There are seven Universities of Technology in the world which are the best Business Schools in their country according to
QS 2022 World University subject rankings.
Taltech is one of these seven.
TalTech School of Business and Governance
Strategy 2022 – 2025 (expecting 2030)
TalTech is the leading university of business and administration in Estonia. The School of Business and Governance is a medium-sized international research and education centre in business, economics, law, and public administration which strives for excellence in its relations with the stakeholders – our students and alumni, the world of practice, the state, the University, the members of the School and the academic community. We serve our stakeholders in the School’s widening impact zone in the Baltics and wider Europe, and our processes enable faculty members and staff, students, alumni, and our partners to work together for the greater good.
The Strategy 2022-2025 aims to define the directions of the School’s development for taking it to the next level during the forthcoming four years and building a strong foundation for that period. The mid-term review of the strategy will be carried out in 2023/2024, regular reviews are conducted annually. The implementation of the strategy and strategic projects are monitored and planned quarterly.
Our mission is to shape a knowledge-based innovative and sustainable society.
To a great extent, we are responsible for the quality of life, competitiveness, and sustainability of Estonia and Europe – we educate the decision- and changemakers of the future. With a focus on Estonia, in the EU context, the Baltic-Nordic region is our main impact zone. Our research activities make an impactful contribution to knowledge that is an organic part of global academic developments.
We are a high-level competence centre in Northern Europe that delivers innovative ideas and educates people for the benefit of business and society
We adhere to the vision of the University – innovative Estonia in a sustainable world – being one of the region’s leading educational and research centres in our fields of activity. Our quality requirements and their implementation are on the bar with those of international accreditation requirements (EFMD, EQUIS, AMBA, AACSB, EAPAA), and we will be one of the world’s top 250 Schools in our area.
Impact – We aspire for excellence and ensure that our work is relevant for our stakeholders and enhances long-run sustainability.
Courage – We have the courage to be ahead of our time while keeping a balance between innovation and responsibility.
Collaboration – We create the future together and trust each other through a culture of open dialogue.
- The impact of our research increases considerably as the School pays attention to both the quantity and quality of the output and balances our core research activities with interdisciplinary research. High-level publications and activities that have an impact on the world of practice and classrooms are the priority during the forthcoming period.
- The study programmes designed to fully respond to our stakeholders’ needs provide high level and attractive education and development opportunities for our learners to help them increasingly face future societal challenges.
- Positive student learning experience from the admission and newcomers’ adaptation process to their entering the labour market; our alumni organization is one of our priorities.
- The motivating working environment that we create in cooperation with the University management supports students’ critical thinking, and our courage to develop as persons and as an innovative and committed School.
- Internal cooperation and external collaboration will be enhanced by the processes focusing on the topics of common interest and shaping the agenda for ourselves, partners and society.
- Internationalisation, the world of practice, and ERS are amplified by additional transversal topics: SMEs, innovation and entrepreneurship, evidence-based decisions and analysis, and digital organization.
- We pay special attention on succession planning and development of our people.
Target levels of achievement are presented in the Appendices.
Estonia is our immediate impact zone where we function as a full-scale comprehensive business school that involves education and research in the fields of business, economics, law, and public administration. However, our wider impact zones have international reach and depend on the types of activities. We continue to participate in BSIS evaluation process. Table 1 shows the key impact and feedback features of the School.
Table 1. TalTech School of Business and Governance impact and target zones.
