Faculty strategy

Faculty Strategic Goals for 2018/19-2022

This is a summary. View the entire pdf here.

UCPH’s overall vision is to be “among the world's best universities, measured by the quality of research and education, and recognised for excellence and intellectual creativity”. The key words for UCPH's strategy for the period 2018-2023 are “talent and collaboration”. The Faculty will contribute to realising UCPH’s vision in the social-science disciplines by, among others, focusing on talent and collaboration at both departmental and Faculty level.

In order to realise both the UCPH strategy and the Faculty’s strategy, we will focus on areas where we face particular challenges or can identify new opportunities. The Faculty’s strategy and its stipulated goals and action plans will not describe all the activities and “day-to-day operations” at the Faculty, but concentrate on the common challenges and opportunities we have, as well as on the strategic changes we intend to prioritise. Consequently, a significant proportion of our research, education and knowledge dissemination will not be explicitly described here, but will continue to constitute the "foundation and main building blocks" at the Faculty of Social Sciences, UCPH.

The Faculty has two overall strategic objectives of equal value and importance:

  • Research at the Faculty is of high quality and has strong impact. In selected areas we are on a par with research ranked as world-leading
  • Degree programmes at the Faculty are providing a high learning outcome and a high employment rate of candidates

The majority of the current activities at the Faculty in the form of outstanding research, education and knowledge dissemination must continue to be our top priority and thus will be supported in the best possible way – even if they are not explicitly mentioned in the strategy.

The Faculty has selected five strategic themes that support and boost the current efforts in relation to the two overall strategic goals and are to further develop and enable new activities.

The themes are:

  • Talent
  • Collaboration
  • Digital transformation and ”social data science”
  • Global insight and vision
  • Research, teaching and work environments

Relating to both the UCPH strategy and to the strategic priorities of the Faculty and departments, the above themes incorporate elements to support research, education, knowledge dissemination, external relations and administration.

Goal A. Talent

  • The Faculty attracts, develops and backs up talents who contribute to high- class research and education

The Faculty’s greatest assets are its staff and students. It is crucial to recruit the best talents from all over the world, develop talent among the current employees, and ensure the best possible environment for cultivating talent and fostering creativity for all employees and students at the Faculty. Moreover, the latest research assessment emphasises the value of talents when developing research excellence.

Skilled researchers, teachers and students are much sought after internationally. Although the Faculty receives many applications, it is difficult to attract competent researchers with major international experience at senior level, partly due to wage issues. In general, UCPH cannot match the salaries of the salary level leading international universities. Thus, it is crucial for us to be competitive in other areas such as for instance research environment, research support measures, administrative support in the phase of recruitment and establishment, skilled students and digital infrastructure etc.
Generally, the Faculty aims to enable the mobility of researchers by increasing the number of talented PhD students and Postdocs with international backgrounds and experience. Moreover, we want to attract more guests and ensure that our researchers and teachers are inspired through stays abroad.

The Faculty's academic staff are all expected to contribute through excellent research, teaching and knowledge dissemination and to attract more external funding, as well. It is therefore important to ensure the best possible framework for these activities, so that the staff members can develop and exploit their full potential. The Faculty and department administrations must support the core activities. It is our aim to ensure the best possible interaction between administration and core activities - such as enabling the development opportunities for administrative staff members, cf. goal E.

Goal B. Collaboration

  • The Faculty boosts impact within as well as outside academia
  • The Faculty strengthens cross-departmental collaboration at Faculty and UCPH level as well as increasing collaboration with external Danish or international parties in terms of research and education

One objective will be to increase the national and international impact of our research and our degree programmes within and outside academia. Many activities contributing to impact must be carried out at department level, but selected initiatives must as well be pursued jointly at Faculty level, via collaboration between departments, or together with other units.

The joint impact activities will be related to the above-mentioned academic and cross-disciplinary themes as well as to joint communicative initiatives and conferences. Moreover, we will implement new common (digital) platforms and resources to support activities, communication and visibility to maximise impact.

