Profile of VET organisation

Name of organization: Riga Technical University

Country: Latvia

Type of VET institute: Further education and training


Good practice title

Key performance indicator based Strategy implementation

Baseline / problem

The vision of Riga Technical University until 2020 is to become the leading University of science and innovation in the Baltic States.

In order to achieve it, the strategy is based on the three key objectives of the University (high quality study process, excellence in research and sustainable innovation and commercialization activities) while the following five main priorities of the University cut across the strategy – internationalization, interdisciplinary, organisational efficiency, financial efficiency and infrastructure efficiency.

RTU uses these five horizontal priorities as a prism to see implementation of its objectives and ensure internationally competitive high quality scientific research, tertiary education, technology transfer, commercialization and innovation activities for Latvian national economy and the society.

Specific result-based targets have been determined for these three objectives.,lv/

For example, key targets in Quality study process are:

  1. Employment of graduates one year after completing the studies,
  2. The share of foreign students in the total number of students,
  3. The number of enrolled master students/number of bachelor’s degrees awarded,
  4. Persons involved in lifelong learning and professional improvement,
  5. Total increase in the number of students,
  6. The share of foreign guest lecturers in the total number of academic staff.

After approval of the Strategy the RTU rector ensures defining of the annual RTU objectives and tasks with clear result-based indicators at the level of every RTU administrative unit and Faculty. The RTU Strategy is implemented and the annual achieved results are analysed on the basis of these targets.

After this management approach was implemented university’s performance has boosted in all three main strategy areas allowing to attract more students, increase amount of successfully implemented research projects, establish new spin-offs and define and structure the planning process in general.

RTU Strategy and Quality Assurance policy have been adopted by RTU Senate. Quality Assurance and process management is based on university strategy and helps to achieve and measure indicators stated in strategy.

Good practice: (Measures, instruments, criteria, indicators)

RTU Strategy and Activity Program for 2014-2020 are approved by the Senate. Every year based on the strategy Rector approves RTU Activity Plan for current academic year, i.e., activity plans for the RTU administration and faculties’ activity plans.

Annual activity plan of the RTU administration structural units is approved on early January. The activity’s plan period is from January 1 to December 31; preparing report on the implementation of academic plans – early September and early January. Faculties` activity’s plan for the indicators of the study process is approved by the Rector on early September for period September 1 till August 31 and then a report prepared on early February and early September.

RTU development strategy is made for 5 year period and approved by RTU Senate. All faculties have research goals which correspond to the RTU strategy and key performance indicators (KPI) on yearly basis in order to evaluate the progress in achieving these goals. In order to accomplish these goals, all faculties have 5-year research programs and annual activity plans with indicated specific activities, deadlines and responsible persons.

Deputy Deans for research and the Scientific Committees of faculties are responsible for making and implementing the research programs and the activity plans.

Based on strategic targets defined in university strategy and activity’s plan, each year individual agreements with deans of faculties are signed regarding the specific objectives for current faculty’s next year’s objectives and tasks. Objectives are defined based on strategy and cascaded down to the faculty level. Through the definition process of objectives and tasks the statistical performance of each faculty is evaluated. Objectives are defined in tree groups – study process, scientific research process and sustainable innovation and commercialization activities.

There is established a centralized Management Information System at Riga Technical University (RTU), which consists from multiple information systems and deliver a value by supporting strategy implementation and control processes.

Existing RTU information systems are used to measure criteria and indicators and provide regular analysis of data.

Based on the results of strategy implementation all structural units are evaluated and receive additional performance based funding.

Units are able to gain larger amount of funding if the set tasks are implemented and lower amount of funding if the set tasks are not implemented.

Process steps:

  1. In the beginning of academic year RTU top management strategic planning meeting takes place, where tasks for next academic year are laid out.
  2. RTU task plan for administrative units is presented in a general meeting to all employees before beginning of next academic year in September.
  3. For communicating and developing RTU task plan responsible is RTU Deputy Rector for Development.
  4. During academic year meetings are organized with RTU faculty leaders (deans, institute directors), to set RTU Faculty task plan with concrete indicators and goals.
  5. KPI are coordinated, debated, proposals are evaluated and agreed with faculty leaders and concrete goals are set.
  6. Criteria and proposals in three main areas are combined and internal agreements are signed with faculty deans.
  7. Following the results performance based funding is following results.
  8. To follow up changes that indicators bring in each faculty change agent from internal personnel is appointed. Task of change agent is to initiate, secure and act upon changes in each faculty. Therefore sustaining continues development process.
  9. At the end of academic year a report on criteria fulfillment is presented. Report also indicates new criteria proposals for next year set by management.

Current process has contributed to establishing excellence model in RTU with significant results in:

  • increased funding,
  • development of organizational culture,
  • performance based focus.

Problems and constraints encountered and solutions found:

New challenge for RTU top-management is to secure that process is well controlled, measured so it would support new ideas and initiatives and would bring further development with short reaction time. Problems in establishing performance based management was initial employee and unit level management resistance. Managers and employees had to learn to work together in horizontal and vertical directions to achieve common targets. Problems were tackled with internal communication, allocation of additional resources and internal motivation. Regular sharing of common vision and communication by management was important factor to create shared target vision for employees. In first years it was important, that units which performed better were financially rewarded for their effort. This has helped to implement key performance indicators important for the development of the university.