Those who want to bring innovation into society must be willing to change and improve. The launching of the strategic projects reflects the University’s awareness of this and is a first concrete step towards a change in its internal structure and in the way its researchers work.
Such a significant reform obviously entails a governance problem: the regulatory framework, which is based on a partially different system, may be too rigid for the University to achieve the task of effective interdepartmental cooperation set by the Strategic Plan.
A review of the regulations seems therefore necessary in three large areas:

Teaching

Innovation concerns not only research, but also teaching. To a certain extent our University, like other Italian universities, is lagging behind in this sector compared with other international institutions, but it is striving to close this gap.
For this reason the university has founded a Center for faculty training (FORMID - Centro di competenza per la FORMazione dei docenti e l’Innovazione Didattica) which will coordinate the workshop on the quality and innovation of teaching (LIQUID - Laboratorio Interdisciplinare per la QUalità e l’Innovazione della Didattica) and the student careers monitoring project, which was started some years ago (OSSCAR - Osservatorio sulle carriere formative e i destini professionali degli studenti dell’Ateneo di Trento). Innovating also means adopting new strategies for teaching and the coordination of teaching (CSL - Centro Studi sul Linguaggio and NSF - Nuove Strategie per la Formazione).
The dual-career project for student-athletes (“E-Du-Ca: E-learning for Dual Career”) aims to make teaching more flexible and efficient and, along with the “Sport diffuso” project and the strengthening of  services that facilitate the practice of sports, completes a framework in which sport is a key and distinctive aspect of our University.

The international dimension of education

The Strategic Plan underlines the importance of internationalization, which has long been one of the strengths of the University of Trento. International experience is a key factor for our graduates’ success in the labour market but, on the other hand, the University must also work harder and better to become an attractive destination for the best foreign students.
The RIT project for the recruitment of international students in Bachelor’s degrees taught in Italian (RIT - Reclutamento Internazionale lauree Triennali) and the “Short term Programs” for foreign students (STP4IS - Short term Programs for International Students) represent a step forward in this direction. In addition to these there is also the tandem learning program (TANDEM).

The ethical dimension and inclusion

The principles of equality and inclusion have always been of great importance for the University of Trento, and will continue to be in the future.
Actions in this area include the Plan for Positive Action adopted in March 2017, support for training and research activities in the area of inclusion and respect for differences (CSG - Centro studi interdisciplinari di genere), and increased support for students with a disability or special educational needs (UN-IS - proposta supporto studenti con disabilità). The University also seeks to further consolidate its legal, ethical and scientific competencies in research and training (INTEGRA - INtegrity of Trento Research) and strengthen its open access and anti-plagiarism policies (OA - proposta per il rafforzamento delle politiche a favore dell’Open Access e per il contrasto al plagio). To enhance the quality of student life and university experience, the University also gives importance to activities for the independence of young researchers (GIOVANI - azioni a favore di giovani ricercatori) and to improving services in the area of PhD courses, to align them with international standards (ORD - proposta per l’istituzione di Organismi di Raccordo fra Corsi di Dottorato).
Finally, the Strategic Plan takes into account aspects of safety in the workplace (PTR - Parry The Risk, “Chiudi la porta al pericolo”: iniziative per la sicurezza nei luoghi di lavoro) and, for the first time, an Environmental Sustainability Plan.

Strategic projects

FORMID - Centro di competenza per la formazione dei docenti e l’innovazione didattica
(Competence centre for academic staff training and innovation in teaching methods)

This project aims to promote innovation in teaching methods, to build on innovative best practices in teaching that are already in use at UniTrento, and to propose future directions. The initiatives already in place will be evaluated to establish whether they are efficient and whether they have further potential for application, including through e-learning methodologies. The University will facilitate the implementation of innovations through training programmes specifically designed for teaching staff, promote actions aimed at enhancing the particular linguistic and methodological competences necessary to teach in a foreign language, and design programmes to encourage the learning of cross-sector skills within degree programmes.