|The Baltic Sea and Scandinavia
|Strong overall impact||Educational and business impact, alumni, undergraduate and MBA||Students, research cooperation||Students, research, giving back|
|A leader in research||Valued partner in research (a leader in the Baltics)||Part of academic community|
|First choice for undergraduates||Students prepared to work in the region; educational cooperation||Students prepared to work; valued partner for mobility|
|Students/faculty mix||4 – 10% students (non-Estonian)||10 – 20% students (non-Estonian)10-||20 – 30% students (non-Estonian)20-|
|33 – 50 % faculty, more faculty exchange with Finland, Latvia and Lithuania|
|First choice for WoP||Good cooperation partner for companies and public||Active cooperation with international companies and EU institutions|
|Most international||Active educational and research cooperation|
The strategic initiative to increase the impact of our educational offerings is supported by strategic objectives:
- to choose and develop 1-3 flagship programmes, and a portfolio of micro-degrees reconsidering the role of the Open University;
- to reconsider the role of traditional lectures by increasing the share of flexible and blended study methods. Some courses or parts of them will be changed into digital learning formats;
- to launch the activities of the Centre for Teaching Excellence and Educational Research (CTEER) furthering educational innovation, quality of teaching, and research;
and by strategic improvement in operations:
- we will give priority to the brightest graduates of the Estonian and the EU high schools while developing our admission processes; develop further student adaptation processes;
- we will develop our study programme portfolio focusing on the majors that balance skills and knowledge and on the transferable and future skills, including student self-management and learning strategies;
- we will raise the proportion of the teaching staff that hold a PhD and continue increasing the graduation rate;
- we will ensure in joint operations with the enterprises and organizations that the study programmes and micro-degrees would be increasingly relevant to WoP;
There are two main directions in the School’s education strategy – innovation in our educational offerings and improving our operations to guarantee the high-level quality of learning and ensure educational development. Our aim is excellence in preparing learners for a successful career. Key issues for education are internal evaluation and continuous development of our programmes, specialisation subject groups (majors), and generic skills. The School ensures a higher level of cooperation between the departments and programme directors.
The study programmes meet our stakeholders’ present and future needs. Being responsible for the Estonian business and administration education, we aim to provide our students with knowledge and skills that enable lifelong learning and professional development. Our programme portfolio will continually cover core fields in business; public administration, economics, and business law are among our strengths. Our MBA programme will attain the planned regional reach and together with our executive education and micro-degrees, it will become the region’s managers’ preferred choice.
The School will continue searching for an optimal balance between research-based academic education and practical skills. To improve our relationships with the enterprises and organizations we will restore the internship fair and ensure full use of the recently established internship portal.
Student admission will be one of the focus areas in quality improvement. We will continue applying high-level admission criteria in Estonia and improving selection criteria for international students, including the implementation of standardized international tests. We will ensure the increasing share of the entrants who have graduated from Estonian top-10 high schools. We take measures to at least triple the number of students from OECD countries (including Latvia and Lithuania) compared to the present level. We will improve our applicants’ expectations management, facilitate the 1st year students’ onboarding process and enhance the development of the student community.
Research and Development
The strategic initiative to increase the impact of our research is supported by strategic objectives:
1) to establish 1-3 world-class research areas around the existing or new research groups, giving priority to the interdisciplinarity between departments;
2) to participate in approximately 20 international multi-year research projects and increase the research funding;
and by strategic improvement in operations:
1) we will focus on the recruitment and retention of high-quality faculty members, postdocs, and PhD students;
2) we will improve the societal and educational impact of our research activities.
Key challenges for R&D are the focus, cooperation, aspiration, and impact. We will strive to increase the impact of our research by paying attention to both the quality and quantity of the research output and balancing our core research foci with interdisciplinary research.
The research and development activities in the School are categorized into three groups based on target groups (academics, practitioners, and classroom) for management purposes. The main output of academic research is published journal articles where we aim at excellence. For research management, we follow articles in WoS and Scopus, Scopus Q1 and Q2, and FT50+ journals. We also value monographs published by world-class publishers.
We complement the focus on high-level publications with R&D activities that have an impact on teaching and the world of practice. The School increasingly pays attention to the practice-oriented and applied research and dissemination of the research results in cooperation with our partners.
Our teaching is research-based: the research findings are reflected in the classroom combined with educational research and pedagogical development. The majority of the permanent academic staff members are expected to do research in the field they teach.
We encourage our research staff to apply for research funding and applied grants both in Estonia and internationally. The share of research funding is expected to increase in the budgets of all departments. Each tenured professor should have at least one running research grant. We will pay attention to data management, research ethics, and research project professional management.
We will continue with the PhD reform to increase the attractiveness of PhD studies, improve supervision, and ensure high standards for the PhD theses.
Main strategic objectives in the field of human resources management are:
1) to balance the demographic and academic structure of our faculty and support them in their aspiration to fully use their potential;
2) to focus on recruiting the lecturers and high-level internationally recognized professors and ensure the academic succession (including Estonian) with an emphasis on the doctoral studies;
3) to increase the use of external experts and alumni in our educational activities;
4) to widen the professional development options for our faculty and staff.
Our ability to serve the stakeholders in the School’s widening impact zone and to be ranked among the top 250 depends on our people and their ability to cooperate with students, alumni, and our partners. We will create a motivating environment in collaboration with the University that supports our courage to develop as persons and as an innovative and committed School.
