‘Schools’ to facilitate interdisciplinary research
The RUG cites the successful Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health as an example. At this school, the university is collaborating with the UMCG and Hanze University of Applied Sciences on research, education, and advice on healthy ageing.
The new schools, which are an important part of the RUG’s strategic plan, will focus on the themes of energy transition and climate change, public health, technology and digital society, and sustainable society. The activities will be expressly determined by the contributions of social parties. The schools will be set up for a period of five years, after which they’ll be replaced by new schools if necessary.
‘We’re building on existing structures’, said rector magnificus Cisca Wijmenga during a university council meeting. ‘But we know that we can’t roll out everything at once. Bringing together that which we already have isn’t all that complicated but improving on it is exciting. We’ll be discussing the ins and outs of that in the period ahead.’
The interdisciplinary nature of the schools is an essential characteristic. Collaboration between researchers from different faculties or disciplines has proven difficult. The schools should make this easier. ‘Think of a building, an innovation lab, where people can get together’, says university president Jouke de Vries.
The costs for the schools would be paid for from the RUG’s central policy funds. This means the faculties won’t have to worry about spending any of their current budgets.