Discussed at the Charles University Research Board on January 13, 2011
Discussed at the Charles University Administrative Council on January 27, 2011
Approved by the Charles University Academic Senate on January 21, 2011
For Charles University to be an internationally established institution of cutting-edge research and education,
for it to be appealing and welcoming for its students, post-graduates and staff members,
offer modern facilities and equipment
and present itself as a self-confident and cohesive cultural community.
Charles University adopted its current long-term plan in 2004. A thorough and complex evaluation of the state of fulfillment1 of this plan, and changes in external conditions have led the University to decide to adopt a new long-term plan, which will better reflect thepresent situation. It will stipulate shorter-term goals and formulate the mission of Charles University.
Charles University embraces its historic mission, endorsing the words of the founding charter promulgated by Charles IV – i.e. to elevate education in the country and offer its citizens the best possible education, so that they do not need to seek it in foreign lands, because this University will be in demand from foreigners themselves.
In the context of this historic mission, the University also identifies with the Humboldt Doctrine of unity of research and education, autonomy and freedom of research and teaching. In a similar fashion it wishes to be open not only to gifted students, quality teachers and scientists from home or abroad, but to society as a whole. These principles still ring true today and do not conflict with the needs of present-day society, as is sometimes contended. The University’s main contribution is through cultivating understanding, i.e. in the preservation, expansion and the inter-generational transmission of knowledge. Charles University, with regard to the inherent commitment given by its strong historical image, and also with respect to its current standing in science and research in the Czech Republic and the world, must set itself the highest of goals, i.e. to achieve the top European and global reputations enjoyed by some of its competitors in a higher number of fields than hitherto.
Charles University must face up to current contradictory pressuress: the growing need to succeed in global competition, but also the need to withstand the erosion of its humanistic foundations and prevent itself becoming transformed into a mere business selling knowledge and education; massification, which threatens the quality of degrees and also causes a shortage of time for research; decreasing willingness to provide public funding for university education, with the heightened risk of universities becoming increasingly dependent upon private interests, political pressures, etc.
Another significant change in our internal environment, this time in our educational activities, is presented by the concept of lifelong learning, which will be an opportunity and a challenge for creation of new study offers and forms. This sort of development is associated with ensuring greater flexibility and mutual permeability of study programmes on the one hand, and to greater diversification of study programmes offered on the other hand. In the future, the importance of this entire process will be further emphasized by demographic decline, and there will be a need for more intensive initiation of lifelong learning programmes orientated to continuing professional development.
For work of excellence to be performed, Charles University requires a stable and predictable environment which recognizes that various types of universities possess various missions and take on different roles. They must therefore be provided with varied conditions for their activity. The University rejects "simplistic", purely economically motivated solutions to the above-mentioned issues, dilemmas and related procedures. In its long-term plan, it wishes to support the original values of the Humboldt University model and employ them in such a way that they become an inseparable component of dynamic development, in which of course a number of market influences have to be taken into account.
As a result, and on the basis of recent experience, Charles University feels a responsibility to be more involved in the the preparation of tertiary education reform in the Czech Republic, especially in the university sector. It supports changes that enable higher education institutions, including universities. to raise quality in the activities they perform. As is already its established policy, it desires to actively support academic freedom and university self-government, and to increase university accountability to society. Along with objective evaluation of quality, Charles University plans to promote reforms promoting the principle that financial resources will be applied in a continual predictable manner, thereby facilitating the development of superior research universities in the Czech Republic.
The University will take an active part in the creation of a legitimate long-term strategy that supports science and research, on which the key institutions that participate in education and science will agree.
The University is aware of its responsibility in the professional fields connected to clinical research. It therefore intends to further actively endorse legislative changes that will facilitate the preservation of high-quality education to the fullest extent and maintain favourable conditions for the development of research in medical-related occupations.
The University intends to continue offering its expertise and professional background in the preparation of political and legislative norms not limited to the fields already mentioned.
Pressures on institutional diversification together with new methods of financing education, and the search for a favourable management model and funding for science and research, as well as the University’s responsibility to maintain quality in specific and unique disciplines could all consequentially lead to unacceptable differences in the conditions for the development of different departments and disciplines. An important task in overcoming the challenges presented is therefore that of strengthening internal cooperation and cohesion. Charles University, which educates more than fifty-thousand students at seventeen faculties, wishes to make a a conscious effort to attain synergy while respecting the uniqueness of individual disciplines, to exploit the opportunities for inter-departmental cooperation in research and in facing issues which are of concern for society at large and, at the same time, to support unique disciplines.
Charles University wishes to be an epicentre of education, independent knowledge and creative activities that are key in the scientific, cultural, social and economic development of society, and simultaneously be a place where lasting values, knowledge and skills are cultivated and transmitted to the following generations. The next generation of academics must prepare for this and focus their efforts on forming the country’s future elite, who will hold the leading roles in economy, the health sector, social care, culture and public services.
The primary goal of Charles University is the systematic development of science and scholarship, based on research of the highest quality. The first mission of the University therefore remains to scientific and research activity, as well as artistic or other creative activities with which educational activity is closely tied. One of the indicators of Charles University’s quality is the improvement in its standing among the world’s leading universities. The quality of teaching is to a certain extent reliant on the quality of scientific and scholarly research performed in each university unit. For that reason, the University sets as the goal for all of its study programmes, especially those on the Doctoral and Master’s levels, that they be based to the maximum extent possible on scientific work and individual student research activity. Excellent scientific and research work, which is the foundation of education, should be the standard in every field of research and branch of study.
Another priority of the University is its openness, further qualitative progress in international cooperation with other universities and its internationalization in general. The aim is to reach a high standard in joint international research projects and mobility, especially among doctoral students and young academic and research staff members. Openness and quality must also be evident where the University actively enters into social practice. The University wishes through its mission to have an effect on the crossroads of research (generating knowledge in basic research and creating unobstructed space for its application), education and innovation (active application of new findings). It will strive towards further development of mutually favorable and socially beneficial relationships with public research institutions in the Czech Republic.
The University’s ambition is to be a prestigious research University in an international context. A stable position of Charles University among the top 200 world-renowned universities will serve as proof of this goal having been fulfilled. Present-day science is in many fields a team effort, and quality research is closely connected to the quality preparation of talented young scientists, and with quality Doctoral, in some cases Master’s studies and with the quality of its post-doctoral staff members. To a large extent this is dependent upon selective student admission. In the future, the University must focus in particular on raising the quality of its Doctoral and Master’s studies, and so attracting the top graduates of other universities both at home and abroad and creating a dignified environment fit for scientific work. The University will strive to secure state support for these efforts, for it believes it is acting in the best interest of the entire Czech Republic.
Goal: to strengthen the position of Charles University as a leading, internationally recognised research University
In its previous long-term plan of 2004, Charles University set out the goal of ensuring that educational activities should be based on research results, especially in doctoral study programmes. At the same time, it undertook to extend its engagement in international cooperation in science and education and open its doors to society to a greater extent. This additionally required modernisation of its infrastructure.
Charles University has become the most productive research institution in the Czech Republic. According to various reports, its contributions totalled from one-third to one-half of the research output of all Czech higher education institutions in 2009. In comparison to 2004, its research performance has doubled. Slightly less satisfying, however, is the citation index of the output of Charles University authors compared to that of the world’s top universities.
Thanks to its research contributions, the quality of its graduates and the international extent of its activities, according to internationally recognized rankings Charles University ranks among the top 300, placing it in the 1,5–2 percentile of the world’s leading universities (as the only Czech university). In addition to the already-mentioned research performance, prestigious awards and grants also contribute to this type of ranking. For example, in 2010, two Charles University researchers received a grant from the European Research Commission - "Starting Grant" in the framework of the "Ideas" programme, against formidable competition. This was the first time Charles University received this honour since 2007 when the ERC began awarding these grants.
