To date we have had more academic funerals than academic weddings at TalTech. By "academic funeral" I mean the situation whereby a student is exmatriculated before reaching graduation. By ’academic wedding’ I mean successful graduation within nominal study time.
The rate of graduation within nominal time in TalTech was only 38% as recently as five years ago. Last year we reached 50% meaning that we have as many funerals as we have weddings. But TalTech wants more. We want more academic weddings than funerals. The ambition in our Strategic Plan is to have the rate of graduation within nominal time reach 60% by 2025 at the latest. In 2021, I can assure you that we are on the right path. This year we already had more weddings than funerals.
But how to achieve more weddings than funerals? It is simple! Teaching staff have to be motivating, inspiring, innovative and always be there for the students. What can the university do in order to have more teachers like that? Already this autumn we shall launch centres for didactics. These will provide support to all teaching staff members, who themselves wish to become motivating, inspiring, innovative and use state-of-the-art teaching equipment.
In order to recognise faculty members committed to teaching, TalTech has updated its career management system. Already this autumn we shall welcome among us the first Associate Professors on the teaching path. These are people who enjoy teaching, who deliver quantity and quality in supervision, who are well known within as well as outside the university, known and recognized in their field and professional associations.
The biggest task for the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs is to make sure that the best years of the 18+ year olds studying at TalTech would be those spent at the university.