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FEUP Strategic Plan 2011-2015


Mission

The mission deals mainly with the areas of engineering and the like, having as its main focus academic training, research, development and innovation activities closely connected with training of the second and principally the third cycle, and also the activities of the University's third mission, which include the transfer of knowledge and technology, the provision of services, continuous education, participation in discussion concerning national policies and involvement in the economic, cultural and social life of our region and country. Complementing these, the cultural, civic and humanistic education of the FEUP community, together with the value of the surroundings and heritage and the preservation of the memory of this institution, must also be seen as an integral part of the mission.

Vision

FEUP positions itself as an 'erudite and cosmopolitan' institution, a living campus and fount of inspiration for the technical and scientific, civic and cultural growth of so many youngsters, promising them a better future.

It also aims, through its quality as an institution, to inspire in all who have permanent employment therein a state of well-being, ambition and pro-activity in order always to improve on the quantity and quality of its public service, in pursuit of its mission’s objectives, in the creation of knowledge and its transfer to society.

FEUP will serve as a key asset, and will therefore necessarily be rigorous, proactive and demanding, in accordance with the aims of the University of Porto and for the development of Portugal, in order to achieve that ever delayed goal of European convergence.

Strategic policies

Theme I - Quality and Internationalization

Strategic Policy 1 – To promote overall quality in line with internationally accepted criteria.

We re-affirm the pursuit of quality assurance policies to ensure continued performance improvement at all levels of FEUP activity.

In particular, in the activities fundamental of education and research, quality models will be adopted that are understood and accepted by all partners, i.e. internationally adopted models.

Strategic Policy 2 – To promote internationalization, particularly as regards widening the basis of international cooperation.

FEUP should maintain a policy of seeking to broaden its base of international cooperation, through participation in prestigious international networks, in international associations for training and research, and through the conclusion of institutional protocols and bilateral agreements.

Theme II - Training in Engineering

Strategic Policy 3 – To assume national and international leadership in policies for engineering education

FEUP has to maximize all its assets in order to assert itself as a national and international reference for engineering education policies in all relevant dimensions.

Strategic Policy 4 – To consolidate the reform of the training offer in terms of structure, contents, teaching methods and assessment.

FEUP has as a matter of priority to promote rationalization of its courses and a review of methods, in favour of increased multidisciplinarity, of student autonomy in the learning process and of the fostering of educational attainment.

Strategic Policy 5 – The steady improvement of the performance indicators for mobility of incoming and outgoing students.

The target of having 20% of students on mobility programs in 2020, indicated in the Leuven Communiqué of Ministers , 2009, has been adopted in our mobility project.

The document presents a broad range of goals and actions associated with the 3 policy lines mentioned therein, aiming at the international consolidation of FEUP Masters Courses, the adoption of best practices in teaching and learning, the necessary social dimension policy and even the privileged relationship that FEUP management and course directors must have with the student associations, especially with the FEUP Students’ Association (AEFEUP).

Theme III - Research, development and extension

Strategic Policy 6 - To promote the improvement of the evaluation results of R&D units whose host institution is FEUP.

Considering the importance and implications of the results of quality assessments, FEUP should actively support the internal processes of restructuring R&D Units leading towards the improvement of the quality indicators, in particular by fostering discussion on best practices of research in order to improve these indicators.

Strategic Policy 7 – To promote the integration of FEUP doctoral programs at the Doctoral School of the University of Porto, in accordance with the Statutes of the School.

FEUP should review its supply of existing courses, with a view to their integration into the Doctoral School in the first phase of evaluation; it should be willing to propose the closure or merger of courses and should also encourage the taking up of opportunities that the Doctoral School creates for the launching of new courses of a multidisciplinary and/or multi-institutional nature.

Strategic Policy 8 – To promote synergies and cooperation in strategic areas.

Multidisciplinary activity should be fostered, particularly through the creation of Centres of Competence, statutorily provided for in emerging areas of high development potential, or in relevant traditional areas, where the activity framework might be widely dispersed, in order to create critical mass and competitive capacity for acceptance in major international projects.

Strategic Policy 9 – To adapt the R&D activity of teachers and researchers to FEUP statutes and create a Research Observatory.

The report of every FEUP teacher’s and researcher’s activities should be consolidated, in accordance with the terms of the statutes (articles 48 and 49), through the creation of a Research Observatory, making it possible to comprehend in a consistent manner the full extent of the R & D activity of FEUP teachers and researchers. On the basis of this report, an observatory of R & D & E activity covering the performance of all teachers and researchers must be established.

Strategic Policy 10 - To promote competitive international collaboration and procurement of external funds.

Particularly promoting our candidacy for major European projects within the framework of the EIT (European Institute of Technology) and within the new Framework Programme Horizon 2020, and also promoting the organization of major international events.

Overall, these political lines intend to take the opportunity to revisit all the research developed by teachers and researchers of the University of Porto and also aim to promote, without any exception, the quality of research, multidisciplinary cooperation and strategic investment.

Theme IV - Third Mission

Strategic Policy 11 - To adopt a consistent policy of fostering the promotion of the 'third mission' activities, considering that these, in their different aspects, are of great economic and social relevance.

Such a policy must be carried out by all sectors of the organization, as it includes (i) the activities developed by teachers and researchers, regardless of their organizational framework; (ii) the necessary activities of FEUP Services in support of R & D activities; (iii) the independent activities of those Services, in important cases.

Strategic Policy 12 – To promote a sustained supply of courses, both in terms of continuous education and of single units, at first degree, post-graduate specialization and advanced training levels.