The success of Charles University in implementing what are known as research plans (5 to 7-year institutional grants) and in the activites of its research centres is very considerable, according to external assessment. These large projects facilitated the formation of new teams, often made up of quality young researcherss. Research plans have become opportunities for cooperation between departments, institutions and faculties. They play a vital role in institutional financing of research, because they cover a majority of the research fields at Charles University. Charles University operates 37 research plans. The financial contributions that they receive total approximately 1.1 billion Czech crowns yearly. Charles University takes part in activities at 30 fundamental research centres (10 of which it coordinates) and at 11 centres of applied research (3 of which it coordinates), all of which involve and develop cooperation with other research institutions in the Czech Republic.
Furthermore, the University was equally successful (above the Czech average) in its participation in international projects of the EU 6th and 7th Framework program-FP (Charles University is now involved in 56 projects of the 7th FP, engaging in programmes such as "Public Health", KONTAKT, COST, INGO and others). Its above average success in the Czech Republic, however, cannot conceal the fact that in international projects, Charles University still has a long way to go (that is to say that in comparison with the volume of financial assets for science and research acquired from these programmess in other countries, the Czech Republic has stagnated substantially below the EU average).
To strive to achieve the largest possible international impact of Charles University research results, including an increase in their citation index.
To orientate the priorities to those fields where the University currently achieves excellent results in the international context; with the emphasis on quality, to further develop primarily those fields where the University is unique or where it helps to tackle important social issues.
To establish an acceptable and effective model for the distribution of institutional funding resources for scholarly and research activities within the University; part of the institutional funding will be used for long-term systematic development of the main research fields, also including appropriate internal University cooperation; and another part will be used for special-purpose support of the main priorities of the University, those being first and foremost excellence, support of young Czech scientists and researchers and of high quality researchers from abroad (and others if need be).
Systematically to sustain effective international cooperation; dramatically increase University activity and success in international grant competitions, especially in the ERC programme "Advanced Grants" and other areas within the 7th and 8th EU Framework Programme and support other notable contractual forms of cooperation.
Actively to engage in the preparation of various projects of large European research infrastructures within the ESFRI program (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures) and effectively benefit from their existence and the existence of related national initiatives.
To exploit the formation of large research centres, as in the case of BIOCEV and other projects supported by the Operation Programme Science and Research for Innovation (OP VaVpI) or from other sources, for example the Biocentrum and Globcentrum project in Prague, to enhance the quality of future research and of doctoral studies.
To strengthen cooperation between University departments and quality public research institutions and higher education institutions.
To support to a greater degree – where it is favourable and desired – cooperation with commercial and non-profit spheres, public service, legislative and legal practice, cultural institutions and other suitable entities, especially in the form of applied research and expert activities projects; to strive for the kind of cooperation, which promises to be durable and mutually beneficial (especially in financial terms and in terms of know-how enrichment).
Instruments for achieving the objectives:
To draw up and begin fulfilling a long-term plan for the main research fields and areas at the University, based on a thorough evaluation of past research plans and research centres’ activities, with greater involement of the Research Board as the strategic advisory authority.
In accordance with University priorities, to draw up and implement measures to compensate for the negative consequences of the expiration of research plans and research centres, which both constitute public forms of funding research. This will facilitate inter-disciplinary cooperation and the the hiring of young and promising researchers.
To make the maximum use of the opportunities offered by national programmess supporting highly rated, but unsuccessful candidates for ERC grants.
Resolutely to focus on obtaining grants in upcoming Centeres of Excellence and Centres of Competence competitions organised by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (GA ČR – dedicated to basic research) and the Technological Agency of the Czech Republic (TA ČR – intended for applied research and innovation) respectively.
To take systematic advantage of the funding opportunities within the TA ČR Program and of contractual research schemes to foster applied research at Charles University.
To make use of the results of international comparative ratings in individual fields (CHE, SciMago, THES and others) to increase the quality of scientific and research work.
Proactively to seek opportunities for Charles University to participate in foreign-funded scholarly work.
To use the university policy of setting up special funds to support the preparation of international projects, especially where this will help to provide competent consultation and reduce administrative burden, in order to contribute to a higher success rate for university grant applicants and to retain elite young (post-doc) researchers; ultimately also to attract excellent researchers or teachers from abroad.
To further develop international exchanges for doctoral study programme students, with an emphasis on quality research cooperation as their basis.
To create suitable conditions for hiring foreign experts and young post-docs as regular staff (faculty) members.
To contribute to the revision of the nation-wide assessment scheme for research, development and innovation results, so as to support quality research in all fields; the fundamental principle must be the identification of long-term quality using a combination of indicators.
To draw up and implement a new Charles University publishing policy, including electronic publication.
To provide the university with modern library services and related activities while exploiting technological advances in this area.
Goal: to be the first choice for quality candidates, especially in Doctoral and Master’s study programmes
In the previous period, implementation of the main components of the study reform set out in the Bologna Process was completed.
In the last ten years, the number of students at Charles University has risen from 37,600 to nearly 53,000, in other words – by more than 40%. If the study programmes’ quality is to be preserved and further developed, the quantitative rise in student numbers is now at its maximum possible level. Since 2004, the most dynamic rise was recorded in the Bachelor and post-Bachelor Master’s study programmes into which the earlier five-year Master’s study programmes were restructured. The restructuring of studies was essentially completed in 2008. In 2009, more than 60% of the university’s students were enlisted in the restructured studies programme.
A credit system was applied in all Bachelor and Master’s study programmes. Adoption of the credit system at Charles University has been motivated partly by the requirements of internationalization of study and support for student mobility, and partly by Charles University’s desire to remove barriers that restrict students’ mobility between university branches. The implementation of a unified credit system took place between 2006 and 2008.
The implementation of a unified credit system, making it possible for the student to choose optional subjects from the offer of all faculties of the university, greatly improved the permeability of study programmes and student choice of curriculum. The necessary formal conditions were simultaneously created for greater openness of individual fields and disciplines to interested students. The Diploma Supplement is an aid to greater permeability and easier recognition of attained education, especially abroad. In 2009, Charles University received a certificate – "Diploma Supplement Label" - from the European Commission, confirming the compatibility of the supplement to the diploma awarded by Charles University with European standards.
In a number of areas the University successfully established (or stabilised) an element of international cooperation – from direct student mobility at all levels of study (LLP/Erasmus) to the accreditation of joint study programmes with foreign partners in Master’s study programmes (Joint Degree Projects) to the agreements on dual supervision of doctoral study dissertation projects (co-tutelle) that involve universities abroad.
The overall development in the area of lifelong learning (LLL) is not yet completely satisfactory at the University. Currently conducted in this area are professional training courses (as part of continuing professional development) and special-interest courses, for which the individual faculties share coverage to various degrees. The total number of professionally oriented courses, however, is actually declining, in contrast to the special-interest courses, which are multiplying. A large number of the special-interest courses are part of the "Third Age University", in other words, courses intended for the senior adult population. The number of these courses and participants comprises one fifth to one quarter of all courses under the lifelong learning programme (LLL). Courses for teachers and other categories of educationists predominate among professionally oriented courses.
A new scholarship policy was put into effect: this provides support and motivation for students who achieve excellent results in their studies, and rewards exceptional scientific, research, athletic, artistic or other creative achievements and any further activity of a unique nature. Merit scholarships are received by students in the top 10 percentile. Students may be awarded a scholarship even if they are studying abroad or on internship, and in some cases if they live in financial hardship. Scholarships are paid from the scholarship fund and from Charles University’s own resources.
