EXCELLENCE Approach

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EXCELLENCEApproach

Table ofcontents3Foreword4Glossary5Stages and Principles ofExcellence Approach11Structure of RTUExcellence Approach17Sustainable Development2

ForewordQuality has always been and will always remainone of the values of Riga Technical University,that is the reason why we pay particularattention to efficiency, relevance and results ofresearch, education and valorization process.Strife for achievements and better results is atthe basis of academic education and researchstrategy, it is the essence of RTU development.Approach to Pursuing Excellence definesprinciples, stages and methods how tocontinually improve our performance andto implement long-term plans laid out inour Strategy, setting them as measurableparameters. Standards and Guidelines forQuality Assurance in the European HigherEducation Area and RTU activity planningtools, which promote quality, academicfreedom, stability, integrity, collaboration andsustainable development, have been used indrawing up this document. RTU Approach toPursuing Excellence is a shared internationalexperience in promoting quality in education,research, and valorization. This approach offersinnovative solutions, efficient implementationand analysis of performance indicators set inRTU Strategy in the long term.RTU Approach to Pursuing Excellence facilitatesreaching the set objectives, improving thequality of education, ensuring excellentresearch results and good working conditionsfor RTU team, and that, in its turn, helps theUniversity achieve even better ranking in theinternational university ratings.RTU Rector AcademicianLeonīds Ribickis3

GlossaryStakeholders – a person or a group of persons,including institutions, which have a direct or indirect impact on the decision-making process andactivities of an organization, or which can be affected as a result of decisions and activities ofthe organization.Quality Management – a strategically grounded,regularly updated and evaluated system basedon facts and continuous input data, which impliessetting quality policies and quality objectives; italso includes quality planning, quality assuranceand quality improvement.Quality Management System – a set of management policies, procedures, processes, methodsand tools required for organization managementwith regard to quality issues.Vision – a long-term vision of an organization,which is used as an organization’s road map whileselecting its future courses of action. Mission andVision provide the basis for setting the strategyand policies of an organization.European Foundation for Quality Management(EFQM) Model – total quality management system implementation model, which comprises thetotal of an organization’s ‘Enabler’ and ‘Result’criteria. The Model promotes continuous improvement of an organization.RTU Strategy – a document laying out the development strategy of Riga Technical University andanalytical indicators to achieve both long-termand general goals.Goal – a desired or expected outcome statedin concrete qualitative and quantitative terms,which can be reached in a definite period.Mission – a concise and clear-cut statement explaining an organization’s purpose for being. It informs the stakeholders about the aim of organization existence and what philosophy/principlesthe organization adopts with regard to the purpose of its existence. Based on its mission, an organization focuses its activities in a definite area.4

1. STAGES ANDPRINCIPLESof Excellence ApproachPursuing sustainable development andexcellence, special attention is devoted tomanagement and leadership, strategicplanning, process approach, product andservice development, improvement of cashflow and financial performance indicators,efficiency improvement in all activity areas,promotion of the level of satisfaction ofthe students, cooperation partners andemployees, and increased market coverage.li c yRTUEXCELLENCEAPPROACHGncESepoM ExcellenceMEFQodelutionnstitCoRTU Constitution, Strategy, and QualityAssurance Policy are integrated with RTUExcellence Approach (see Fig. 1). It is basedon the ESG (Standards and Guidelines forQuality Assurance in the European HigherEducation Area) developed by the EuropeanAssociation for Quality Assurance in HigherEducation and fundamental principlesof EFQM (The European Foundation forQuality Management) Excellence Model.traRTU S tegyURTExcellence Approach of RigaTechnical University has beendrawn up to promote purposefuldevelopment of the Universityas an excellent organization.R T U Q u a li t ysAsuraFigure 1.RTU Approach to Pursuing Excellence.RTU Constitution defines RTU as asustainable, internationally recognizedresearch, technology and innovationuniversity, as a European centre foreducation, scientific research and lifelong learning.1 EFQM Excellence Model isa support tool helping RTU implement itsMission and Vision and reach its strategicgoals. Implementation of RTU ExcellenceApproach based on the principles andstructure of EFQM Model gives the Universityan opportunity to assess its achievementson its way to excellence, to create a uniqueorganizational culture and a system of sharedvalues, to integrate existing and future goals,to promote infrastructure developmentand maintenance, as well as to ensureefficient management of the University.1 Constitution of Riga Technical nti/satversme5

