The strategic plan of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Tartu ('university') proceeds from the university's strategic plan and is based on five development priorities:
1) research-based teaching at all levels of study;
2) basic and applied research, clinical studies and the transfer of new technologies and innovative solutions to clinical medicine, health and sports practices;
3) modern academic environment and infrastructure;
4) knowledge transfer for the benefit of society;
5) students, postgraduate students and resident doctors striving for new knowledge.
With these development priorities, we support the development of the Faculty of Medicine and the preparation of high-level specialists in today's changing society, with a view to high-quality healthcare, disease prevention and healthy lifestyles throughout the life cycle. At the same time, we focus on health and well-being in a broader sense, considering the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The world-changing coronavirus pandemic has shown the challenges that may accompany implementing new, research-intensive technologies and innovative solutions when different scientific disciplines and societal groups come together.
The Faculty of Medicine has the sole responsibility for the academic development of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, physiotherapy and nursing science in Estonia. The faculty's mission is to train high-level specialists in medicine, healthcare, public health, sports sciences and physiotherapy. Our professional competence is based on outstanding research and high-quality theoretical and practical training. In our activities, we fully consider the needs of the Estonian population, follow the principles of evidence-based medicine and lead the shaping of Estonia's healthcare policy. We stand for a suitable training volume to meet the needs of the health sector and support the deployment of artificial intelligence, personalised medicine and other patient-centred and innovative digital and other solutions.
We are a leading academic centre of medical and sport sciences in the Baltic Sea region, and have a spearheading role in healthcare in Estonia.
An integral part of the education provided at the Faculty of Medicine is the competence of teaching staff, evidence-based approach and innovation in all the specialisations and levels
we teach. Interdisciplinarity, the involvement of external specialists and trained practical training supervisors, and the collaboration of students, resident doctors and teaching staff in creating an inspiring, supportive and motivating learning environment are essential to our curricula. Besides basic knowledge, the curricula of the Faculty of Medicine allow the students and resident doctors to acquire transferable skills, digital and entrepreneurial competencies. We are continuously developing our curricula to guide the development of specialisations related to public health, and take the demands of the changing society into account. In teaching, we follow the university's good practice of teaching.
1.1. In all curricula, we implement innovative learning methods that enable the acquisition of academic knowledge in both face-to-face and distance learning, and we create new digital and hybrid solutions to this end.
1.2. We increase the flexibility of doctoral studies in different specialisations within the framework of the University of Tartu's new regulations for doctoral studies and create opportunities for doctoral students in non-state-funded student places. In doing so, we are guided by the growing share and importance of interdisciplinary, cross-faculty and international cooperation in the medical sciences.
1.3. We pay particular attention to the development of master's curricula based on labour market demand, international experience and the importance of close cooperation between institutes and faculties.
We aim to provide an education with a strong academic background, in which specific, practical and transferable skills, critical thinking and readiness for lifelong learning are integral, besides the broad-based theoretical education linking the disciplines. In teaching competitive professionals, we combine theoretical and practical learning and professional practice in the best possible way, based on their logical interaction throughout the study period.
1.4. We encourage future specialist doctors to undertake doctoral studies and participate in research and development projects; we provide training on competencies throughout their residency and teach transferable skills.
1.5. For lifelong learning, we develop continuing education in all specialisations of the faculty and create opportunities for the design and implementation of micro-credential programmes.
1.6. In cooperation with practical training host institutions, we improve the links between theoretical and practical learning and train general supervisors for practical training and residency.
1.7. We value and develop the opportunities to engage in practical studies outside Tartu.
The prerequisite of the development of the Faculty of Medicine is high-level research and its links with international research cooperation networks. In addition to internationalisation, we also attach importance to interdisciplinary research and development both at the university and with other institutions, incl. membership in centres of excellence, cooperation with institutes in the faculty and in other faculties of the university, Estonian higher education institutions, medical institutions and professional associations. We aim to rapidly translate new scientific breakthroughs into reality for healthcare providers, and we value and support the creation and protection of intellectual property.
2.1 We contribute to building the capacity of the faculty to attract research funding through the consortia created with the support of the Horizon Europe programme and other international and Estonian measures.
2.2 We support the development of strong research directions and, at the same time, ensure the sustainability of all other specialisations, necessary for high-quality teaching and academic continuity.
2.3 We attach importance to the sustainability and shared use of research infrastructure and empower the research support structure, incl. the Clinical Research Centre.
A major challenge in securing broad-based research and development is increasing the involvement of students, resident doctors and young post-doctoral researchers, and success in attracting research funding. We attach importance to postgraduate studies and the involvement of students in research at all levels, and encourage the joint supervision of doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers in cooperation with foreign universities. Therefore, we believe that the Estonian Health Research Council should be established under the Ministry of Social Affairs, together with a new competition-based research funding system in health research. In addition to public funding measures, we see the potential for more effective involvement of the private sector, for example, through joint projects, funds and scholarships. Active participation in clinical studies is important.