A housing scholarship represents another type of scholarship, for which the University, from its own funds, contributes an additional 20% above the state grant amount (the university contribution totals roughly 20 million Czech crowns annually). The amount of the scholarship depends on the student’s social situation.
The wide range of information-counselling services was systematically enhanced.
Support for students with special needs at Charles University has gradually increased in momentum and quality. From 2008, the care provided for such students throughout the University has been regulated by the rector's provision "Minimal standards of support for students and study applicants with special needs"2, and is provided by all faculties.
In the areas of housing and catering services, detailed conditions for their operation were drawn up, including a change in their management, thereby strengthening the authority of the relevant component of management ("Charles University Dormitories and Refectories") and involving provision for a larger number of students.
In 2008, conditions were created for supporting University students’ social activities, including those of the extra-curricular type, such as the Students’ Club at Celetná 20.
To focus mainly on Doctoral and Master’s study programmes (post-Bachelor and five- or six-years); there is no plan to increase the number of students in the Bachelor’s study programmes, and in some cases its gradual reduction will be considered.
Thoroughly to evaluate the restructuring of study programmes, keeping in mind the long-term goal of the university to be a recognized research university with quality Doctoral and Master’s study programmes.
To continue to support professional Bachelor’s study programmes only where there is a strong demand in society and where the conditions and quality of those programs are demonstrated to be excellent.
To strengthen selectivity at all Charles University study programmelevels.
To attract talented graduates from lower levels of education (Bachelor’s study programmess) coming from other higher education institutions to go on to studyi in the Master’s study programme at Charles University.
To extend and improve the quality of international cooperation in study programmes (student mobility, joint degree programs, co-tutelle, etc.).
In parallel to entire study programmes accredited in a foreign language, to support the development of individual subjects that are taught in a foreign language; to push through the requirement that at least one subject taught in a foreign language is included in every study programme.
Systematically to improve study programmes at Charles University in a way that makes them attractive, open and accommodating.
To preserve prestigious and traditional "small branches of study" (as they tend to be called).
To remove obstacles in studies so as to enable the transition from the Bachelor’s to the Master’s programme level between disciplines.
To further optimise the conditions and pre-requisites for obtaining credits in subjects at faculties other than the one at which the student is registered.
To keep a close eye on the level of scientific and research activities that must be a component of all Master’s study programmes at Charles University in order to ensure that it is appropriate; additionally, to make sure that their specific features be respected and the conditions that they require secured and improved.
To benefit from the expected demographic decline and strengthen lifelong learning (LLL) programmes at faculties and in study branches which provide a substantial contribution to professional development.
Using appropriate forms of communication, to coordinate activities in the area of lifelong learning and provide relevant information regarding market analysis (course demand); in the fields concerned, and to prepare a range of quality training courses for the public service sector.
To continue to improve the quality of social conditions for study.
To further develop quality information and counseling services for a variety of students in need throughout the entire duration of their studies.
To continue creating conditions under which talented Charles University students with special educational needs are provided with obstruction-free study.
To maintain suitable conditions for extracurricular activities for all students.
Instruments for achieving the objectives:
Careful evaluation of the benefits of the upcoming state high-school leaving examination (baccalaureate), and in some cases appropriate modification of the form of the admissions process.
In line with the strategic focus on developinga research university profile, lobbying for a relative increase in the number of state-funded Master’s and postgraduate students at Charles University.
To promote the quality of studies, optimisation of the student – teacher ratio, which should facilitate efficient teaching and an individual approach to the teaching/learning process.
Strengthening the role of study programme guarantors, increasing their responsibility for the quality of accredited study programmes, individual student’s study plans and the quality of the education provided, with proper remuneration for their engagement.
Evaluation and where necessary modification of the way the implemented unified credit system operates, so that credits better express the actual study load of Charles University students.
Where these are implemented by the state, application of the qualification framework and so-called learning outcomes only where this will serve to promote greater transparency of the study programmess provided by the university, and enrich and specify the graduate profile. They should not be allowed to result in an irrational bureaucratic burden consisting in itemising study programmes, and their link to the accreditation process must remain loose; where problems arise, search for a better foundation of a credit system based on learning outcomes (graduate profile).
Active use of a potential institutional accreditation (i.e. that of higher education institutions as a whole) for improving the quality of study programmes within the framework of larger educational areas, as well as exploitation of the strong assets of related disciplines within the areas, or removing redundant and non-functional doubling in study programs.
Supporting quality and effective study programmes by introduction of a new publishing policy at Charles University, including modern forms of electronic publications of books and academic texts.
Improving the quality of periodic evaluations of the quality of teaching by undergraduate students and by graduates in all levels of study.
In order to raise quality in professionally oriented lifelong learning courses, regular analyses of market needs must be conducted; increase in the number of these courses (including distance learning courses) and optimisation of the number of their participants.
Advocacy for the acceptance of national rules for continuing professional development of teachers and educationalists such that these will include substantial university involvement.
Encouragement for the creation of multi-disciplinary course "packages" for professional training in various sectors: in the public services, businesses or other.
Making LLL courses more accessible to a greater number of disabled applicants.
Making counselling services more attractive and accessible, i.e. support students in the initial phase of their study, prepare appropriate forms of information and counselling activities, which will address job-seeking graduates after their university studies and at least preserve the current extent of counseling services for crisis intervention needs.
Analysis of the possibilities for harmonizing the balance between professional and personal life and of making conditions for study equal for both male and female students.
Further improvement of the quality of care for students with special needs, especially arrangement for access to provided services for individual groups of these students, ensuring more effective individual communication with them, support for their social integration and an increase in awareness of this problem among staff at Charles University.
Interconnecting services provided to students with special needs, including the establishment of a central database with digital texts and sound recordings and the provisions to increase international mobility for these students, with the already existing tools of support such as assistance, technical aides or social and sports events organised within the framework of Charles University.
As far as financial means allow, improvement of standards in student dormitories.
Goal: To be an internationally renowned university in postgraduate studies and a university with attractive academic career prospects
The 2004 long-term plan chose to prioritize an increase in the number of postgraduate students and of graduates with a higher emphasis on quality control of their studies and on international mobility. The number of students in doctoral study programs rose roughly by 30% between 2004 and 2009, and their numbers at the University now represent 30% of all postgraduate students in the Czech Republic. In fact, among all higher education institutions in the Czech Republic, Charles University has the second-highest ratio of postgraduate students in comparison to the entire student body (15.1 % in 2009). Nevertheless, standard ratios for international research universities are even higher.
From 2006 to 2008, the average time spent in postgraduate studies (doctoral study programs) was 5.5 years. The number of unsuccessful students is relatively high. Nevertheless, this data is quite comparable to the situation in developed countries.
The University reformed scholarships for postgraduates, and implemented a system of financial incentives for their directors of studies and of faculty bonuses as a reward for producing doctoral study programme graduates. Despite the scholarship adjustment, however, the problem of low funding remains, especially compared to international standards.
Significant support for research activities as a constituent part of doctoral study programmes is provided by the Charles University Grant Agency (GA UK), which is primarily intended for postgraduates and distributes more than 140 million Czech crowns annually. Research projects undergo rigorous evaluations and no more than 30% are accepted for funding. In 2009, roughly 300 projects were approved.
To assess the level of postgraduate studies, Charles University has at its disposal a series of detailed and standardised, fully professional tools of study evaluations, which reflect the graduate’s perspective. On the one hand, this assessment shows a consistent high level of satisfaction with the study programme (more than 85% of respondents rate the study programme positively), but on the other, it reflects significant differences in the quality of the programme’s provision between disciplines.
