Project Summary

U3M-AL is a TEMPUS project partially financed by the  EU and coordinated by the University of León (Spain). Most public Albanian  universities and the Ministry of Education are partners of this project. It is  a two years project (from October 2012 to September 2014) with a budget of  around 800,000€.

The relationship between higher education and society  is frequently referred to as the Third Mission (3M) of universities. It  encompasses a wide range of activities involving the generation, use, application  and exploitation of knowledge and other university capabilities in the service  of society. This is integral to the traditional university missions of teaching  and research. 3M activities provide benefits of many kinds – enhanced research  opportunities and outcomes; generation of ideas, jobs and companies; a much  broader group of students of the university; enhanced engagement with the  community; and they can bring in additional money.  Such benefits serve as positive factors for  the development of the more traditional missions of universities: teaching and  basic research.   We adopt a classification of 3M into activities  related to research (technology transfer and innovation, etc.), to teaching  (lifelong learning/continuing education, etc.), and to social engagement  (public access to museums, concerts and lectures; voluntary work and  consultancy by staff and students, etc.). They are a variety of activities that  involves many constituent parts of universities and that requires a suitable  culture and mind-set; different people with specialised skill-sets; and  supporting structures and mechanisms, for it to achieve its potential. In the  era of the ‘knowledge society 3M activities have received substantial policy  attention, as universities have been asked to optimise their roles as key  players as is the case in Albania.   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 and learning and research, the traditional  missions of universities, need improvements in order to support Albanian development.  Additionally 3M need also 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.

Objectives   The U3M-AL project will support the role of Albanian  universities in the social and economic growth of the country through three  main objectives:

  1. Developing  relationships between Albanian universities and society through the promotion  of 3M activities: technology transfer, continuing education and social  engagement.
  2. Establishing  Regional Development Centres for promoting and organising 3M activities in each  Albanian public university
  3. Establishing  an Albanian network of 3M activities for promoting these activities after the  conclusion of this project.

Main activities   The U3M-AL project will support the role of Albanian  universities in the social and economic growth of the country promoting and  developing 3M activities in public universities as it is required by the  Albanian Government and as it is required by the need of modernising Albanian  universities.   The project U3M-AL will promote cultural and  structural reforms in universities but not only. The role of the socioeconomic  environment it is also critical for the success of this project. In this sense,  the project will promote the relationships with regional industry, employers,  public authorities and the society at large.   Apart of other additional activities, the core of the  project will be done in three steps:

  1. First  phase (first year, roughly). Promoting 3M and training staff. In other words,  changing the mentality in regard to 3M, when necessary, and giving the tools  for introducing changes. Three main activities will be developed in this phase:
    1. Mapping  3M activities in Albanian partner universities
    2. Training  on 3M activities in each Albanian university
    3. Training  visits on 3M activities to three EU universities
  2. Second  phase (second year, roughly). Starting up the changes establishing Regional  Development Centres in each Albanian partner universities. This phase include  these activities:
    1. Analysis  of the potential regional demand for 3M activities
    2. Business  plan for creating a Regional Development Centre in each university
    3. Establishment  of Regional Development Centres
  3. Third  phase (at the end of the project and after). Maintaining and developing the  outcomes of the project. An important tool will be the Albanian network of 3M  activities established in this project and later supported by the Ministry and  universities.

Zhvillimi i misionit te trete ne universitetet shqiptare

Project

Boulevard "Deshmoret e Kombit", Square "Mother Teresa", 4, Tirana, Albania

Phone: +355 (04) 222 79 14 www.u3m-al.org