Why is it important to have a strategic plan?
In the first place because it’s a legal obligation. But even more importantly, a strategic plan provides clarity on the UvA’s direction: what do we want to achieve in the coming years and how do we want to do that? Our mission and core values form the starting point as we work towards our longer term vision. A strategic plan also provides insight into external factors and strategic choices that we must make. A good strategic plan thus provides clarity about our direction and serves as a guide for making decisions about what we will and won’t do, and how we will do that.
Duration of a Strategic Plan
The time frame for the strategic plan is six years. The current strategic plan was established in 2021 and will therefore run until the end of 2026. Below you can read how the current plan was created.
Stage 0: assembling the building blocks
When preparing the new Strategic Plan, it is important to work on the basis of a shared vision. The shared vision provides direction to policy and describes what the UvA aims to achieve and what others may expect from us. When determining the vision, we will use ‘building blocks’: the many policy documents that have recently been prepared (such as the Diversity Policy Document and the HR Agenda) or those currently being drafted (the Vision on Teaching and Learning, and the Sustainability Policy).
The advantage is that there will be strong coherence between these policy documents and the Strategic Plan that will set out the strategic direction for the years ahead. Another major advantage is that many people at the UvA have already contributed their ideas during the process of preparing policy documents so that we can make good use of the thinking power of the university.
Stage 1: discussing topics
During the first stage, which ran from September until the end of December 2019, the Executive Board held discussions on various topics with various groups. The Strategic Plan is a fixed item on the agenda of meetings with the deans and the representative advisory bodies. Furthermore, round-table meetings were held in September and October on topics that were not reflected in the above policy documents. A one-day conference took place in November, in which a larger group of UvA representatives discussed the dilemmas in the years ahead. The result of stage 1 is a document that concisely describes the starting points and the vision for the new Strategic Plan
Stage 2: translation of concept into a new plan
The second stage ran from January until the end of May 2020 when the starting points from stage 1 were translated into the outlines for the new Strategic Plan.
The ‘Outlines for the 2021-2026 Strategic Plan' were submitted for comment in February and March.
Until 12 March 2020, UvA students and staff were able to respond to the document 'Outlines for the 2021 - 2026 strategic plan' on the online platform Have your say at the UvA.
During this stage, Part 2 of the Strategic Plan is simultaneously prepared, which involves adding further details to the outlines. Moreover, the plan still is a regularly recurring item on the agenda of the meetings between the deans and the representative advisory bodies, and the academic community is approached to provide an opinion and input at this stage.
In addition, the faculties start working on translating the starting points into their own Faculty Strategic Plan; although the time schedule varies by faculty, the aim is that all the faculties must have completed a plan for their faculty by the end of 2020.
Stage 3: consent and approval
The working document of the strategic plan is now available, incorporating the outlines (including all the feedback provided) and the agenda points for the years ahead. Please note that the Dutch version of the plan is leading.
The working document of the Strategic Plan is discussed with the deans and directors, the representative advisory bodies and the advisory committees. The consequences of the corona crisis – for the government grant and student intake, for instance – will also be included when finalising the plan. The feedback provided during the discussions, as well as the information from Budget Day, is used as input for the Strategic Plan 2021-2026.
The Executive Board provisionally adopted a draft Strategic Plan on 20 October 2020. On 23 October, the draft Strategic Plan was submitted for approval to the Joint Meeting (GV: Gezamenlijke Vergadering) of the Central Works Council (COR) and the Central Student Council (CSR). The plan is expected to be definitively adopted before the end of the year.
Any comments were addressed which had been made regarding the working document version of the Strategic Plan, which was distributed prior to the summer and discussed with the representative advisory bodies over the past months. This consultation round also yielded comments from committees like the University Committee on Education (UCO) and the University Committee on Research (UOC). Other individuals and groups within the UvA, such as the directors of operational management at the faculties, also made proposals regarding the text. These comments were also addressed as well as possible in the draft Strategic Plan as provisionally adopted and formally submitted to the representative advisory bodies for approval. Following the approval of the representative advisory bodies, the Supervisory Board approved the Strategic Plan, after which it was adopted by the Executive Board.
Overview of round-table discussions and conference
- 25 September 2019, ‘Teamwork’
- 3 October 2019, ‘Lifelong Development/Lifelong Learning’ (LLD/LLL)
- 11 October 2019, ‘Interdisciplinarity’
- 16 October 2019, ‘Student Engagement’
- 14 November 2019, Conference: 'The University on the Threshold of the 2020s'
Who had a say in the Strategic Plan?
Various opportunities were offered to staff and students to have their say, to provide feedback and to contribute content to the Strategic Plan, see the examples in stages 1 and 2. In ‘Stage 3 Consent and Approval’ participation proceeds through the COR and the CSR. Information regarding the Faculty Strategic Plans is provided by the faculties.
Where can I find information on the Strategic Plan?
This page contains information on the procedure and the activities that were scheduled. You can find the full Strategic Plan 2021 - 2026: Inspiring Generations here.
Or read one of the previous Strategic Plans:
Why a strategic plan?
A strategic plan provides clarity on the UvA’s direction: what do we want to achieve in the coming years and how do we want to do that? Our mission and core values form the starting point as we work towards our longer term vision. A strategic plan also provides insight into external factors and strategic choices that we must make. A good strategic plan thus provides clarity about our direction and serves as a guide for making decisions about what we will and won’t do, and how we will do that.