In recent years the University has been increasingly interested in young post-docs. The development of research plans and research centres’ proved an important institutional instrument for funding the further development of young researchers. They facilitated the forming of new research teams comprised mainly of fresh graduates and postgraduate students.
In addition, a system of incentives was created at certain faculties for young researchers (post-docs) in order to retain excellent young Charles University graduates, as well as to attract promising young researchers from other Czech higher education institutions and from abroad.
In the two most closely monitored qualification structure categories (associate professors and professors), progress is very slow. Between 2004–2008, the average number of newly appointed professors and associate professors decreased slightly, as did the average age in both categories. However, a marked imbalance remains between the number of new associate professors and professors in the medical, natural and exact sciences on the one hand, and of those in humanities and social sciences on the other, to the advantage of the first group.
In 2007, new recommended field-specific criteria were adopted for appointment procedures in both categories, which place a larger emphasis on specific indicators of quality (distinct for humanities and social sciences, for natural and exact sciences and for medical sciences).
The university wage regulation was adapted to separate the categorisation of academic staff members in a hierarchical scheme of positions (defined primarily by work activities and responsibilities), from the attainment of academic ranks (associate professor, professor), which are now no more than one (albeit important) of the pre-requisites for obtaining a position.
To focus on doctoral study programmes as a priority among University’s study programmes and other educational activities; to exploit the potential of a research university in realising these programmes.
To attract a larger number of talented international students into doctoral study programmes.
To ensure that the level of doctoral study programme graduates is comparably high in related fields.
To continue with the present trend of increasing the quality of postgraduate study (including the improvement of its administrative conditions); a direct connection of postgraduate study to research activities conducted at the university training units must become commonplace.
To optimise ways of engaging postgraduate students in teaching activities.
To raise the success rate of doctoral study completion while preserving demanding standards.
Constantly to strive to reduce the problems resulting from concurrent doctoral study and professional pre-attestation training in medical fields.
To continue to see that the best researchers (not only from the Czech Republic) take part in doctoral study at Charles University on a long-term basis.
To secure stable, promising and qualified staff in all branches cultivated at Charles University if possible.
To consider longer-term work experience outside of Charles University (typically abroad) as a factor significantly facilitating growth in qualification.
In the procedure to attain the academic rank of associate professor (habilitation) and full professor, to raise the percentage of young and middle generation candidates, provided that these candidates are subject to high level demands.
To promote high ethical standards in academic professions.
Instruments for achieving the objectives:
Creation of a new assessment methodology for the quality of doctoral study graduates; An analysis to be conducted of students’ failure rate and the rather long duration of study. Subsequently, measures to be suggested to improve quality and efficiency.
Appropriate facilities and conditions of study for postgraduates must be secured in all fields, using feedback evaluations by doctoral study graduates.
Ensuring that all doctoral study plans include a research project linked to research projects conducted at his/her university training unit; requiring high (by international comparison) standards of quantity and quality of research work produced by postgraduate students.
Ensuring that active participation in international research cooperation is a regular component of doctoral study; a research stay abroad with the international partner institution should be required particularly in the case of full-time doctoral students.
Balancing responsibility and motivational incentives for the members of subject-area boards, especially for their chairs.
Consistently ensuring that supervision of doctoral students is considered a fundamental obligation on the part of associate professors (docents) appointed.
As far as financially feasible, extension of funding for doctoral students via the Charles University Grant Agency and attention to the quality of its review process.
Creation of favourable conditions for young researchers, especially for doctoral study graduates, including those returning from residencies or internships abroad, to continue in their research (by means of an appropriate university funding policy, support for participation in significant international research projects, etc.).
An analysis should be conducted to throw light on the uneven number of procedures leading to award of associate professorship and full professorship status in certain disciplines, to be followed up by appropriate measures for rectification.
In connection with the upcoming wave of accrediting procedures for award of associate professorship and full professorship status in different disciplines, to strive to uphold the University’s own demanding criteria for quality in the largest number of disciplines possible.
Support for the preparation of young scholars for the procedures for award of associate professorship, including provision of a sabbatical.
Expanding provision and reinforcing the role of continuing professional development of academic staff members.
Based on the examples of good university practice outline a career path model with clearly defined routes, which will motivate young candidates to take an interest in the procedures to attain associate professorship and full professorship status and and to complete them with success in proper time-limits.
Modification of work conditions at Charles University to make sure that except in justified cases no additional employment contracts are signed elsewhere.
Ensure a greater flexibility of labour-law provisions at higher education institutions.
Stabilisation of the system for the allocation of "first flats" to young academic staff members.
Goal: to accelerate the university’s implementation of the highest international standards
The development of international relations and activities (internationalization) at Charles University can be generally divided into two interrelated consecutive stages. The first took place from 1989–2003 and can be described as "quantitative", characterised by an increase in Charles University’s bilateral agreements on inter-university co-operation. Roughly from about 2004, greater emphasis began to be placed on the qualitative aspect of foreign relations, while simultaneously mobility also continued to increase quantitatively. The university evaluated inter-university agreements and cancelled those that did not lead to de facto co-operation between faculty workplaces. It assessed and selected partners for further co-operation on the basis of the world rankings of foreign universities: there are ten partner universities ranked in the top fifty universities in the world with which Charles University is developing active co-operation in research and the mobility of students and staff. Charles University is one of the world’s leading universities with regard to the number, breadth and quality of partnership agreements.
The mobility of students at the university is realised primarily in international co-operation programmes, the most important of which is the Erasmus/LLP programme, and also in the framework of direct inter-university co-operation promoted mainly by the Mobility Fund of Charles University. Mobility of students, implemented in the framework of the Erasmus/LLP programme, is continuously growing, in terms of both the students leaving the university and those coming to it. The annual increase in the latter has been greater and this has been reducing the disparity between the number of of incoming and outgoing students (the number of outgoing students had greatly exceeded the number of incoming students in the Czech Republic). Assessment of the Erasmus/LLP programme by the European Commission showed that Charles University ranked first in Europe in mobility, in general, and particularly in the number of incoming academic staff. Each year approximately 130 academic workers come to the university and around 160 academic workers leave within the scope of the Erasmus/LLP programme. The number of foreign experts who stay at the university for a long period of time averages around 30 a year.
Charles University has concluded a number of agreements on dual supervision of doctoral programmes with 13 universities and is participating in nine co-operation projects with foreign universities in the framework of the Erasmus Mundus programme.
The Mobility Fund, founded in 2001, plays an important role. Its subsidies amount to more than CZK 9 million and the success of applications is around 60%. For a long time it has supported, in particular, the specialist and research work by its students at foreign universities. Emphasis is also placed on the long-term stays of foreign experts and postdoc researchers at Charles University.
Foreign students, numbering over 7,000, comprise almost 13.5% of all students at Charles University. Roughly half of them are from Slovakia and another more than 30% study in programmes that are completely taught in English. Overall, during the period of 2004–2008 the number of foreign students increased by 30% and those that study in English doubled (primarily at faculties of medicine).
A significant number of study programmes, particularly at the master’s and doctoral levels, are also accredited in a foreign language, primarily English. Overall 220 study programmes in English have been accredited at Charles University, of which 35 are currently running, and eight study programmes in German, of which 1 is currently running.