Stages of RTUExcellence ApproachIntroducing its approach to pursuing excellence, RigaTechnical University has defined the stages of theprocess leading to excellence. The stages of RTUExcellence Approach (see Fig.2) reflect organizationalculture of RTU and serve as a common language thatensures common understanding of the Universityquality issues, which, in its turn, promotes sustainabledevelopment and achievement of the University goals.Assessment andImprovementResult PlanningContinualImprovementProcessand ResultsAnalysisAction PlanSelf-Assessmentof ientedActionFigure 2.Stages of RTU Approach to Pursuing Excellence.6

SustainableDevelopmentRTU acts to promote sustainabledevelopment of Latvia, it facilitatesachieving the goals of the EuropeanHigher Education Area, society, employers,students, alumni, and other stakeholders2.The University has integrated the conceptof sustainable development within itsStrategy, value chain, and processes; itprovides the necessary resources to achievethese goals. Sustainable developmentis inextricably connected with concernsabout sustaining the environment andmitigation of negative environmentalimpacts. Within the framework of RTUEnvironmental Policy, measurements aretaken to optimize the consequences ofactivities, product life cycle and services,and to mitigate their impact on publichealth, security and environment.Mission, Visionand ValuesRTU Mission is to ensure internationallycompetitive high quality scientific research,tertiary education, technology transferand innovation for the Latvian nationaleconomy and society3. In the long term,RTU sees itself as a modern and prestigiousuniversity, internationally recognized as theleading university of science and innovationin the Baltic States. RTU Mission and Visionallow introducing productive changes in thesustainable development of the Universitystaying committed to its values: quality,academic freedom, sustainable development,integrity, cooperation and stability4.GoalsRiga Technical University has set three maingoals: high quality study process, excellencein research and sustainable innovation3.University administration promotes unityand solidarity, creating an environmentwhere employees, students and otherstakeholders get purposefully involved insuccessful achievement of the goals2.2 Quality Assurance Policy of Riga Technical University3 Strategy of Riga Technical University4 Year book of Riga Technical University 2014/2015Stages and Principles of Excellence Approach7

StrategyRTU Action PlanThe main premise of RTU Strategy is toensure implementation of the goals of theNational Development Plan, as RTU is acornerstone of the development of Latvia,which ensures education and trainingof specialists necessary for the Latviannational economy and development ofnew products and services, serving as abasis for sustainable growth of Latvia3.Based on the regularly conducted selfassessment of the University efficiency andrecognition of the needs of stakeholders,RTU develops an Action Plan, whichallows defining objectives for continualimprovement of the University performance.Action Plan is based on RTU Mission, Vision,strategic goals, priorities and smentof UniversityPerformanceEfficiencyImplementation of RTU Excellence Approachis based on the process-oriented action; itincludes a clear sequence of the processesand their interaction2. Pursuing excellence,special attention is paid to process planning,definition of process aims and theirinteraction analysis. RTU has developedcriteria and methods to ensure efficientprocess execution and management.Considering self-assessment of the Universityperformance efficiency, RTU improvesgood governance principles and adoptsgood management practice. This selfassessment helps identify the areas thatneed improvement, carry on continuousUniversity advancement and, accordingly,monitor progress in the long term.Process andResults AnalysisContinualImprovementAnalysis of processes and results isconducted taking into considerationthat this stage in pursuing excellenceis a tool of activity, administration andresource management, which promotesdevelopment of innovations at the University.University activities and application ofresources are considered and managedas a set of processes to reach the desiredoutcome as efficiently as possible2.RTU draws up quality reports based onanalysis of processes and their results.Strategic University vision, analyzedoperational processes, personnelinvolvement and other factors promoteRTU development. Continual identification,implementation and monitoring ofimprovements are promoted in accordancewith the University priorities, thus facilitatingimprovement of the processes, system andresults, as well as optimization of Universityactivities in the changing environment2.Stages and Principles of Excellence Approach8

