For approximately a year now, our university has been in the process of strategic planning and working on developing a new strategy for the university, UCU Strategy-2025. Throughout this year, more than 250 people were involved in the planning process at various stages: from conducting expert analysis of previous planning processes, positioning UCU against the background of assumptions about possible paths for the development of higher education in Ukraine and the world, developing the project UCU Vision-2025, to collecting and analyzing proposals from the UCU community regarding strategic goals.
For two months, strategic councils in the main areas of the university’s activities and a Vision group composed of UCU leaders worked on developing a full list of ideas and forming a small list of strategic goals. The results of the work of the strategic councils and the Vision group was the formation of 10 strategic goals for UCU-2025.
The project of UCU Vision-2025 and the university’s strategic goals were examined and approved by the UCU Senate, and work will soon start on creating operating plans for implementing the given strategic goals. The Senate created a working group to research UCU’s educational profile with the goal of assessing the correspondence of the university’s current activities, UCU Vision-2025, and the development of criteria and proposals for educational development.
In parallel, work began on a plan for providing for the development of UCU’s resources, in particular a financial plan for activities and infrastructure development. The key part of the process will be researching the potential for securing funds for UCU’s development and finalizing the vision and plans for the university’s new development campaign.
Also on the agenda will be the question of bringing the administrative structure, processes, personnel, and directions of activities into correspondence with new strategic goals. This will require the whole community to reflect on its current activities and also re-think them in light of UCU Vision-2025.
In the new strategy, we will not focus on the quantitative growth of educational programs, students, staff, computers, or square meters, but on the qualitative results of our activities. We should be interested in the influence of our work:
- On what positions and how do our graduates influence changes in our country?
- What international resonance do our scholarly projects and publications have?
- To which of UCU’s public intellectuals does public opinion pay attention?
- How have our certificate programs changed the life of the community and city?
- Which reforms have our analytical materials influenced?
- How successful have our students been in various competitions?
“The decisive idea by which UCU will be recognized and which will inspire the community to develop the university will be the call to service. UCU is a university which serves, a community of service. Teachers serve for the students’ integrated development. Students study and gain life experience to become leaders who serve. Scholarship is for instruction, cooperation, influence, and changes, in order to change how we think about various problems of our society and world, and also what we do with them. Benefactors and partners through their dedication and generosity create the university, the best illustration of the miracles dedicated people can perform. The academic community witnesses, serves, and communicates, so that, building upon the legacy of the martyrs and standing in solidarity with the marginalized, it stands on the side of God-given human dignity. The community strives to give life and share its gifts with the needy,” states UCU Senior Vice-Rector Taras Dobko.
We would like you to become acquainted with the list of strategic goals for UCU Strategy-2025:
1. Andrey Sheptytsky in the world’s consciousness
UCU should become a place for deepened and systematic reflection on the person and activities of the great metropolitan. His figure should become familiar to students and teachers. A language should be developed with the goal of using his methods and vision in solving today’s urgent problems. In the light of his person, new meanings should be created for politics, economics, education, the media, government administration, public health, the presence of the Church in the public space, public theology, leadership, and family life. UCU should work to make Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky present in the world’s consciousness.
There is no better way to preserve and deepen UCU’s Christian identity than to enter into communication with Metropolitan Andrey. The figure and legacy of Metropolitan Andrey should become the “tuning fork” and language in which the UCU community strives to speak of God, the human being, and the world.
2.Program of integrated personal development
UCU will be a university of and for the community, oriented to the cultivation of skills and attitudes necessary for young people to live in today’s complex world. Students and staff of the university will acquire knowledge and skills in business, technology, and informational and digital literacy.
A single system of student mentoring will operate at UCU, thanks to which a single interactive system will unite programs, curators, chaplains, tutors, and mentors, with the goal of developing the student’s integrated personality, combining the physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual development of the young person.
Through introducing a unique “worldview core” program, aimed at the integrated development of the young person, there will be a creative joining of professionalism and mature ethical approach, selflessness, and the ability to build one’s life on Christian values.
3.Top teachers for top students
4.Scholarship for instruction, cooperation, influence, and change
As the main way to realize at UCU the model “instruction through research,” the university will form a number of scholarly schools around UCU’s professors and researchers, which is possibly the highest added value on the international level. Research that unites the scholar and the student through scholarly investigation in joint service to the truth about the human being, the world, and God, will become a priority.