In the previous period, Charles University significantly participated in the activities of a number of prestigious international associations (the European University Association – EUA, the International Association of Universities – IAU), networks (the Network of Universities from the Capitals of Europe – UNICA, the Coimbra Group, the International Forum of Public Universities – IFPU, which Charles University co-founded in 2007), and organisations (OECD’s programme the Institutional Management of Higher Education – IMHE), in which the university’s activities enter the awareness of the international academic public. This was confirmed by the successful meeting of universities in the UNICA network at Charles University, participation in the Steering Committee of the OECD - IMHE, and last but not least, the 5th Convention of the European University Association (EUA) which took place at Charles University in March 2009 and had an extensive and significant impact, the course and results of which were widely followed and covered in the media.
Exploit Charles University’s international reputation for the further expansion of international exchanges with attractive partners.
Place increased emphasis on the quality of foreign relations, especially encouraging those that have outputs in the form of establishing co-operation in education, joint research projects and publication of their high-quality results; focus particularly on co-operation with a larger number of excellent universities.
Improve the quality of research and teaching at the university by looking for and creating ways to acquire noteworthy foreign experts for teaching and research co-operation, have longer stays of postdoc researchers, etc.
More intensely involve Charles University workplaces in dual supervision of theses and dissertations, in the utilisation of the Erasmus Mundus programme, and in joint-degree study programmes.
Continue to support student mobility while putting emphasis on its actual qualitative benefits (particularly in doctoral and master’s study programmes), integrate foreign students into study programmes, and pursuant to financial options, enable everyone who is interested and demonstrates the relevant quality to spend part of their studies at a foreign university.
Constantly develop and expand the quality of education in a foreign language for foreign students, aim to have a higher number of active study programmes in foreign languages where it makes sense, and implement a proactive policy of attracting foreign students.
Continue to develop co-operation with prestigious international organisations, associations and networks, and endeavour to optimise Charles University’s benefits of membership.
Actively take part in the shaping of international policies on higher education with the objective of contributing to positive changes also in domestic higher education.
Instruments for achieving the objectives:
Carry out a thorough analysis of activities abroad and international co-operation with the objective of increasing their impact on the quality of education and research and development at Charles University; on the basis of this analysis, specify priority activities and set qualitative indicators in the sphere of internationalization.
Use the results of international projects and assessments in which the university actively took part (these are instruments elaborated e.g. in the U-Multi Rank project, the Coimbra Group’s IMPI – Indicators for Mapping and Profiling Internationalization or the world university rankings), for setting valid indicators.
Critically verify and expertly assess the utility of the indicators with regard to the purpose of the activities they are supposed to describe, and with regard to the specific conditions of the university.
Create a register – a unifying system that will improve the quality of the collection of data on quantitative indicators regarding the effectiveness of international co-operation on the one hand, and on the other hand, provide a basis for the derivation of important qualitative data.
Prepare re-accreditation study programmes so that they facilitate mobility (mobility windows, pre-negotiated recognition with specific partners, etc.).
Make more use of the concept of "Visiting Professor".
Have the appropriate funding policies and the priorities of the Mobility Fund reflected in other categories of international co-operation in accordance with the priorities of Charles University (e.g. strengthening the Erasmus/LLP programme).
Support and promote the international visibility of Charles University in appropriate ways.
Goal: Develop the infrastructure of Charles University in order to meet the growing needs of scientific/scholarly research and educational activities
Charles University in Prague has 17 faculties (fourteen in Prague, two in Hradec Králové and one in Plzeň), three higher education institutes, six other workplaces for educational, scientific research and development or other creative activities or for providing information, five university-wide special purpose facilities, and the rectorate as the executive workplace for the administration of Charles University. Altogether the university manages 160 properties.
Over the past more than ten years Charles University has invested a total of CZK 7 billion, including more than CZK 2 billion of its own funds (FRM [Property Development Fund]): 60% of the funds were spent on the reconstruction and renovation of the building infrastructure; and 12% of the funds were earmarked for the acquisition of machinery, instruments and equipment. The reconstruction, modernisation and renovation of existing buildings in many cases also contributed to the protection of the historic cultural heritage of the Czech Republic.
Major reconstruction that cost hundreds of millions of Czech crowns primarily included the premises at Malostranské nám. No. 25 in Prague 1 (the so-called Profesní dům [House of Professionals]), the total reconstruction of the premises at Hlavova No. 8 in Prague 2 – Albertov, and the buildings at Kateřinská Street No. 32 and U Nemocnice No. 4 in Prague 2.
In recent years the University has also acquired several new premises (e.g. the Vltava hall of residence complex in Prague-Hostivař, the building in Jinonice, the Krystal premises in Prague 6, and the buildings at Opletalova Street No. 47 and 49 in Prague 1). In several cases this was the construction of completely new premises (the Educational Centre at the Faculty of Medicine in Hradec Králové, the medicinal plants garden at the Faculty of Pharmacy, the Cryogenic Techniques Pavilion in Prague-Trója, and the 1st phase of the completion of the educational pavilion in the Plzeňská complex in Prague 5 – Motol).
However, the university currently has to solve two major problems. First, it urgently needs new modern infrastructure in which leading science and research could take place and in which conditions for learning, particularly in doctoral study programmes, would be created.
Second, the humanities and some social sciences studies (faculties) take place in undignified and cramped conditions and with a lack of equipment and facilities, as was demonstrated by analytical studies of the university’s building infrastructure that took place in 2006–2008.
In the years 2008–2010 preliminary studies were carried out regarding larger investment projects (namely the so-called minicampuses).
The university, together with the Academy of Sciences, has drawn up a major infrastructure project, the BIOCEV Biotechnology and Biomedicine Centre in the town of Vestec. This is a European centre of excellence of basic and applied research with utilisation in practice, focusing on the latest imaging techniques and Phenogenomics, including the education of doctoral students in scientific and medical disciplines.
The biomedical centre and UniMeC (theoretical institutes) are the heart of the mini-campus project in the town of Plzeň. They will help build a major and important regional centre in biomedicine with the support of theoretical, preclinical and clinical research; the centre will have great potential for innovation.
MEPHARED is a joint educational and scientific complex of the Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Pharmacy in Hradec Králové. It promotes the integration of research and teaching in medicine and pharmacy and the further development of doctoral study programmes.
The Biocentre and Globcentre are two components of the Albertov campus in Prague 2. They are a comprehensive centre of excellent research and education in science disciplines, with a focus on biomedicine and interdisciplinary environmental research.
These investments will create conditions for leading biomedical and biotechnological research and related teaching, particularly in doctoral study programmes. They are also a prerequisite for the development of regional co-operation with companies and for the development of the transfer of new knowledge and a prerequisite for further international co-operation.
Reconstruction of the former 17th November refectory in Prague-Trója aims to satisfy the needs of the Faculty of Humanities for space. The premises that the Faculty will vacate in its current seat in Jinonice, by moving into the new premises in Trója, will significantly help improve the situation in the Faculty of Social Sciences.
The complete reconstruction and extension of the premises at Opletalova Street No. 47 and No. 49 will resolve the problem of oppressively cramped conditions in much of the Faculty of Arts main building.
Project studies have also been carried out for the reconstruction of the former Na Větrníku refectory in Prague 6. It should serve as a library and teaching premises for the Faculty of Law.
In accordance with its historical character as a university acattered in its location through and beyond the city, Charles University is committed to ensuring its further development primarily via the construction of what are known asmini-campuses. A key plan is to concentrate capacity, ensure that there is modern equipment at university workplaces, and to better exploit the synergy of disciplines cultivated at the university. The university will strive to the utmost to ensure that new investment activities do not increase the tendency for its premises to become fragmented and that the sustainability of operating costs of future investments is respected. It particularly plans to:
Endeavour to seek compensation for the disadvantages arising from Prague schools being excluded from ESF and ERDF programmes.