The School has a well-balanced composition of faculty. However, the share of the faculty members with PhD will increase to enable 75% of the courses taught in the master’s programmes to be delivered by the teaching staff that holds a PhD degree. At the same time, we involve people from the world of practice, external experts, and alumni in our educational activities. We will employ the possibilities that arise from the international composition of our teaching staff and ensure that all faculty members can fully participate in all our activities.
The quality and diversity of the faculty and staff is the main criterion for our recruitment policy. We will pay attention to succession planning at all levels of faculty and management, we secure the recruitment of (Estonian language) faculty through doctoral studies and use open international calls also at the lecturers’ level. The School plans to open 5-10 new internationally competitive professorships in cooperation with the University management. Faculty development will be the primary task of the CTEER.
Three main activity groups are international cooperation, University level cooperation, and activities initiated by the School. The teaching staff development is School-centred and international. We encourage participation in international conferences and seminars, in international research groups and academic associations, and the activities of EIASM.
We build both physically and culturally attractive and competitively motivating working environments for our people. Stimulating teaching staff based on their student feedback and level of publications will guide them to perform even better. We use employer satisfaction surveys to measure the impact of our activities.
The strategic initiative to continue internationalisation is supported by strategic objectives:
1) to pay increased attention to the internationalisation of the Estonian students at home and the reverse internationalisation of the students coming outside Estonia;
2) to expand the possibilities of international internships for our students and restructure our partners’ portfolio;
3) to increase alumni engagement, particularly those outside of Estonia.
and by strategic improvement in operations:
1) we will strengthen international dimensions in all our activities to reflect the structure of the Estonian economy and our academic partnerships;
2) we will focus our admission processes on ensuring the student mix relevant to our impact zones.
Internationalisation activities are organised across the 12 dimensions (strategy, reputation, governance, curriculum and learning resources, R&D, languages, faculty and visiting professors, students and alumni, staff, clients and recruiters, alliances and partners, activities abroad).
The majority of our students continue to come from Estonia. Internationalisation in the programmes delivered in the Estonian language will be based on the curriculum content, teaching part of the courses in the English language by domestic and international faculty, mobility and internationalisation at home (joint courses with the programmes delivered in the English language and offering virtual mobility options).
The programmes taught in the English language will continue to be an important part of our portfolio, they contribute approximately 33% to our entire student body. The content, student and faculty mix are the major internationalisation tools in these programmes. In addition, we use reverse internationalisation in the programmes taught in English to enable students to be employed by the Estonian companies and make them “ambassadors” of Estonia when they return to their home countries after graduation.
We will growingly focus our activities on the relationships with the companies outside Estonia. We will actively search for possibilities (e.g. Alumni Portal) to involve the alumni from other countries in the activities of the School. The international focus will be Finland, Latvia, and Lithuania (involving also the graduates from former Concordia and Audentes universities).
At least 80% of our partner universities are internationally accredited or ranked based on subjects or institutionally. We continue restructuring the portfolio of our partner universities by actively seeking cooperation with top universities in different countries. An additional 20% of partner universities are involved in the selected projects or we share our good practice to help others in their transition.
We encourage our students’ participation in international student organizations and the School actively participates in BMDA, CEEMAN, EFMD, AACSB, PRIME, ELFA, EGPA and NISPA. We continue with BSIS evaluation, EAPAA and EFMD programme accreditation, CEEMAN institutional accreditation, and are preparing for AMBA, AACSB, or EQUIS accreditations.
World of Practice (WoP)
The strategic initiative to amplify engagement with and of WoP is supported by strategic objectives:
1) to develop long-term and mutually rewarding relationships with companies and organizations in our Baltic-Nordic impact zone through developing priority themes and offers;
2) to work especially closely with international companies from Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Latvia, and Lithuania;
and by strategic improvement in operations:
1) we will widen and professionalize our WoP relationships considering a wide range of dimensions;
2) we will focus on the quality and range of the services – consulting, training, applied research – that we offer to companies and organizations based on their current and expected needs.
We serve our stakeholders in the School’s widening impact zone by delivering programmes designed to meet their needs and doing basic and relevant applied research that impacts the world of practice. We develop and offer interdisciplinary courses and/or micro-degrees to serve the companies’ and organizations’ needs based on the expected future trends to build strong and long-term partnerships with industry, government, and the public sector.
