Making Universities A Key Player To Achieve Sustainable Development
By Enrico Giovannini and Giuseppe Novelli
The Report “The Role of Science, Technology and Innovation Policies to Foster the Implementation of the Sustainable Development”, recently prepared by a Group of International experts on behalf of the European Commission underlines that science, technology and innovation, together with good governance and a change in the current mindset, are the fundamental ingredients of the transition of the existing systems towards sustainability.
The Universities can and must be primary drivers of this transition. This is why, at the end of November 2015, fully in line with the planetary commitment made by the United Nations with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, the University of Rome Tor Vergata approved its new mission and vision in favor of sustainable development (see box 1). This choice represents a commitment with a significant cultural relevance that places our University as a leader amongst Italian Universities (and not just) in supporting the realization of the 2030 Agenda.
In doing that, alongside the traditional missions typical of Italian Universities (education, research and the relationships with institutions and companies operating in their reference territories), Tor Vergata is committed to make the “sustainable development paradigm” central to all its activities, a choice fully in line also with the strategic directions developed by the Italian Rectors to build the “Universities of the future”.
During this year the University will develop an action plan to put in practice its new mission and vision, based on a “gap analysis” made by all its departments. In the meantime, as first and concrete sign of this new direction, two positions at researcher level will be assigned to those Departments who will propose the best research programs around sustainable development, with a special attention to interdisciplinary approaches, to overcome the risk of assigning the new positions to narrow focus research topics. The University is also ready to establish operational agreements with other academic institutions and research institutes especially oriented to sustainable development, both to develop innovative education programs and to exploit the opportunities provided by the European Horizon 2020 programme, which devotes 60% of its funds to projects linked to sustainable development.
Enrico Giovannini, Full professor of economic statistics, Department of Economics and Finance, University of Rome Tor Vergata
Giuseppe Novelli, Rector, University of Rome Tor Vergata
Mission and vision of the University of Rome Tor Vergata
The mission of the University of Rome Tor Vergata is to contribute to people’s education and training, to scientific research and to the technological, organisational and social innovation needed to achieve a truly sustainable development in Italy, Europe and worldwide pursuant to the Sustainable Development Goals approved by the United Nations in September 2015. As the implementation of the actions needed to accomplish such ambitious purpose requires high skills and management of complex processes, not only is the University of Rome Tor Vergata deeply committed to excellent education and scientific research, but it also closely cooperates with the private sector, public institutions and non-profit organisations at national and international level. This aims at favouring the adoption of policies and behaviours focusing on sustainability both in terms of well-being for people and ecosystem conditions.
The University of Rome Tor Vergata aims at playing a leading role in research and education, as well as in technological, economic, organisational and social development in order to become not only a ‘sustainable University’ but also one of the best European Universities by 2025.
The University of Rome Tor Vergata is committed to being an open space to develop advanced and high-quality knowledge, lifelong learning and training for youngsters and adults, to conceive and experiment innovative solutions hence achieving sustainable development. Moreover, it holds in high regard the professionalism and integrity displayed by the faculty as well as the administrative, technical and library staff, granting appropriate working conditions and minimising its impact on the environment.
The University of Rome Tor Vergata cooperates both with similar national and international bodies and with public and private research institutes, promoting the internationalisation of teaching and research, investing in lifelong learning for teaching and administrative staff, pursuing the development of existing resources to be exploited in the most efficient way. This can also be done thanks to the constant evaluation of the achieved results (measured through performance indicators based on the best international practices) and the adoption of groundbreaking organisational structures and technological equipment.
The University of Rome Tor Vergata is committed to demonstrating its value in order to enhance its reputation among Italian citizens and potential foreign students, the national and international academic community, as well as profit and non-profit institutions and companies.
The University of Rome Tor Vergata pays particular attention to its relationship with the Municipality of Rome and its territory, so as to contribute to improving the quality of life for citizens and future perspectives for firms and institutions living and operating there.
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