Implement projects utilising funds from the OP VaVpI (Research and Development for Innovation Operational Programme): BIOCEV projects in the town of Vestec (Faculty of Science and 1st Faculty of Medicine), the UniMeC and the Biomedical Centre in Plzeň (Faculty of Medicine), MEPHARED in Hradec Králové (Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Pharmacy); and place emphasis on the clearly defined integration of their activities into the profile activities of Charles University.
As a priority, to implement the Biocentre and Globcentre project in Albertov (Faculty of Science, 1st Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Mathematics and Physics) and the reconstruction of the 17th November refectory in Prague-Trója for the needs of the Faculty of Humanities, and subsequently the project to effectively utilise the buildings in Jinonice for the needs of the Faculty of Social Sciences; modernise the premises at Opletalova Street No. 47 and No. 49 for the needs of the Faculty of Arts, and reconstruct the building at Na Větrníku for the Faculty of Law.
Provide support for the new construction plans concerning primarily the 2nd Faculty of Medicine, the 3rd Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Education, and the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport.
Continue to systematically care for Charles University’s real estate property.
Strive for the more effective acquisition and utilisation of Charles University’s infrastructure and facilities entrusted to faculties and other parts of the university.
Instruments for achieving the objectives:
Set the order of priority of large investment projects, carry out a risk analysis, and set a time schedule.
Provide maximum support for projects of the OP VaVpI (Research and Development for Innovation Operational Programme); thoroughly utilise the institution of an authorised representative with broad powers.
Gradually make detailed balance sheet budgets for the priority projects of Charles University 2011–2015 Investment Programme and negotiate the form of their funding with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, particularly with regard to the need for modernisation of Prague’s higher education institutions.
Continue with the good co-operation established with some local authorities; make another attempt to establish a more effective form of co-operation with the Prague City Authority.
Develop a comprehensive methodology for preparing investment plans, for their implementation and for the subsequent management of the investments.
Carry out an analysis of the efficiency of use of property entrusted to Halls of Residence and Refectories and on this basis find adequate use for any underused premises by other parts of the university that engage in activities from which the university profits as a whole.
Formulate measures that would enable the joint effective utilisation of premises (in regard to the implementation of digital database of all planning and technical documentation for university buildings) and equipment between Charles University faculties; ensure the effective utilisation of the remaining part of the Krystal premises in Prague 6.
Goal: actively co-operate with the non-academic sector and via good communication strengthen the university’s position as one of the leading institutions in the public sector
In the previous period, Charles University made progress in the creation of system elements in the presentation of its own activities: it regularly publishes the printed quarterly titled Forum, the quality and visit rate of the Internet magazine i-Forum is increasing, the UK-Point information-promotion centre was opened, the prestigious European Discussion Forum has been taking place for several years, a unified visual style was introducedfor the Corporate Identity manual, unifying elements of the graphic presentation of the university, etc.
The long-term co-operation projects with Czech Radio (on the basis of a Declaration of co-operation) and with Czech Television are working. A database of roughly 500 university experts from various disciplines has been created and is regularly updated. The experts contribute to the popularisation of science and the cultivation of thinking in the public sector.
In the past, Charles University played an important role in the revision of the unilateral concepts of the reform of tertiary education in the Czech Republic (it prepared its own document Perspektivy dalšího vývoje českých vysokých škol [Prospects for the Further Development of Czech Schools of Higher Education]3; it was a resolute critic of the unsuitable proposals regarding a change in the standing of university hospitals (and it prepared its own návrh zákona o univerzitních nemocnicích [bill on university hospitals])4; and it defended the principles of rational reform of science, research and development.
The university has played an active role in securing amendments to legislative standards concerning higher education and science and research.
In 2007, it concluded a new general contract with the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic on co-operation, particularly in the implementation of doctoral study programmes.
The university created an institutional base for the transfer of new knowledge (Knowledge and Technology Transfer Centre – CPPT, [also known internationally as a TTO (Technology Transfer Office) or KTO (Knowledge Transfer Office)]), a network of co-operation and contractual relations with external entities, particularly with businesses, and a system of quality education in the sphere of "knowledge management" (praised by the European Union via ProTon Europe).
The fragmented media image of the university, the absence of audiovisual promotional materials, the appearance of our website, and the lack of a representative publication about Charles University can all be considered weaknesses.
In contrast to Charles University’s reputation abroad, in the previous period, its attitude and opinions were interpreted at home as symptomatic of the rigid stance of an institution closed in on itself and allegedly resistant to any changes. Communication has not been sufficiently active in order to correct this misleading image of the university.
Design the university’s communication to represent not only co-operation with the media but more broadly the development of relations with individual segments of the public, such as state and local authorities, other schools of higher education, the institutes of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and other scientific workplaces, civic organisations, professional associations, and the commercial sector.
Active involvement in the preparation of key documents and any legal provisions concerning tertiary education and science and research, promotion of the criteria of quality, sustainability and social sensitivity so that the future diversification of the system is beneficial to society.
At a national level, advocate strict criteria for the classification of tertiary education institutions into the category of "research university", and also the definition of the specific arrangements regarding the administration and funding of such a university.
Continue to actively influence the form of evaluation of scientific research results and the funding of institutional research in order to achieve balance, quality and efficiency.
Advocate the creation of university hospitals based on standard European models.
As a dominant institution of Czech science and research, develop co-operation with the institutes of the Academy of Sciences and other research workplaces and operationally expand it; intensify all forms of co-operation that contribute to the improvement and streamlining of Czech science and research as a whole.
Devise a so-called third role as a part of the strategy of open relations with the non-academic community, continue to develop conditions for the transfer of new knowledge and technology that are particularly important to pharmaceutical, biomedical and scientific branches and their co-operation with the commercial sector; place emphasis on more systematic cooperation with public administration and local authorities and with the civic sector, enabling, in particular, the humanities and the social sciences disciplines to identify social problems and to find effective ways of addressing them.
In co-operation with others in the field of science and higher education, act as a corrective agent for higher education institutions in key special-interest associations so that their opinions on higher education are supported by facts and not assumptions.
Change the image of Charles University so that it better corresponds to its characteristics – in most disciplines it has very good and even leading educational and research institutions with a dominant role in the Czech and international higher education sectors.
Make the university attractive to its prospective students in appropriate ways.
Devise new relations with alumni, including the use of certain elements known from the alumni association.
Strengthen and invigorate the identity of Charles University.
Seek a unified image, albeit for internally differentiated institutions.
Instruments for achieving the objectives:
Use the active involvement of the university in projects that create indicators of prestigious ranking or profiles of the university in order to get real feedback about the quality of the university and to communicate its image to the public.
Endeavour to have the university achieve a higher profile in the media, including the more thorough exploitation of modern electronic media.
Use the active participation of Charles University representatives and members of its academic community in committees making decisions about tertiary education and science and research in the Czech Republic, increase mutual awareness and coordinate common university opinions and provide them to the public, and this not only regarding the issues of science and education, but also regarding current and weighty social issues at national and international levels.
Complete and implement Charles University’s Corporate Identity manual (with relevant overlap onto faculties and other parts of the university).
Modernise Charles University’s website system.
Complete and validate the Methodological Procedures for the Commercialization of Discoveries and Inventions, including forms of intellectual property rights (model contracts).
Draw up marketing strategy options, on how to utilise university research for the needs of public administration, the public sector, and non-profit organisations (so-called packages).
Draw up an attractively structured offer of activities and benefits for alumni and suitable ways of communicating it.
Goal: Streamline the internal administration of the University
In the previous period, the university gradually decreased the share of regulatory allocations in its budget – with increase in funds for science and research raised in grant competitions and through its own revenues. However, it is clear that there is still great vulnerability to fluctuations in funding from the state budget, that buffering their impacts is difficult, and that diversification of the sources of funds is insufficient.
