Research and university education are an essential element for the cultural, economic and social growth of our society and our region.
This is confirmed by, among other things, the Memorandum of Understanding that the University and the Municipality of Trento have signed in the framework of the UniCittà project, which set out to develop and increase connections among the City, the University and the student community, as other universities are doing at both national and European level.
The University can benefit greatly from dialogue and collaboration with various external actors from society, the arts, economics, professions, and industrial research. The University of Trento systematically seeks this dialogue and nurtures it.
To disseminate the scientific method and critical thinking, researchers should take greater responsibility for forming public opinion, and be committed to communicating the results of their work, contributing to public debate with a qualified perspective, and engaging in dialogue with all stakeholders in civil society. They should also provide examples of the practical results of investment in research, by participating (in compliance with their institutional role) in initiatives that reinforce the cultural, social and economic development of the areas in which the University is involved. To strengthen this civic role, which constitutes its “Third mission”, the University of Trento is working in two directions. On one side, through the Trentino Innovation Hub (HIT), it capitalizes on the results of scientific research and implements actions to attract new highly technological enterprises that will promote local growth. On the other, the University will pursue the following objectives.
Facilitate the dissemination of science
The University already offers a wide spectrum of scientific dissemination events aimed at different audiences.
Now it is necessary to re-design these events within a systematic strategy that underlines the contribution of the University to the region and reaches new audiences.
Extend the reach of university education
The resources of the University should be made available to a wider audience, beyond conventional students.
The University could experiment with open education methodologies (in which a limited number of alumni and students can take one or more university courses for personal or professional growth) and with distance learning on online platforms (MOOCS). These methodologies should be feasible, accountable, and in line with the University’s procedures.
It is also necessary to establish whether the University can improve its participation in professional development and lifelong learning programmes.
Facilitate the use of research outputs
The University promotes, as far as possible, access to data generated by research and publications, encouraging open science policies.
This re-use of data and analyses creates further research and encourages business opportunities in an open data philosophy.
Support the school system
The University has a duty to contribute to ensuring and maintaining a high standard of professionalism in the national school system by supporting and reinforcing the professional training for prospective and in-service teachers. The University participates in the civic development of the nation by creating the conditions for effective orientation of high-school students in their choice of a university course.
Strenghten collaboration with businesses and local organizations
It is fundamental that the knowledge and skills offered by the University are shared with businesses and professionals so that the University can contribute effectively to a dynamic, technologically advanced and internationally competitive economy.
The University also contributes to the quality of services at local level, promoting and giving visibility to existing collaborations, strengthening relations with the local community, and recognizing its presence as a key factor for the cultural and civic development of the local community in a close cooperation with citizens and the scientific community.