Another objective is to strengthen joint relations within education, research and administration between the Faculty/departments and external partners. There is a lot of very effective collaboration between individual researchers at the Faculty and researchers, practitioners and organisations from outside the Faculty. It is important that the conditions for optimising such joint collaboration are in place, and in some areas there is a need for more robust and institutional collaboration to be set up between relevant stakeholders and the Faculty/departments - both nationally and internationally.

Goal C. Digital transformation and ”social data science”

  • The Faculty develops and boosts the use of digital methods and insights in relation to research, education, knowledge dissemination and administration
  • The Faculty enhances research and education in relation to Social Data Science

Digital transformation will be a central focal point at the Faculty. In the strategy period a separate digitalisation action plan will be formulated and implemented addressing research, education, external relations and administrative support.

The theme is the result of the many exciting new opportunities that digitalisation and Big Data/complex data have opened up in the social sciences. Digital tools have created a wealth of new opportunities both in research and in teaching/education.

At the same time, digital transformation will lead to major changes in society in the coming years, creating a whole range of new potential research themes in the social sciences. Consequently, the Faculty will give priority to and support the research field of Social Data Science, a major part of which will become embedded in the Copenhagen Centre for Social Data Science, (SODAS).

On the education side, the Faculty is planning to offer a new master's programme in “Social Data Science" and to set up a joint BA programme with the Faculty of Science in “Computer Science and Economics”. Additionally, all degree programmes are to formulate a digitalisation strategy in order to cater for the future labour market requirements for data analyses, handling and ethics. Finally, all degree programmes are to notably boost the use of digital tools in education and teaching.

Focusing on digitalisation, the Faculty Library of Social Sciences has established, among others, the "Digital Social Science Lab" that aims to develop and boost the students’ digital competences, their knowledge and urge to innovate. Further development will be coordinated with other activities at the Faculty.

Goal D. Global insight and vision

  • The Faculty consolidates and develops research and degree programmes /courses that contribute to global insight and vision
  • The Faculty strengthens internationalisation, global visibility and international collaboration in terms of research and education

Increasingly, the global agenda is providing the framework for society’s development in a small country like Denmark. Thus, the internationalisation of research and education are key to achieving the University’s overall vision. The research assessment carried out at the Faculty highlighted how vitally important increased internationalisation and global visibility are to enhancing the quality of research. Furthermore, a number of key research themes at the Faculty are firmly rooted in the global arena, including international politics, the EU, development economics and key parts of anthropology, in which areas our research also enjoys a high international reputation. The Faculty's latest two master's degree programmes in “Global Development" and "Security Risk Management” are very globally oriented, both in content and in student cohorts, and the Faculty aims generally to promote internationalisation in the programmes, for example by encouraging student mobility.

Goal E. Research, teaching and working environments

This is partly a departmental issue and partly a matter for the individual administrative support units. However, this goal will also entail joint initiatives with a focus on relations between technical and administrative units and departments as well as between the members of technical/administrative staff and academic staff.

A general rule at the Faculty states that permanent academic staff can devote 40% of their working time to research. Within this framework and financial resources the objective is to develop an excellent and internationally attractive environment for research and teaching that enables talent and supports research, education and knowledge dissemination in the best possible way (see also goal A).

PhD students, postdocs and other academic staff with fixed-term employment contribute significantly to the scientific activities. It is our objective to improve the work environment of this group by offering career guidance.

Technical and administrative support is crucial in order to develop our core activities. It is thus our goal to improve the work environment for this group of employees by taking steps to ensure attractive development opportunities and language skills. Likewise, we must enhance cooperation and mutual recognition between members of technical and administrative staff and academic staff, as well as between the joint administrative units and the departments.

The following text describes the Faculty's key objectives within the University's four main focus areas in Strategy 2023.

View the Faculty Strategic Goals for 2018/19-2022 here (full pdf).