Change towards excellence is based on a converging process of involvement of staff, students, and stakeholders in setting the goals for education, research, and community engagement in line with the rapidly changing external environment. Choices are derived from this process: where do universities want to stand in a differentiated setting in the country with some universities being more and others less research intensive, while facing various and changing demands from students and the labor market?
Most universities are seriously challenged both in relating their education to labor market demands in terms of skills and competencies and in the manner in which they organize the students' learning (with excessive predominance of large lecture hall teaching). They need to explore and implement innovative learning in small groups using blended learning tools. Teachers are required to organize learning and become visible academic and educational role models. Researchand problem-based education should be incorporated into, and become an intrinsic element in, universities' educational processes.
Both in education and in research, regional compacts are emerging as means and pathways to effectively organize the context for change to excellence.
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