FEUP considers as a relevant goal the fostering of a culture of lifelong learning and of strengthening its offer in this area, on three levels of activity: (i) course units and undergraduate level courses; (ii) course units and post-graduate specialization courses; (iii) curricular units and advanced training courses for those with Masters degrees.

Strategic Policy 13 – To disseminate FEUP activity through the organization of national and international events and initiatives, and through the promotion of international cooperation as regards issues of employability, mobility, entrepreneurship and innovation.

FEUP boasts a remarkable portfolio of 'permanent' events in the areas of training, cooperation and disclosure of engineering information.

At national level the present plan is to strengthen existing initiatives.

At international level it is proposed to strengthen mobility relations with Europe and Latin America, seeking FEUP entry into prestigious mobility networks and into European groupings (clusters) of excellence associated with the promotion of entrepreneurship.

Strategic Policy 14 – To maintain an intense cultural agenda and boost sporting activity, taking into account the new equipment due to be available for 2012 and 2013

  • There has been a full cultural agenda, of great quality. Everything will be done at least to maintain this, given current budgetary constraints.
  • There needs to be an improvement in the sporting calendar, and this will be possible with the commissioning of the new equipment scheduled for 2012 and 2013.

The message associated with this set of policies is clearly that of the importance of this dimension of university activity and at the same time that there is plenty of room for progress and improvement of indicators that characterize it in most of its aspects: i.e. in the promotion of ethics and social responsibility; in promoting entrepreneurship and innovation; in cooperation with economic activities and with regional and national administration; in participation in public policy development; in connecting to society through FEUP alumni; in the promotion of sporting activities.

Theme V - Human Factors - human enhancement and appreciation of surroundings

Strategic Policy 15 – To develop a policy of strengthening the Alma Mater, the creation of a sense of well-being, dignity in the working environment and the promotion of quality of work, in all its aspects.

We emphasize the promotion of the identity of the mission objectives, the defence of work associated with human dignity and the promotion of civic respect in internal relations.

Strategic Policy 16 – To maintain an active policy of enhancing the FEUP campus and its urban, landscaping, architectonic and environmental aspects; to improve internal living conditions and those of daily socialization, and to preserve the collective memory of the institution.

FEUP will contribute as a participant or transformation engine for its surroundings. In particular, FEUP will always seek a policy which coheres with the other Organic Units of the Campus according to that definition of action of common interest and in the procurement of material resources for that action, of which the QUALIFICA ASPRELA project, currently in progress, is an important example.

In this set of policies it is important to underline the relevance of promoting the identity of the community and involving it in discussing the future, symbolized in the organization of the "FEUP Congress 2011", whose purpose was to present and discuss topics put forward by the community, for two days. This was the first forum with these goals for more than thirty-five years.

We must stress the equal importance of undertaking historical analysis, which will lead to FEUP’s future celebration of its “FEUP Day”, in association with a celebration of the origins of the teaching of engineering in Portugal.

Theme VI - Governance and Management

We consider four strategic components of governance that are scheduled for the next five years, and management policies in relation to themes that are considered sensitive for the smooth-running of FEUP in the future, which includes the current budget management policy.

Strategic Policy 17 – In relation to the creation of CRSCUP and an eventual organic reorganization of the University of Porto, to cooperate with the University Senate and with other organic units in seeking the best solution for a reorganization that seems not only desirable, but inevitable.

The potential organizational changes under discussion at the University of Porto have or will have profound implications for the governance of the Organic Units.

For a Faculty the size of FEUP, which carries the distinction of an engineering teaching history almost 200 years old, this evolution of a governmental model will have to be analyzed as rigorously as possible as far as the implications for quality associated with it are concerned.

In this framework, the model that could be adopted, beyond the argument for rationalization of human and economic resources, which is particularly sensitive in the current situation, should have as its main objectives the improvement of quality of services and the preservation of the identity of each Organic Unit’s own areas of activity, which in case of FEUP’s case is engineering.

Strategic Policy 18 – In 2012, with regard to the potential for internal reorganization of FEUP, to study scenarios within the Scientific Council and with broad-based consultation.

It is important to understand the evolution of knowledge, to facilitate multidisciplinarity, faced with the evolution of the concepts of training and development, and anticipate the necessary change (reduction) in the size of the teaching and technical staff.

Strategic Policy 19 - In the context of a reduction in its teaching and research staff, to adopt a policy of rigorous competitive procurement of new, high quality staff, thinking particularly of strategic areas defined by FEUP, naturally ensuring the necessary skills required for undergraduate courses.

FEUP offers exceptionally attractive conditions, at national level, which it must use to build a highly scientifically qualified teaching body, which will guarantee its competitive capacity on an international footing, essential for affirming its authenticity and for its fundraising projects.

Strategic Policy 20 - Given the context of state funding, to adopt a budgetary policy, at least for the first few years of this plan, which will be highly competitive in terms of obtaining external and internal revenues and suitably austere in its expenditure forecasts.

In this fund-raising effort, we underline the statutory duty of teachers, researchers and technicians to contribute to the FEUP mission, not only in terms of results associated with training, research, development, extension and dissemination of knowledge, but also through the generation of income necessary to carry out this mission.

On another sensitive issue, that of budget management for the coming years, the picture is clear - FEUP will have to do better with fewer resources.

It will be necessary to continue to adopt a policy of attracting new funds, but it will be equally necessary to obtain a significant reduction in expenditure. However, this needs to be carefully studied in order not to compromise the development objectives.


The Plan contains a set of strategic objectives and concrete action indicators which demonstrate that FEUP possesses all the conditions, not merely to survive, but first and foremost to be an effective springboard for the leap in qualitative development that Portugal has to take.

FEUP has within itself the intellectual and cultural capacity for entrepreneurship and for scientific and technical innovation that affords us confidence to believe in the future.

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