A series of strategy development events and university development projects.
- ▌ training of project teams
- ▌ strategy and projects for university transformation
- ▌ common vision of a target university model among session participants
- ▌ a shared set of concepts and intellectual tools for strategic work
- ▌ a community of change leaders at universities
- ▌ management teams ready to implement the projects they developed
Participants50 to 70 key actors of the university
Formatalternating work in small groups and plenary discussions with thematic and methodological expert consultations
Cycle durationthe minimum cycle is nine months, including selection of participants, two six-day strategy sessions and inter-session work
Communicationexpressing and debating arguments (regardless of a participants’ formal status), constructive criticism, and moderated discussions
SEDeC experienceMore than 70 sessions held at Project 5-100 universities, flagship universities, national research universities, and federal universities: Tomsk State University, University of Tumen, Tyumen Industrial University, National Research Nuclear University MEPhI, Northern (Arctic) Federal University, Ural Federal University, National University of Science and Technology MISiS, The Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, Irkutsk National Research Technical University, and more.
"As a Rector, I am confident that the university has started along the path of transformation and will not be turning back: we have a team capable of making bold changes and leading the university out onto the global stage"
Rector at Irkutsk National Research Technical University
Feedback on strategy sessions at the Irkutsk National Research Technical University
The need to conduct strategy sessions was the result of the completion in 2019 of the development programme which the university is implementing as the National Research Technical University.
We needed to draft a university development programme for the next ten years. As a Rector, I would object in principle to any programme developed and implemented top-down. I believe it is important for the team to actively participate in analysing the current state of the university and determining current trends and areas for university development. It is incredibly valuable when a team has a strong sense of where and how the university should develop, and adopts the development programme as a personal goal, making every effort to achieve and implement it.
Of course, our aim was to advance with a development programme fit for one of Russia’s leading universities, and that is why we contacted the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO. Its team has provided expert support for Project 5–100.
I would like to thank Andrei Volkov’s team for their very professional strategy sessions. Their energy and perseverance were extremely helpful in transforming the team, motivating them to focus on creativity and development.
Based on the outcomes of strategy sessions for employees, we formed a real team for change. The team members are well informed on current trends in educational development, new approaches to educational trajectories, conducting the research and the promotion of innovative activity at universities throughout the world.
After the strategy sessions, we formed task forces in major areas of university development, as well as pilot projects on the implementation of project training and individual trajectories in particular training areas. All the projects now have roadmaps, and the teams come together weekly to report on and discuss their progress. There are plans to roll out successful pilot projects across the university, scaling up their models and approaches.
Finally, a spirit of competitiveness and optimism now reigns within the university. Teams are working hard to get results as soon as possible and show that they are implementing their projects in practice. This helps to get other university lecturers and employees involved in the process: they are positively envious of the teams’ work, and are overwhelmingly eager to get other task forces and pilot projects to work with them. As a Rector, I am confident that the university has started along the path of transformation and will not be turning back: we have a team capable of making bold changes and leading the university out onto the global stage.
Mikhail Kornyakov, Rector at Irkutsk National Research Technical University
"Discussion with Russia’s leading experts gave us a clear understanding of global trends in university education, and of the place and role of our university. The strategy sessions helped us to form a “strong guiding core” of forward-thinking employees who promote change"
Rector of the University of Tyumen
Feedback from the Rector of the University of Tumen
We are convinced that one of the priorities of the University of Tumen must be (and is) the personal development of employees and their increasing involvement and active engagement in decision-making. These are not just empty words. We invest in people, and so increase the university's human capital. In February 2015, we launched the Strategy Sessions project, whereby the senior and middle management of the university, as well as lecturers, were given the opportunity to train with top Russian experts in education and academia. This was the first time in the history of our university that our development strategy was created out of a major brainstorming session — an extremely significant experience for us.
Our aim was to make profound positive changes based on the opinion of the majority, and to learn to communicate in a different way and work with each other. Many participants in strategy sessions note that this kind of teamwork is a powerful stimulus for further development. We do not discuss current difficulties at our strategy sessions. Instead, we discuss what the university may look like in three to five years.
Discussion with Russia’s leading experts gave us a clear understanding of global trends in university education, and of the place and role of our university. The strategy sessions helped us to form a “strong guiding core” of forward-thinking employees who promote change.
As things stand, we have implemented three large-scale projects. First, the opening of the School of Future-Oriented Research, which should drive multidisciplinary studies in the social sciences and humanities. Second, we have set up the Institute of Ecological and Agricultural Biology.
This Institute will help to ensure that resources are concentrated in science and engineering. Third was the overall transformation of educational activity, particularly as regards individual educational trajectories. None of these projects would have seen the light of day if we had not come together to try and imagine the future of the university at strategic sessions three years ago.
We need to create a culture of change, and cannot afford to be afraid of moving forward. We must not simply wait for change; we must drive the transformation of our university ourselves.
Valery Falkov, Rector of the University of Tyumen
Strategic sessions are not:
Educational programmes for “professional development”. Intensive work on the university’s strategy may be educational in that it allows participants to acquire new knowledge and concepts, but this is not the purpose of their work. Purpose of the work: To develop strategies and projects for university development.
Consulting. We do not offer ready-made solutions or write strategic documents for the university: participants independently determine the next steps needed for transformation, develop projects, and bear responsibility for their implementation, while we provide expertise and methodological support for their work..
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