Understanding Society

Tilburg University is convinced that it can contribute to solving social issues by developing and transferring knowledge and bringing together people from various disciplines and organizations.

FAQ

About the Strategic Plan

Why does Tilburg University need a Strategic Plan?

Every four years, Tilburg University sets out its policy outlines in a Strategic Plan. The Plan is part of the university’s planning and control cycle. This plan will help us prepare for the future, give shape to the development of higher education in the Netherlands, and anticipate the challenges and developments in our society. The Strategic Plan 2018-2021 contains the vision and focus based on which Tilburg University wants to develop in the coming years.

When does the current Strategic Plan end?

The current Strategic Plan ends in 2017. For the period 2018 - 2021, we will formulate a new Strategic Plan.

What can we expect from a new Strategic Plan?

The execution of the Strategic Plan 2014-2017 has contributed to Tilburg University’s present strong position. All National Performance Indicators have been met and student satisfaction has risen. The total number of registered students has grown organically to 12,000. Several long-term initiatives have been successfully launched, including JADS and the Student Education Center. Tilburg University is recognized as a strong partner in developing new strategic partnerships at regional, national, and international levels. It is widely recognized that Tilburg University is in good shape and performs well. There is a sense of optimism and it is generally felt that Tilburg University has not yet unleashed its full potential. The new Strategic Plan should identify a number of golden opportunities and indicate the direction towards sustainable growth.

What is the scope of Tilburg University’s Strategic Plan?

In preparation for the dialogue with our stakeholders, 'Dimensions for the Strategy. Towards a Strategic Plan 2018-2021 for Tilburg University' have been formulated. These comprise seven dimensions along which our university could develop. No content-based decisions have been taken with regard to any of these; they are all subject of discussion. We want to ask all our stakeholders to give us their opinions on these dimensions, and to add and share with us what their wishes, needs, and insights are with regard to the future development of our university.

The focus in ‘Dimensions for the Strategy’ is on growth. Why is it necessary for Tilburg University to grow?

The implementation of the Strategic Plan 2014-2017 has contributed to Tilburg University’s present strong position. All National Performance Indicators have been met and student satisfaction has risen. The total number of registered students has grown organically to 12,000. Several long-term initiatives have been successfully launched, including JADS and the Student Education Center. Tilburg University is recognized as a strong partner in developing new strategic partnerships at regional, national, and international levels. It is widely recognized that Tilburg University is in good shape and performs well. There is a sense of optimism and it is generally felt that Tilburg University has not yet unleashed its full potential. The new strategic plan should identify a number of golden opportunities and indicate the direction towards sustainable growth. If we do not grow, other universities will and we will run the risk of losing our strong position.

Why does the paper on ‘Dimensions for the Strategy’ list only seven dimensions? Aren’t there many more dimensions that are relevant?

During a consultation meeting with Deans, Vice-Deans, and the Managing Directors of the Schools on November 27, 2016, these seven dimensions were identified to set direction for the discussion of the new Tilburg University strategy. In order to seize major opportunities in the years to come, it is essential to choose position on these dimensions. No content-based decisions have been taken with regard to any of these; they are all subject of discussion. The input meetings (Speech2025, alumni and stakeholder meetings) will help to choose position. During Speech2025, all teams presenting their ideas on the Dimensions will have the opportunity to talk about a new dimension which the team feels is too important to miss.

What will I (as a student, employee, alumnus, stakeholder, …) experience in the process of formulating a new Strategic Plan?

The Executive Board thinks it is essential that the choices to be made will be broadly supported and are animated by the knowledge and expertise widely available in our academic community and among our external stakeholders. Therefore, the new strategy will be defined by all the university’s internal and external stakeholders in an intensive debate. All members of our Academic Community will be given the opportunity to let his or her voice be heard during the event of Speech2025. We will provide the stage to give representatives of sections of this community the chance to present their views on ‘The Dimensions for the Strategy’. Our alumni and stakeholders will also be asked to provide input, based on the same dimensions and themes.  All input gathered there will be taken into account while writing our new Strategic Plan.

We are confident that all these activities will provide useful input to formulate the draft Strategic Plan. This draft will make a tour of the various formal consultative bodies to generate broad support for the decision-making. More information on the process and the schedule as well as substantive information relevant to these events is available on this website.

