Institutional strategy development for the Agricultural University of Tirana 2030
Higher education plays a key role in transforming agriculture at the local, national, and global level into a sustainable and climate-resilient production sector. Given the importance of the agricultural sector for Albania’s economy and society, the Agricultural University of Tirana (AUT), as institution of higher education in the field of agriculture, is of utmost importance for the country. Together with its Experimental Didactic Farm (EDF), it provides the future generations with relevant knowledge, expertise, and skills to address and accompany the agricultural transformation in the Albanian context. About 7,000 enrolled students and 586 staff members conduct research on a wider range of topics in the areas of Agricultural Science, Economics and Agribusiness, Biotechnology and Food Science, Forestry as well as Veterinary Science.
However, in the light of the EU approximation new challenges for the agricultural sector regarding new policy measures and EU standards arise. At the same time, AUT is confronted with an increasing international competition, declining numbers of students and the challenge to keep up on digitalization and the newest technological developments.
To address these issues and to ensure that AUT and EDF can fulfil their roles in the upcoming decades, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) commissioned HFFA Research to support the AUT in designing a strategic management plan and roadmap for the future. The aim is to prepare and position the AUT and EDF as a future-proof and innovative teaching and research institute to be able to face demographic and financial challenges on the one hand and to provide quality services on the other hand. To position AUT as a center of knowledge and excellence in all agricultural matters, major core areas were identified: One core area concerns the improvement of career opportunities and work environment to attract skilled and competent staff at AUT. Another core area is the promotion of excellence in research and development, including the strengthening of national and international networks and cooperation of AUT. A third core area is the improvement of teaching, which concerns for example the AUT’s didactic and research infrastructure such as laboratories and libraries etc.
In close cooperation with the university stakeholders, our team will develop a concept for a “Development Strategy 2030” of AUT, including a feasible roadmap and a conceptual business plan for the strategic development of the EDF. Part of the assignment will also be to support the process and explore the possibilities and synergies through integrating AUT into the Integrated Research and Knowledge Management System (AKIS) of the EU.