure of the Academy is developed proceeding from the perspective needs of studies and in order to optimise costs. Annually funds are distributed for the development of study environment. The schedule for constructing a study building and establishing premises for practical training is developed, the plan for the IT development is supplemented proceeding from the new aspects of performance of learning tasks. The study library is regularly replenished, and the system for acquisitions and exchange of information required for the study and research activities, incl. exchange of publications, is facilitated. Special study classes and laboratories are established.

Desired state by 2019

Two labs and two competence centres; the knowledge base covers the whole study and research field.

10. Guarantees of financial projection

  • Master’s studies in all specialties.
  • Topical niches of secondary specialties.
  • Highly qualified personnel.
  • Open university.
  • E-learning.
  • Curricula in Estonian, Russian and English.
  • Cooperation and economic agreements with enterprises and agencies.
  • Advertising in the EU networks.

Desired state by 2019

The number of students in all specialties and forms of study amounts to 1500-2000; the study fee is increased by ca 5% annually; conservative financial policy.

11. Indicators

Tulemusnäitaja 2013 2019
Uurimis- ja arendustegevus
1.1, 1.2, 2.1. ja 3.1. publikatsioonide arv ETIS-es ühe akadeemilise töötaja kohta (täistööaja arvestuses) 0.97 1.3
TAL summad kogueelarvest (%) 12.2 14
Õppetegevus
Õpingud katkestanute osakaal sisseastunutest (%) 9.5 8
Välisüliõpilaste osakaal (%) 5 15
Täiendusõppe kursuste arv 1 8
Üliõpilaste mobiilsus (%) 1.8 3

 

12. Application of the Development Plan and action plans

A development committee has been formed at the Senate of the Academy in order to develop and supplement the Development Plan of the EuroAcademy with the task of monitoring development, analysis of the standpoints of the Development Plan and regular updating thereof.