Integration of the Principles ofEFQM Excellence Modelinto RTU Excellence ApproachPRINCIPLES OF EFQMThe principles defined in the EFQM Excellence Modeland various higher education and quality standardsare horizontally integrated with the stages of RTUExcellence Approach. These principles characterizethe approach to pursuing excellence and sustainabledevelopment that organizations adopt5 (see Fig. 3).Student Value PropositionSucceeding throughthe Talent of PeopleManaging with AgilityRTU APPROACH TO PURSUING EXCELLENCEOrganizational EfficiencySTAGES OFRTU APPROACHTO PURSUINGEXCELLENCECreativity and InnovationLeadership with Vision, Inspiration and IntegritySustaining Outstanding ResultsFigure 3.Integration of the principles of EFQM ExcellenceModel in RTU Approach to Pursuing Excellence.Facilitating Acquisitionof Knowledge and Skillsby StudentsStrategic development plan is drawn upand competitive advantages are developedconsidering the needs and requirements of thecurrent and future students. RTU maintainsdialogue with the students and promotes theirinvolvement in organization management anddevelopment of innovative products and services.5 The European Foundation for Quality Management. EFQM Excellence Model 2013. Brussels: EFQM, 2013.Stages and Principles of Excellence Approach9

OrganizationalEfficiencyEfficient university governance ensuresdevelopment and implementation of moderneducation and research process.3 Analysisof the current operation performancetrends provides the basis for organizationalefficiency development. Cooperation withRTU partners is extremely important in orderto achieve common good, increase theirinvolvement in the university governance byinvesting their knowledge and resources topromote continual development of RTU.Creativity andInnovationRTU adopts a structured approachto generation of ideas, development,innovation and setting clear goals.Valorization strategy is implementedusing knowledge in creation of ideas andinnovations, stimulating involvement ofthe stakeholders, providing the necessaryresources, as well as facilitating developmentof competences and cooperation networks.Managing with AgilityUsing the methods for determiningenvironment change in modeling futurescenarios, initiating the processes, projectsand organizational structures rooted in theStrategy, RTU determines opportunities andthreats, effectively and adequately reactsat them, promotes creativity, innovationand progress, facilitates achievement ofstrategic goals, improves process, project, andorganizational flexibility, manages change.Succeeding throughthe Talent of PeopleEmployees are a valuable RTU asset; it is abasic prerequisite for integrated achievementof the University and personal employee goals.RTU plans attracting talented people; thedesired personal capabilities, competences andcharacteristics are determined and developed.Employees are involved in decision-makingprocess; efficient communication is establishedboth across and within University units.Leadership with Vision,Inspiration and IntegrityRTU leaders are a good example of integrity,social responsibility and ethical conductboth at the University and beyond, theyprovide a model inspiring students andcooperation partners with their experience.RTU promotes responsible conduct towardsstakeholders and society as a whole.SustainingOutstanding ResultsContinuous achievement of sustainableoutstanding results meeting the needs of thestakeholders is included as one of the goals inthe RTU Strategy. The University systematicallyreviews, improves and implements theStrategy and its enabling policies, as well ascompares them with other organizations.Stages and Principles of Excellence Approach10

2.STRUCTUREof RTU Excellence ApproachThe structure of RTU Excellence Approachhas been developed according to nine criteriaof EFQM Excellence Model5. Reciprocalimpact the criteria have on each otherpromotes continual improvement process.RTU performs self-assessment of efficiencyin accordance with the abovementionedcriteria, implementing continual qualityimprovement approach based on sustainableperformance results to recognize, assessand control all RTU processes, to identifystrengths and areas for improvement, todevelop and improve University governanceand, consequently, the quality of goodsand services provided (see Fig. 4).The structure of RTU Excellence Approachprovides the basis for maintaining high levelof University performance, a prerequisite forcontinual development of RTU to achievesustainable performance results and excellence.StrategyPartnerships ultsMAINPERFORMANCE RESULTSLEADERSHIP ANDMANAGEMENTPersonnelRESULTSPROCESSES, PRODUCTSAND SERVICESENABLERSLEARNING, CREATIVITY AND INNOVATIONFigure 4.Diagram of RTU processes.11