2.4. In cooperation with external partners (Tartu University Hospital and other hospitals, biotechnology and healthcare companies), we develop and implement the principles of industrial doctorate.
2.5 We encourage young researchers to advance their careers and undertake post-doctoral research at foreign universities, we increase the capacity of the Faculty of Medicine as a place for post-doctoral research and foster the return of young researchers from abroad.
2.6. We create opportunities to engage students of different levels of study in research, foster student research and develop an elective module on research education in the curriculum of Medicine.
2.7. We analyse cooperation opportunities in Asia.
The Faculty of Medicine is integrated and balanced, open to innovation and strives for the highest possible quality in its activities. We prioritise teaching and research to an equal extent, keeping it in mind in employing high-quality staff and evaluating work performance. We value our people and attach importance to transparent and effective HR policies and motivating remuneration. Ensuring academic competence and the new generation of academic staff in all our specialisations is essential for the internal development of the faculty. We encourage academic staff to undertake further training at foreign universities and involving international teaching staff in teaching at all levels.
3.1. In cooperation with Tartu University Hospital and other hospitals, we aim to develop common career pathways to ensure academic continuity.
3.2. We attach great importance to the continuous self-development of our staff. To this end, we continue to provide training courses and mentoring programmes within the faculty, create opportunities to showcase best practices and develop our staff's professional and managerial skills in cooperation with the university's support units.
3.3. We encourage the faculty's institutes to level up cooperation to develop cross-disciplinary teamwork, and we aim to combine the competencies of different institutes in our curricula more than in the past.
3.4. We increase the faculty's capacity to get new external funding from education, research and cooperation measures (Erasmus+, Horizon Europe, EIT Health, etc.), making more effective use of both the Grant Office and the Clinical Research Centre.
We consider it strategically necessary to ensure the shared and prudent use, management and development of research infrastructure in the faculty in cooperation with other university units and external partners, including Tartu University Hospital. In doing so, it is important to further develop and more effectively implement joint and core laboratories. Healthy learning and working conditions that promote creativity and mental well-being are important to us. In the development of our spatial environment, we take people with special needs into account, and we are increasingly shaping our mindset and working environment in line with a green worldview and sustainable development goals.
3.5. We develop simulation learning opportunities and methods in our specialisations in cooperation with the university and Tartu University Hospital.
3.6. We ensure that our learning and working environments, including the capacity of our lecture halls, the equipment in our laboratories and classrooms, and our technological readiness, are designed to the highest standards.
3.7. We create better access to our buildings, including for people with special needs.
3.8. We attach importance to the mental health of academic staff, students and resident doctors, and to the creation and availability of courses and continuing education programmes in this area.
The Faculty of Medicine contributes to health promotion, disease prevention and treatment in its areas of responsibility. We play an active role in shaping evidence-based health policy and are an innovative partner for companies in the field of healthcare and public health. We support the concept of a smart state, where quality advisers, developers and managers in the field of health are experts with a research degree.
4.1. Together with stakeholders, we aim to develop and make the best use of personalised medicine for the benefit of public health.
4.2 We are actively involved in health-related tasks and innovative cooperation projects in Tartu, Estonia and the world. We make the best use of cooperation networks such as ENLIGHT, The Guild, EIT Health and the Connected Health Cluster.
4.3 We make better use of the core infrastructures and competencies of the faculty for the benefit of society, for degree study and continuing education and for cooperation with businesses.
Our strategic partners in both applied cooperation and knowledge transfer for the benefit of society include Tartu University Hospital and other partner hospitals, the University of Tartu Academic Sports Club, family-medicine centres, dental clinics, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of Education and Research and the Estonian Olympic Committee. We are committed to ensuring that the volume of Estonian-language training and continuing education for medical professionals and other health professionals meets the needs of the Estonian population.
4.4. We look for and analyse opportunities to level up cooperation in teaching, research and development with Estonian regional and central hospitals and other healthcare and sports institutions.
4.5. We initiate studies to assess the future need for healthcare professionals and their training volume in the Estonian healthcare system.
4.6. We support the development of Estonian terminology and the preparation and publication of textbooks and other teaching materials.
The research-based curricula of the Faculty of Medicine equip our graduates with core skills for both entering the profession and starting an academic career. We do our best to ensure that our graduates are critical thinkers, open to innovation and value continuous self-development, self-management and lifelong learning. We encourage students to study abroad, and we create better opportunities to do that.
5.1. We create mobility windows in our curricula to foster student mobility.
5.2. To find the best and most motivated student candidates, we cooperate with upper secondary schools to introduce and popularise the specialisations of the Faculty of Medicine, thereby increasing upper secondary school students' interest in all curricula of the faculty.
5.3. We increase the involvement of our alumni in teaching, supervision and mentoring, as well as in setting up private foundations to support both teaching and research.
5.4. We create opportunities for the better integration of international students with Estonian students.