AUC is currently in the midst of positioning itself for success in the years to come. As the AUCAA Board, we would like to give you an update of what is happening, as you might be interested how your alma mater ages over time. This is the first article in a series of two. This first article will focus on the rationale behind a renewed strategic planning, while the second will contain the actual strategic planning itself.

Initial strategy

During its founding period and initial years of operation (2009-2015), AUC created and delivered a high quality undergraduate Liberal Arts and Science education. It has established itself around a couple of initial aims that you as alumni are probably familiar with:

• A full-time selective three-year honours programme in liberal arts and sciences at Bachelor level, taught in English, with a strong profile in the sciences;
• An engaging academic and social context, supported by small class size, residential college setting, and state-of-the-art facilities;
• A centre of academic excellence with an international and intercultural focus, as well as outreach to the (local) community;
• A joint initiative of two major European research universities, located in the global city of Amsterdam; and
• A welcoming community encouraging diversity and excellence, by, among others, offering scholarships through the AUC Scholarship Fund.

Rationale behind the new strategy

While AUC has met its foundational goals, the challenge now is to position the University College for further success over the next five year period. In February 2016, Professor Murray Pratt took up the position of Dean, to succeed prof. dr. van der Wende. During and after his appointment, the need the need for a new period of strategic planning was discussed based on:
• The need to build on AUC’s initial success and refresh its curriculum to reflect social and technological change;
• An analysis of international developments in higher education; and
• Making a contribution to the renewed strategic directions of UvA and VU within the Dutch education system.

The new strategic planning has four key elements:
1. Curriculum: Enhancing interdisciplinary learning outcomes.
2. Recruitment of students: Attracting high quality applications from candidates.
3. Innovation of education: Pioneering new educational developments.
4. Reach and recognition of AUC: Broadening the promotion of its activities.

More detail on the content of the new strategic planning for the years to come will be shared with you in the next newsletter…