Leadership andManagementMotivation and commitment of the Universityadministration to RTU operational efficiency,organizational improvement and changemanagement is a precondition for introductionof RTU Excellence Approach and efficient qualitymanagement2. RTU administration and itsleaders promote excellence involving Universitypersonnel and establishing connection with thestakeholders. Defining Strategy scope and corevalues, developing the culture of involvement,belonging, advancement and responsibility,facilitating teamwork, RTU administrationtakes special care to ensure clarity of theachievable goals, unity, work environmentdevelopment and diversity management.PersonnelStrategyRTU implements strategic and systematicpersonnel management with an aim to increasepersonnel motivation and their contribution toachievement of University goals, highlightingprofessionalism of its employees as one ofthe main competitive advantages of RTU.RTU Human Resource Development Plan is aplanning document, which determines the goalsin the field of human resource management thatare not specifically addressed in the Strategy,but nevertheless stem from it and enable it6.Strategic planning at RTU is initiated byUniversity administration that determines theUniversity development areas and involvesemployees at all levels as well as students andRTU Advisory Board in strategic planning.RTU adopts and observes quality managementprinciples to establish a shared quality cultureand to ensure that employees of all RTU unitshave a common understanding about theircontribution to promoting organizationalefficiency. RTU involves all employees incontinual development of University activitiesin all areas, improving collaboration andteamwork. A cohesive RTU team helps create aworking environment that promotes emotionalattachment of the employees to the University.RTU plans employee career development,career advancement, mobility andresearch in accordance with RTU Strategy,organizational structure, new technologiesand core activity processes7.Developing RTU Strategy, the needs of allstakeholders are recognized, making a futureoriented, socially significant contribution tosocial development and sustainable growth.RTU strategic planning is based on the analysisof performance indicators of the study process,research, process execution and results obtainedin external research, taking into account theexpected outcomes determined in the Strategyand the tendencies of the previous years.In order to achieve strategic goals – highquality study process, excellence in research,sustainable valorization – and to ensureRTU performance quality, the principles ofsustainable development are integrated with theStrategy and value system, as well as processapproach, allocating the necessary resources3.6 Human Resource Development Plan of Riga Technical University7 Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG), 2015The structure of RTU Excellence Approach12

Partnership andResourcesRTU administration uses financial Strategyand policies to ensure successful universityperformance, existence and development. Itcomprehensively plans, maintains, attracts,coordinates and analyzes all necessaryfinancial, human and material resources. RTUadministration conducts financial managementtaking into consideration potential fundingsources and volume of investment to achievestrategic University goals and objectives, reachthe expected performance indicators, createand sustain competitiveness and ensure stableachievements in all areas of RTU activities. RTUdevelops financial planning, control, reportingand revision processes to optimize resourceuse and to provide for long-term needs. RTUmanages the entire body of information,knowledge and technologies to facilitate efficientdecision making. Collaboration with partners,suppliers and other stakeholders is carried outin accordance with RTU Strategy, creatingappropriate cooperation networks and initiatingrelevant policies, activities and processesfor efficient collaboration. Recognition ofstakeholders and collaboration to jointlysolve the emerging problems is an importantelement of RTU Strategy and performance.RTU promotes accessibility of adequatelyfunded research and development of activesupport and intensive cooperation with themajor industry partners. In order to keepstudy programs up-to-date and continuallyimprove them, development of new programsis carried out observing the interests ofall stakeholders involved in modern crossdisciplinary engineering education. Planningstudent support measures, RTU providesstudents with effective and accessibleadministrative services, learning aids andresources (libraries, educational equipment,IT infrastructure), as well as study coursetutors, career advisers, and mentors.Processes, Productsand ServicesPro

RTU APPROACH TO PURSUING EXCELLENCE The principles defined in the EFQM Excellence Model and various higher education and quality standards are horizontally integrated with the stages of RTU Excellence Approach. These principles characterize the approach to pursuing excellence and sustainable development that organizations adopt5 (see Fig. 3).

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