UCU should be a place where students learn skills and acquire their first experience of scholarly work, teachers strive to be at the top of real scholarly development in their field, in order to better serve their students, and where scholars work to share their scholarly knowledge with the wider public. UCU is a small university and so, to achieve quality in scholarly work, it needs maximal focus and effective use of limited resources. Research at UCU should be directed at changing how we think about various problems of our society and world and what we do about them. It should be in a team, an interdisciplinary and international matter. Scholarly work at UCU should also be guided by social responsibility and use a new language and new ways of thinking and solving society’s urgent problems and constantly address the question of how this kind of research teaches scholars themselves, their students, and the whole university community.
UCU, going through a trajectory unique for Ukraine, needs institutional channels through which it will be able to translate its values into policy by way of producing new meanings, influencing today’s agenda, and forming civic thought and changing “the rules of the game.” So the development of the analytical direction and expert activities of UCU’s scholarly departments has an important significance. The university should be a place for the work and formation of public intellectuals.
UCU should fulfill the role of Ukraine’s ambassador to the world through active cultural diplomacy, research in international themes, international academic exchanges, international scholarly teams, and leading scholarly conferences.
5.Laboratory of social volunteerism
A volunteer movement will be formed at UCU which includes the whole community—students, teachers, staff, the rector’s office, senators, graduates, benefactors, friends and partners. The DNA of our university was formed by people who gave us their time, attention, and generosity at the start of its existence. Having received such a blessing, UCU strives to serve those who need this the most. Our vocation is to form leaders for sacrificial service, young people who will be able not only to work for themselves and their success in life, but will serve the common good. Creating opportunities for social volunteerism with the goal of serving the UCU community, the Church, society, and the marginalized is one of the best decisions that will help the university form leaders for change.
6.UCU for the UGCC and the UGCC for UCU: Synergy in ministry
The university should become “a cultural laboratory where the Church carries out an active re-thinking of reality” in light of the Gospel of Christ. The UGCC, as a global church, and UCU, as a global university, will support and strengthen one another and serve one another. The university will apply its scholarly potential to society’s current challenges in cooperation with UGCC structures. They will jointly carry out research, initiatives, and projects of social significance. UCU will continue to be the Church’s voice in social, political, and cultural life. By educating future priests and laypeople as society’s spiritual leaders, the university, in the spirit of Pope Francis, will prepare them to create a Church that reaches out to society.
7.A university that reaches out
UCU will continue to be a relatively small university but with great social influence: where theologians, philosophers, and scholars in other fields of human knowledge – “with an open mind and praying on their knees” – will carry out a cultural revolution where there is a wide dialogue among believers and non-believers on behalf of the good of the human person, where the pluralism of studies is completed and transfigured by wisdom. This is necessary for the integrated development of the human person where, through the creative interaction of theologians with various challenges of today and rooted in theological reflection on Ukrainian grounds, academic communities will become co-creators of a Church that goes to society’s borders and serves it.
8. A modern administrative system – an enterprising university
Administration at UCU will be conducted on the basis of data and information systems. An effective system of project administration will operate at the university. This will allow the optimization of processes and use of university resources, improve internal communication, and a program of financial accountability will be in effect.
In the words of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky: “The first cause of poverty is disorganization.” So organization, initiative, activism, enterprise or, in a word, self-motivation, should become UCU’s internal culture, both for internal use – improving and optimizing our processes, and for the world outside – changing Ukraine.
Effective administration with complex organization and preserving the startup culture will become UCU’s strategic competitive advantage in Ukraine’s educational market.
9.Innovations in meeting the budget
UCU should become an enterprising university and a leader in introducing innovations into meeting the budget, a leading university in Ukraine regarding proposals for and the quality of its professional certificate programs.
In opening new programs, UCU should be guided by their influence on society and by financial security. Each new educational program should add to the university’s financial stability through its own financial stability. A strong competitive advantage of UCU will be the creation of flexible certificate programs, oriented to the current market demands of work and industry. At the same time, the university will do everything in its power to continue to be a social elevator for the poor.
10. A quality infrastructure for a community of service
A modern university needs a quality infrastructure. A new Collegium and Student Center will be built at UCU, which will allow an increase in the number of students who will take part in the university’s formation program. UCU will expand its territory with the thought of future development.
A full list of potential projects for the implementation of given strategic goals has already been created, and teams (program groups) of experts from the university community will continue to work on creating operating plans. There will be an additional announcement about the formation of expert teams and then interested UCU staff will be able to sign up for this work.
In the fall, the conclusions from the implementation of the project UCU Strategy-2020 will be presented and, after the presentation and approval of the new strategic plan, there will be an announcement about the transfer to a new stage of the university’s development.