In the previous period, the system for the allocation of funds at Charles University was gradually completed. Quality indicators are more and more pronounced within it and Charles University plans to continue in this trend and also in targeted support of university priorities. The current economic management system is based entirely on the fact that the management of allocated funds takes place wholly in the component parts of Charles University.
The development of key university-wide economic management indicators was satisfactory in recent years, although some parts of the university did not avoid economic problems that in some cases needed to be solved centrally.
The university, in accordance with the Act on Higher Education Institutions, regularly updates its long-term plan, publishes its annual report on its activities, evaluates its activities (in 2009 it drew up and published a comprehensive Self-evaluation Report) and via the creation of a Analysis and Strategy Department it has created the prerequisites necessary for the internal assessment system and for ensuring the quality of its activities. Faculties drew up their long-term plans and regularly update them. However, these documents are not fully synchronised with university updates. Furthermore, checking to see whether or not they are fulfilled is not carried out systematically.
The structure of the rectorate, as the executive workplace for the administration of Charles University, and its departments, has been stable for a long period of time. However, its layout is not completely optimal with regard to the current demands on administration; this situation requires a detailed audit. The conception, quality and dynamics of a change in internal administration are markedly different in individual parts of the university. The two above-mentioned reasons mean that it is necessary to improve the university’s internal administration system and strengthen the elements of methodological management of administrative activities.
Basic instruments and methodology for evaluating the quality of students’ education were created in the previous period. This is one of the elements of the systematic assessment of the quality of the primary activities of Charles University.
The university is actively involved in international projects, such as the UNICA project, the project for creating indicators for mapping and profiling the internationalization of groups of universities by the Coimbra Group (IMPI), and the U-Multirank project, which verifies the profiles of universities. Thus it created the prerequisites for the effective evaluation of its activities.
The quality of employee care has also improved: a social fund for Charles University employees was created that is used mainly for contributions to supplementary pension insurance and for capital life insurance; employees can take up the option of getting an education at faculties and at other parts of Charles University; since 2006 part of the university’s accommodation capacity has been used for accommodating employees; based on an analysis of the housing needs of young employees, the operation of co-called starter flats has been implemented.
Increase the number of sources that fund the activities of the university and increase the university’s own revenue (in the broad sense of the word) and reduce dependence on direct funding from the state budget.
Improve the system of allocating funds within the university in order to match the university’s priorities in educational and scientific activities as much as possible.
Continue to increase the efficiency of Charles University’s economic management; in justified cases make more thorough use of the advantages arising from the legal subjectivity of Charles University as a whole.
Promptly and effectively prevent the emergence of risks in the economic management of individual parts of the university.
Improve the efficiency of internal administration activities at Charles University; on the one hand, reduce unnecessary bureaucratic burdens, and on the other hand, reinforce these activities where necessary.
Establish regular internal assessment of the quality of all primary activities of the university via professional and valid instruments and stabilise them, while utilising international quality standards and experts from abroad.
Commence use of external assessment based on active participation in the creation of international indicators and profiles.
Improve the standards of employee social care.
Create working conditions that will allow Charles University workers to balance their work and personal lives.
Instruments for achieving the objectives:
Improve the system of itemising institutional funds for educational and scientific activities so that actual performance and particularly the quality of the activities are taken into consideration while simultaneously supporting the development of these activities; to the extent needed, apply the principle of intra-university cohesion and in justified cases implement the procedures established in the Czech Republic within the system for allocating funds at Charles University.
Simplify conditions and apply appropriate motivational instruments for obtaining other sources of funding of the university and its parts.
Ensure that the spending of funds in the parts of Charles University is fully conditional on the results of economic management of the parts of the university and on other key economic indicators or specific indicators.
Evaluate the existing system of the economic management of funds at Charles University with the objective of achieving greater university-wide benefits.
Establish a centralised system of purchase of energy and other essential commodities at Charles University; optimise the spending of funds by streamlining public procurement.
Adapt the process of preparation and implementation of important investments so that their extent and size correspond to the part of the university that they directly concern.
Prepare new rules for the administration of Charles University’s property; introduce the digital database of all planning and technical documentation for university buildings and premises.
Implement an integrated system for the drawing up of property contracts.
On the basis of an audit, restructure the activities of the rectorate, including the greater use of project management elements; increase the accountability of directors and the heads of departments of the rectorate.
Thoroughly apply the methodical management of individual agendas and increase the elements of direct accountability for their quality and their efficient fulfilment; expand the offer of further training of administrative staff.
Revise Charles University’s Internal Wage Regulation and consider eliminating the current different pay scales for academic and scientific staff; upgrade the work classification for administrative and technical staff and prepare a career system for these workers.
Establish an integrated system for the official presentation of all current and valid internal regulations and other standards at Charles University; increase the elements that check to make sure that the internal regulations and other standards of the parts of Charles University are in accordance with the internal regulations of Charles University and the rector’s provisions.
Thoroughly align the long-term plans of the parts of Charles University with the long-term plan and other strategic documents of Charles University; systematically check to make sure they are being fulfilled.
Evaluate the activities and efficiency of other parts of the university and possibly make organisational changes.
Improve the social conditions of the employees of Charles University utilising the social fund, stabilisation system of starter flats and other instruments.
Facilitate employees’ and students’ balancing of their work and study obligations with their family life (for example create children’s corners (playrooms) wherever it is possible and useful).
Create an integrated system from the existing elements of internal quality assessment, identify appropriate indicators, fine-tune its methodology, and select the period in which this assessment will be carried out.
Supplement the internal assessment with an external assessment involving an international assessment team or instruments.
One of the basic prerequisites for the provision of information services at the university is a computer network with sufficient bandwidth and connection to the Internet. Right from the beginning the university has been a member of the Cesnet z.s.p.o association, which is the operator of the CESNET2 National Research and Education Network. Thanks to this, the university is provided with high quality international connectivity. The university is also the founder of the PASNET association, which is the administrator of the metropolitan academic computer network in Prague. The connections between university premises are usually via optical fibre, which enables the selection of the appropriate technology with corresponding bandwidth.
The university’s computing and data capacity is currently administered largely at separate faculty workplaces. Faculties purchase computing power and data storage according to their needs. Many have already begun using virtualisation technology, thus increasing the efficiency of purchased hardware within the faculty.
The university’s network is also utilised to optimise voice services. Currently, the telephone switchboards of seven faculties and other parts of the Charles University are connected to the IP Telephony network via PBX voice gateways. IP Telephony is installed only in some locations.
The university is also successfully participating in the academic roaming project (Eduroam), the objective of which is to provide a transparent environment for providing wireless Internet connectivity to members of the academic community and other institution employees involved in the project. More than ten university faculties are involved in this project. Currently, most university premises are covered (at least selected busiest areas) and coverage is continually being expanded.
For several years the university has been developing a system for electronic security access to the buildings and premises of Charles University. Most faculties and parts of the university use the Aktion system. Faculties and other parts of the university have entry packs – university ID card readers, electronic locks, concentrators, and in 2009 new types of biometric readers were tested.
The Central Authentication Service (CAS) of the university is now being used for access to Charles University’s Information System. CAS is also used for verifying access to electronic sources of information. In 2009, Shibboleth IdPUK (identity provider) became part of the newly introduced academic federation eduid.cz, which replaced the pilot cztestfed.
The entire university uses the Moodle Open Source Learning Management System for the support of face-to-face learning, including basic technical support for users.
The CKIS Centralised Catalogue (Centralised Library-Information System) serves all parts of Charles University. The CKIS of the university works with other applications and systems operated at the university.