LIQUID - Laboratorio Interdisciplinare per la Qualità e l’innovazione della Didattica. Modelli, Strumenti, Pratiche
(Interdisciplinary laboratory for quality and innovation in teaching. Models, instruments, practices)

The purpose of the project is to create a permanent laboratory to connect the various departments and to perform action research on quality and innovation in teaching, focusing in particular on academic teaching. LIQuID will monitor the processes of designing, organizing and assessing interdepartmental and interdisciplinary strategic actions. Actions are envisaged along three lines: “Struttura di raccordo” (a liaison structure); “Ricerca-Azione e Diffusione” (action research and dissemination); “Innovazione, Formazione e Aggiornamento” (innovation, training and professional development).
These actions include analysis of the current situation, training and professional development of academic staff, new forms of collaboration and interdepartmental organization of teaching activities, research dissemination activities, and experimentation with new teaching practices.

OSSCAR - Osservatorio sulle carriere formative e i destini professionali degli studenti dell’Ateneo di Trento
(Observatory on the academic and professional careers of UniTrento students)

The purpose of the project is to continue and to consolidate the interdepartmental research collaboration started in 2014 to provide scientific data in this area and to furnish information that can facilitate decision-making processes within the University’s governing bodies.
The Observatory performs a longitudinal and integrated analysis of the recruitment processes, academic performance, and employment outcomes of the students of the University of Trento.

CSL – Centro Studi sul Linguaggio
(Centre for studies of language)

The project aims to create a liaison centre to support and develop studies of language at undergraduate, graduate and PhD level, and to coordinate teaching activity in the scientific study of language (formal linguistics, language psychology, neurolinguistics, language impairments, typical and atypical language development, sociolinguistics, multilingualism, minority languages, and the teaching of linguistics), with its implications for research, third mission and orientation.

NSF - Nuove Strategie per la Formazione
(New strategies for education)

The purpose of the project is to create a university network that connects different and distant disciplines in a common constructive perspective focused on the modelling and application of new and existing education processes. More specifically, the project aims to develop, model, disseminate and evaluate education/training instruments.
The use of models will bring a set of advantages: education/training processes can be schematized and digitized, and this will ensure their widespread dissemination; results will be shared in an effective and controllable way; and it will be possible to achieve actual interdisciplinarity.

E-Du-Ca: E-learning for Dual Career

The purpose of the project is to provide the University with a series of technological and educational solutions that will strengthen its leadership and serve as a model at both national and international level in two different but integrated areas: a) supporting the dual careers of professional athletes, and b) using sport as a strategic resource in soft skills training programmes in the student community at large (Sport Diffuso project).
To achieve this, the project will build new digital services to support student-athletes, built on the well-established online platform “Comunità Online” (COMOL).
This platform can be rapidly integrated with the other technological platforms of the University (beginning with Esse3) and with other educational instruments.

RIT - Reclutamento Internazionale lauree Triennali
(International recruitment for undergraduate degrees)

The purpose of the project is to recruit high school students from outside Europe through a training programme in which they are taught basic Italian. The project consists of a study programme to learn Italian in 12-18 months in the country of origin with Italian mother tongue teachers, and a summer school in Trento before starting the undergraduate course, to prepare students for the Italian academic world and facilitate their cultural integration.

STP4IS - Short Term Programs for International Students

The objective of the project is to organize attractive short-term programmes for international students from universities with which UniTrento has bilateral agreements. This also enriches the range of courses on offer to all international students who would like to study in Italy.
The goal of the project is to promote the brand, the services, and the teaching and research of the University through summer schools, winter schools and thematic camps, thus expanding the recruitment base for potential international students.

TANDEM - Tandem learning

The project aims to create a programme of tandem learning to increase the range of activities in the areas of international mobility and language skills for its community of students through flexible and accessible programmes for language practice and improvement.

CSG - Centro studi interdisciplinari di genere
(Center of Interdisciplinary Gender Studies)

The project aims to consolidate the interdisciplinary and interdepartmental activity of the CSG and to support the University’s organizational units to meet the strategic objectives for inclusiveness and respect of gender differences as laid out in the Plan for Positive Action 2017-2019. The project includes the following actions: to carry out a gender budgeting initiative, as required by the Conference of Italian University Rectors; to support the creation of a Master’s degree on diversity management and of a course on gender studies available to different degree programmes; to organize a summer school on gender studies and other events on subjects related to gender and to valuing diversity.