We will keep you informed of developments and important dates via the website and newsletters, and everyone will have the opportunity to react to and interact in every phase in the process. You can do so by signing up for the closed Tilburg University Strategic Plan Facebook group.

About Speech2025

What is Speech2025?

Speech 2025 is a large-scale event held on March 9, 2017, for every member of our academic community. At this event, representatives of all sections of our academic community, who joined in teams, shared their personal ideas and ambitions.

The question at stake was how we all see the future of our university and what we want to achieve together. This does not only concern the primary processes of teaching and research but also the impact that the university wants to achieve and the role it wants to play in society and the world at large.

How does Speech2025 relate to the Strategic Plan?

The preparations for drafting our university’s new Strategic Plan for the period 2018-2021 are in full swing. This plan will help us prepare for the future, give shape to the development of higher education in the Netherlands, and anticipate the challenges and developments in our society. The Strategic Plan 2018-2021 will contain the vision and focus for the future of Tilburg University. The Executive Board is looking for choices that are broadly supported and also co-created by our academic community, using the wide range of knowledge and expertise available. Therefore, the new strategy will be defined by all the university’s internal and external stakeholders in an intensive debate.

What are the ‘Dimensions for the Strategy’?

In preparation for the dialogue, 'Dimensions for the Strategy. Towards a Strategic Plan 2018-2021 for Tilburg University' have been formulated. These comprise seven dimensions along which our university could develop. No content-based decisions have been taken with regard to any of these; they are all subject of discussion. We want to ask all our internal stakeholders to give a speech about their opinions on these dimensions, and to add and share with us what their wishes, needs, and insights are with regard to the future development of our university.

What happens with the input harvested at Speech2025?

All input harvested will be gathered and published on the website as well as via Tilburg University’s regular communication channels. Above all, it will form the input for the writing phase of the Strategic Plan. The output from Speech2025, alumni sessions, and session with strategic relations will be analyzed and discussed within our organization. The management teams of the Schools and University Services will also participate in this discussion. An analysis of Speech2025 can be found here, a book report on Speech2025 can be read here.

If I didn't join Speech2025, where do I find information about the process of drafting the new Strategic Plan?

We will keep you informed of developments and important dates via the website and newsletters, and we will also give everyone the opportunity to react to and interact in every phase in the process. You can do so by signing up for the closed Tilburg University Strategic Plan Facebook group.

The process of drafting the Strategic Plan 2018-2021

What does the process of drafting the new Strategic Plan look like?

The process to realize the Strategic Plan has a number of phases. The preparation phase ran from September to December 2016. In this phase, a core team was formed to support the process. In October, preliminary consultations with the Schools’ Deans and Managing Directors took place, an analysis of relevant ‘Insights & Trends’ was made, a reference paper was drafted with the strategic dimensions to be taken into account (‘Dimensions for the Strategy. Towards a Strategic Plan 2018-2021 for Tilburg University’), and a schedule was made.

In the second phase, called the ‘divergence phase’, as much input (information, views, etc.) as possible was gathered among all the university’s internal and external stakeholders about what is happening in higher education and academic research, and how we want to develop as a university. This phase ran from November 2016 to March 9, 2017.

The next step is the ‘convergence phase’, from the beginning of March to the end of May, in which all input will be analysed. The writing process in this phase will result in a draft Strategic Plan that will be available on June 1, 2017. The consultation rounds planned for this phase are aimed to generate broad support for the Plan.

The formal decision-making phase is scheduled for the period of June 1 to July 7, with a discussion of the draft Strategic Plan in the University Council meeting of July 7, 2017.

In the implementation phase that follows, the first step will be the publication of the Strategic Plan as part of the Opening of the Academic Year at the beginning of September 2017. An Implementation Plan will be formulated and adopted in the period between September and December 2017. The implementation of the Strategic Plan will start on January 1, 2018.

What is the connection with the Strategic Plans of the Schools?

Of course the main goals of Tilburg University’s Strategic plan will have to be compatible with the Schools’ Plans. That is why, in the convergence phase, the alignment of the Strategic Plan 2018-2021 with the strategic plans of the Schools will be an important step.

Which stakeholders have been asked to provide input for the Strategic Plan?

In the period between February 8 and March 1, various events took place in which recommendations and input was gathered among alumni and the university’s strategic external stakeholders. They were asked to share their views of the future of our university: in what direction should we be heading and what will the impact be on the relationship with these external stakeholders?

Short reports of these events can be found here.