The computing capacity of the university’s supercomputing centre has been continually increased in recent years. The centre is part of MetaCentrum (MetaCentre) and provides its services not only to users at the university but also enables all MetaCentrum users to solve complex computational problems. Similarly, computer clusters with narrow specialisations were also upgraded.
Charles University’s Information System (hereinafter only "CU IS") currently primarily consists of a central educational information system (hereinafter only "IS Studium"), connected to the WhoIsNT central personnel application, which is then connected to the wage system from the Elanor company at faculties and other parts of Charles University. The CU IS also includes science and research applications (the OBD system and its publication activities register, the Granty application for the support of the grant agenda, an application for the operations of the Grant Agency of Charles University, and an application for the support of associate professorships and full professorships appointment procedures), international co-operation (an application for the support of the Erasmus and Mobility Fund agendas), social matters (an application for processing applications for housing bursaries, for social bursaries, and for accommodation at Charles University’s halls of residence), a document management system, an application for the issue and registration of university IDs, and several other sub-applications.
The WhoIsNT central personnel application is now used mainly by the personnel departments of faculties and other parts of Charles University. Part of its functionality is utilised by other user groups, mainly by the heads of individual workplaces. This functionality is being developed and it is anticipated that it will be gradually expanded with other functions so that it can be utilised by all academic workers of Charles University and other groups of employees of Charles University. In 2010, a transition in the wage system occurred, a transition from the Elanor Global system to the newly designed Elanor Global Java Edition wage system operating in Charles University’s central database. Simultaneously,preparations were begun for the transition to this wage system at faculties and other parts of Charles University, which have been using a different wage system up to now.
The IS Studium system is undergoing continuous development of its individual sub-applications and modules. The most significant changes taking place in IS Studium during the previous period include the important reconfiguration of modules associated with the register agenda, the submission and publishing of students’ theses, the creation of modules for the life-long education register agenda, the creation of modules for the support of individual curriculums in doctoral studies, the preparation of modules for the support of the administration associated with state examinations, and the creation of an accreditation application.
In the sphere of science and research, the OBD system and its register of the publication activities of the staff and students of Charles University is being gradually implemented in the operations of individual faculties and other parts of Charles University. Pilot operations of a system for the support of the grant agenda were commenced at several faculties. In the sphere of academic qualifications, pilot operations of an application for the support of associate professorships and full professorships appointment procedures were commenced at two faculties. In the sphere of the circulation of documents, a central electronic registration of documents system is in operation and it is linked to the national Data Box Information System. In the sphere
of international co-operation, an application for the support of the Erasmus agenda was developed and put into operation.
The university’s own Document Globe publication system is used for the administration of the websites of Charles University and of some faculties of Charles University.
Develop and improve Information Technology, including individual systems and applications that ensure the effective performance of the primary activities of the university and its administration.
Instruments for achieving the objectives:
Gradual transition to the Ethernet 10 Gb standard in local networks. In locations with lower bandwidth demands, continue to provide wireless connection with a capacity in the order of 100 Mb/s to Gb/s, increase backup connectivity in locations that are not yet connected in this manner; continue with preparations to put IPv6 protocols into operation, and the implementation of service directly above this protocol in the university-wide network.
Connect the not yet connected parts of Charles University to the Eduroam project and cover other university premises.
Optimise the computing and data infrastructure, add hardware at the university-wide computer centre so that, together with the implementation of virtualisation technology, it is becomes possible efficiently to provide a number of services without direct financial requirements on the purchasing of additional hardware; create a university central data repository.
Gradually replace the existing classic telephone technology with Voice over IP in Charles University.
Support the development of Single-Sign-On access to all prepaid resources at Charles University, create conditions for the option of utilising electronic resources provided by other institutions by members of the academic community of the university.
Create an environment for secure electronic communication at Charles University, develop a security access system at all key premises and areas of the university, ensure the automatic control of authorised access and movements of persons in selected areas of buildings, and also the nature of items that are carried out or taken elsewhere.
Develop a content management system for the university’s website focusing on its connection to the output of the applications of Charles University’s Information System.
Continue the digitalisation of valuable historical material, establish rules for access to digitalised data with regard to e.g. copyrights or propriety rights and decide how to preserve digitalised documents in terms of their long-term protection.
Support video-conferencing and streaming technology.
Put the foundations of the CU IS into full operation – put the WhoIsNT central personnel application into full operation in all parts of Charles University, complete the full linkage of the central personnel department to IS Studium and to the unified wage system in all parts of Charles University.
Design the development of the components of the CU IS so that the CU IS can be operated in all parts of Charles University, particularly with regard to the nature of implemented study programmes and scientific activities, but simultaneously base it on a central university environment, which primarily means the central coordination of the development of parts of the IS and also a certain degree of standardisation.
Expand the functionality of the central personnel application and its current range of users to all academic staff of Charles University, other groups of employees, and the students of Charles University, and possibly to other groups of people with ties to Charles University, so that it becomes the initial source of data on people with any kind of relation to Charles University, the interfaces of which will be connected to all Charles University systems and applications which contain data about people at Charles University.
Gradually develop IS Studium, including the development of entirely new modules and the replacement of existing modules with modules that meet the new needs and requirements of users, current IT standards, and that lead to better ergonomic design and greater comfort of use of the system, and all this based on the setting of priorities for this gradual upgrading of the system.
Standardise the system for the support of distance education at Charles University and fully connect it to IS Studium and the central personnel department; develop materials, technology and methodology for auxiliary electronic educational methods so that these methods meet the needs of all target groups, including specific ones.
Put the OBD system and its register of the publication activities of the staff and students of Charles University into full operation throughout Charles University as the primary source of data on Charles University publication activities; standardise systems for the support of the grant agenda and their operation on financial accounting systems.
Put the central application for the support of associate professorships and full professorships appointment procedures into operation throughout all of Charles University.
Establish a central electronic document register and the closely linked central electronic system of filing services, develop interfaces of this system to other agenda systems, particularly to IS Studium and financial accounting systems; after putting the electronic document register into operation, gradually put selected types of documents into electronic circulation inside Charles University and in communications with students and other people with ties the Charles University outside of Charles University.
Resolve the issue of the discarding and archiving of documents and data kept in electronic form.
Standardise the financial accounting systems utilised at Charles University and create interfaces for the mutual exchange of data at Charles University.
Finish the complete coverage of international co-operation agendas by information systems and applications, including agendas associated with joint-degree and multiple-degree study programmes.
Put other agendas into electronic form, where appropriate.
Systematically identify and implement the options for other uses of Charles University identity cards, including in the sphere of identification and validation when making micro-payments.
Improve staffing and increase the methodological support of the conceptual development of IT at parts of the university.
The long-term plan of Charles University in Prague is a basic strategic document for its future activities and the direction in which it will go. It is the result of reflection on current (not only domestic) developments in society, the tertiary education system and particularly the university itself. The current situation requires that the university become even more actively involved in the public sector when it comes to the shaping of national and international educational policies and science and research strategies. Focusing on the university’s quality, openness and effectiveness of activities while preserving its irreplaceable mission in society is expressed in the strategic objectives set out above and the instruments with which we want to achieve the objectives. It presents the academic community with a vision of a research university with an important standing among global competition, which will be an institution in Czech public life that cannot be overlooked, an attractive working environment for its students and teachers, and a welcome partner for top domestic and foreign educational and research workplaces.
In Prague, January 31, 2011
Prof. RNDr. Václav Hampl, DrSc.
Rector of Charles University
More information in the Evaluation Report from 2009 (in Czech).
See the Prospects for the Further Development of Czech Schools of Higher Education (in Czech)
See the Proposal of the University Hospitals Act (in Czech)