UN-IS - Supporto studenti con disabilità
(Support for students with disabilities)

The project is designed for students with disabilities or special needs and involves the departments and centres’ disability coordinators on a constant basis. Through the constant monitoring of student services, the project aims to facilitate the inclusion and mobility of disabled students, ensuring both that students are able to effectively pursue their studies and that the University’s facilities are accessible and usable. The project also includes the creation of a helpdesk for students with high functioning autism spectrum disorders to provide assistance and advice to students, their families and University staff. The University’s structures and other relevant facilities, such as libraries and University restaurants, will be mapped to make sure that they are accessible and to increase the liveability of the University.
The project also aims to share initiatives and research in the field of disability with the universities that are part of the UNI3V network (Università del Triveneto per l’Inclusione delle persone con disabilità) to promote education on disability issues and enable the full inclusion of people with disabilities.

INTEGRA: Integrity of Trento Research

The goal of the project is to develop interdisciplinary skills in law, ethics and science for those who perform research in the fields of life sciences and new technologies. The project will be implemented at an institutional level, with the establishment of a centre for liaison between departments regarding the requirements of research, and at an academic level, with courses tailored to the needs of students, PhD students, and researchers.

OA - Rafforzamento delle politiche a favore dell’Open Access e per il contrasto al plagio
(Strengthening open access and anti-plagiarism policies)

The purpose of the project is to strengthen the University’s strategy on the promotion of Open Access and on countering plagiarism through a series of measures that will promote Open Access, increase training on relevant topics, and provide a complete legal framework in both areas.

GIOVANI - Azioni a favore di giovani ricercatori
(Actions in support of young researchers)

The project provides funding to young researchers to promote their involvement in competitive research calls at national and international level.
University funds will cover the expenses of submitting a fixed number of project proposals from postdoctoral and fixed term researchers who will be selected based on the quality of their proposals and their scientific résumé.

ORD - Organismi di Raccordo fra Corsi di Dottorato
(Bodies for liaison among doctoral courses)

The goal of the project is to create liaison bodies at doctoral level to provide a common University environment in academic and administrative terms where students and academic staff from different doctoral courses can exchange experiences and knowledge.
In order to create a liaison body, at least 5 doctoral courses and the departments or centres that offer such courses need to agree on a common programme.

PTR - Parry The Risk, “Chiudi la porta al pericolo”:  iniziative per la sicurezza nei luoghi di lavoro
(Initiatives for safety in the workplace)

The project aims to set up institutional meetings and a range of initiatives on safety in the workplace.
These initiatives (seminars, events, monitoring exercises, exhibitions and case study analyses) are designed for University staff, including academic staff, and for students of the different degree programmes.

The series of actions that respond to the challenges of innovation in order to change and improve the University also include the actions presented in the Plan for Environmental Sustainability, approved in 2016, and in the Three-year Plan for Positive Action, approved in March 2017, which are briefly illustrated below:

Plan for Environmental Sustainability 2016-2018

The Plan for Environmental Sustainability 2016-2018 is a road map that the University adopted with the aim of becoming an example of a virtuous, responsible, innovative and sustainable community. The University will report annually on the progress achieved, with reference to an initial set of data, and on the commitments for the years to come. Where possible, summary indices will be used.
The road map encompasses 4 main areas, each of which includes specific actions and objectives: 1. emissions, energy and natural resources; 2. buildings and procedures; 3. culture and sustainability; 4. health and well-being.

Piano triennale di Azioni Positive

Promoting equality and respect for diversity, and fighting all forms of discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, religion or belief, disability, age, sexual orientation or conditions of employment, are among the strategic objectives of the University of Trento. To achieve these objectives, the University has set up a structured system of contact people in departments and bodies that promote and implement specific actions and policies whose goals are to correct imbalances and to ensure equal access and advancement opportunities for all, in addition to monitoring existing working conditions and promoting the well-being of all members of the academic community, with special attention to those in more vulnerable positions. Aware of its responsibility towards citizens in providing education and social and cultural innovation, the University seeks to promote equality and diversity both in teaching and learning and in research.

Documents are available in Italian.