The Research News platform
A good example of an activity that has successfully improved and enhanced influence in the research and innovation field is the creation and operation of the online platform Research News, which aims to present scientific research, research projects and outstanding researchers at UL in an accessible way to the broadest possible audience both at home and around the world. We devote particular attention to outstanding research achievements, recipients of ERC and MSCA grants, interdisciplinary research and connections between research content and the SDGs. We publish an average of 50 research news items each year. The platform helps raise public awareness of the research and innovation activities of UL researchers and of their important contributions to addressing global social challenges, since UL is among the more successful universities in terms of obtaining European funding for its research projects. Since the platform was created, the number of visitors has grown from 4,481 in 2020 to 25,102 in 2022. In 2022 the highest numbers of readers accessed Research News from Slovenia, followed by the USA, Italy, Germany, India, Turkey, and France.
The establishment of the UL Press as a joint organisational unit has led to the creation of three web portals: the UL Press Journals portal, the UL Press eBooks (in Slovene) portal and the UL Press Online Bookshop. The decision to issue publications from all UL Members under the UL Press imprint has brought increased international visibility. At present around half of UL journals and a third of all UL publications are published under the UL Press imprint. All UL Members have begun using the same information system and have also unified the business model of their publishing activities. This will make it easier to monitor publishing statistics by UL Members (number of publications, number of publications sold, number of views of individual open-access publications, etc.).
One of the events that promotes the building of an innovation communities and long-term partnerships between the academia and industry is the UNI.MINDS festival. The largest festival of its kind in Slovenia, UNI.MINDS is dedicated to showcasing the research and innovation findings of researchers and industry partners from all Slovenian universities. It is focused on empowering, encouraging and supporting various forms of knowledge transfer into wider society, networking by national and international stakeholders from the wider innovation community and, with the help of awards such as the UL Rector’s Award for the best innovation, illuminating outstanding potentials and achievements in the field of the university knowledge transfer to society. The awards are given in three categories: researchers, students and alumni and HUD category (focusing on humanities, arts, and social science projects).
Entrepreneurial career pathway
UL Careers Centres have prepared an entrepreneurial career pathway (in Slovene) with a diverse range of contents, workshops, lectures and events that help students from all cycles to learn about entrepreneurship and gain the competences necessary for entrepreneurship. The entrepreneurial career path is divided into three sections: 1. Entering the world of entrepreneurship, 2. Basics of entrepreneurships, and 3. Different types of entrepreneurship. The first section brings together video content, books, and advice on entrepreneurship, the second section consists of workshops and webinars on developing an idea, funding for business starters and communication skills, and the third section consists of workshops covering different types of enterprise (start-up, deep tech, social, family, freelance cultural worker and traditional enterprise) and the opportunities that exist in the market.
Alumni for students mentoring programme (job shadowing)
The aim of this mentoring programme is to offer students new forms of informal mentoring, above all in the form of job shadowing, and give alumni either the opportunity to pass on their experience and knowledge to their younger colleagues. Alumni offer students the chance to visit their working environment for a day, which gives students the opportunity to get to know their work and career path, which in turn can help them make their own career decisions. The essence of the programme is that the student observes the alumnus’s work process for a short time and learns about what their job involves, which makes it easier for them to decide if this is a career path they would like to follow.
The programme is run via the alumniUL portal, where students and alumni who wish to participate can register. Matching students and alumni is done by coordinators at UL Members with the help of an algorithm that proposes the most suitable mentors for the mentees. When a mentor and mentee are matched, they are guided through the mentoring process by milestones that indicate how to progress. The mentoring programme was implemented for the first time in 2022. A total of 214 mentoring pairs were formed (the target was at least 150) and all participants gave positive feedback. Students obtained information about interesting jobs and in some cases were offered student jobs. The alumni, for their part, gained insight into the current state of their profession and potential new contacts with a new generation of professionals.
Examples of good practice in the use of ICT in higher education
The DigiUL has created a collection of examples of good practices in the use of ICT (in Slovene) in higher education in various subject areas at UL and abroad.
A day for the arts at UL
This collaboration provides an opportunity to showcase all UL Members working in the arts at the same time, deepening collaboration, and networking. The event is held as part of the free festival June in Ljubljana in the city centre in front of the UL building, extending information to the general public and further strengthening cooperation with the community.