Albanian universities need to reinforce their role for the social and economic development of the country. This is a national priority stated in the Higher Education Strategy and in the Action Plan defined by national authorities. Teaching, learning and research, the traditional missions of universities, need improvements in order to support Albanian economic and social development. Moreover, what is known as university Third Mission (3M) also needs a stronger and deeper development in Albanian universities. The three groups of activities which are part of 3M (technology transfer, continuing education and social engagement) are still incipient in Albanian universities and a greater effort should be undertaken for making universities more responsive to social and economic needs, especially at regional level. This project U3M-AL focuses on promoting 3M activities in Albanian universities, training university staff, establishing Regional Development Centres in charge of 3M activities in each public university and finally creating an Albanian network for promoting 3M activities at national level. The project U3M-AL is addressed to promote cultural and structural reforms in universities but the role of the socioeconomic environment is also critical for the success of the project. In this sense, the project promotes the relationships with regional industry, employers, public authorities and the society at large. All of them have been part of the activities developed in this project and in the remaining activities when the project will be over.
General Objectives of the Conference
- To present the achievements of the project to the Albanian and international community.
- To have a deeper and final reflection on the relevance of 3M activities for the socioeconomic future of Albania and the whole region.
- To propose concrete models for the implementation of 3M activities.
- To identify and discuss the main obstacles of the implementation of 3M activities in universities.
- To present the dissemination actions of the project.
- To illustrate the bridges between Albanian universities and society through the promotion of 3M.
- To present the process that several Albanian Universities have followed to establish RDC for promoting and organizing 3M activities and to provide suggestions about the best way of doing it.
- To present the Albanian network of 3M activities for promoting these activities.
Major issues to be addressed include
- Improving the management of Albanian universities in regard to 3M activities and providing better students services in the area of continuing education
- Improving the capacity of Albanian universities for obtaining additional financial resources and developing transparency about services and activities
Developing technology transfer activities and establishing regional centres with this purpose
- Developing continuing education in society at large and establishing regional centres with this purpose
- Developing the social engagement of universities and establishing regional centres with this purpose
- University management and students services
- Institutional and financial autonomy and accountability
- Establishing a knowledge triangle higher education – innovation – research
- Development of lifelong learning
- 3M activities and the university mission
- Technology transfer and innovation
- Lifelong learning/continuing education
- Social engagement
- Supporting structures and mechanisms for developing 3M activities
Case studies comparing at least two countries (including but not limited to those of South East Europe) as well as research-based policy recommendations are encouraged.