In addition to the Estonian companies and organizations, we seek closer cooperation with Chambers of Commerce and international companies (including shared services centres) located here. Outside Estonia, we focus on the companies in South Finland, Sweden, Latvia, and Lithuania. We study possibilities to develop “Industrial MA” and/or “Industrial PhD” and a network-based Centre for Applied Research as strategic services for the world of practice (generating in-house space, time, professional services; securing fit-for-field) Our marketing and engagement strategy and plans will have a special part oriented to our target companies. We reconsider WoP processes and plan the resources for that purpose.
Ethics and Governance, Social Responsibility, and Sustainable Environment
Main strategic directions in the field of ERS and ESG are supported by the following objectives:
1) to improve student awareness and empower students in the implementation of SDG and ERS principles;
2) to incorporate ERS and ESG principles in our teaching activities;
and by strategic improvements in operations:
1) we will increase the coverage and visibility of intertwined topics of ERS and ESG in our research;
2) we will increase cooperation inside the School with private and public organizations, and with alumni to promote the principles of ERS and participate actively in the development of sustainability strategy for the University.
We contribute to the promotion of ERS and ESG in an increasingly global world by building our activities around the PRME and SDG. The School and its members are committed to ERS topics as ethical and responsible citizens living in Estonia. The activities in the School have been structured around the framework of PRME, where we continue to participate as a Signatory. The strategic ERS initiatives are planned to advance UN SDG-s in the impact zone of the School.
We will increase the visibility and coverage of ERS-related topics in the School’s research by a higher number of high-level publications related to the topic and by taking measures to enhance the dissemination of their results. We will incorporate ERS and SDGs systematically into School’s educational activities. The coverage of ERS and SDG topics in the School’s study programmes will increase, and the topics will be a part of regular faculty training sessions. The School will improve student awareness of ERS principles by empowering their implementation.
We will pay greater attention to the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and ERS in our everyday activities. The School encourages a dialogue among the staff, students, and other stakeholders through different social responsibility and sustainability-related actions and intensifies cooperation with private and public organizations and alumni for enhancing sustainability and social and environmental responsibility. Our working and learning environment promote the implementation of ERS and SDGs in the core activities of the School.
Transversal topics, risks and implementation
In addition to overall transversal topics – internationalisation, the world of practice, and ERS – the School gives priority to the topics related to SMEs, innovation and entrepreneurship, evidence-based decisions and analysis, and digital organization. Our processes enhance internal cooperation and external collaboration and focus on common topics to shape the agenda for ourselves and the partners and society. In cooperation with the University management, we are building a motivating working and learning environment to support our courage to develop as persons and as an innovative and committed School.
Major risks the School faces are global trends in education, the massification of higher education and research, the possible choices between public and private financing, the imbalance between the demand and regulatory environment, changing needs in WoP, and regulatory inflexibility of our offerings. The fact that working at a university is connected with currently increasing opportunity costs for the faculty is a problem of development.
The implementation of the strategy and strategic projects are monitored and planned quarterly. The Dean is responsible for the strategic development process in the School, and relevant strategy topics are discussed with the heads of the functional areas and departments at monthly meetings.
Departments’ strategies extend and detail the School’s strategy in their areas of activities.
Appendix 1. Target performance indicators
|KPI||University level strategic targets 2025||School-specific target|
|Position of the School||Top 250 in the World, first in Estonia|
|Accreditation||At least 5 programmes internationally accredited (EFMD, EAPAA, AMBA)
Readiness for institutional accreditation (AACSB or EFMD)
|Income from educational activities||€70m||Depends on university|
|Graduation rate within the nominal time||60%||>60%|
|Share of PhD-s and top practitioners in teaching||75% MA, 50% BA||75% MA, 50% BA|
|Master’s graduates’ income||1.65 times the Estonian average||Estonian highest in the School’s educational areas|
|“World-class” research groups||1 – 3|
|Q1 per faculty member with PhD||0.70|
|FT50+ publications||10 – 15 per year|
|N+1 defended doctoral theses||90||12|
|R&D projects||€72,000 per faculty member||20 projects with SBG in significant role|
|Income from R&D contracts and services||€13m||375000€|
|No of spin-offs and start-ups||10||–|
|Reputation||95 (TRIM index)||Response by general public equal to Tartu SEB|
|Share of voice (among three largest)||30%|
|Employee satisfaction TRIM||68|
|Climate neutral University||TBA|
Appendix 2. School level functional targets
|Strategic objective or topic||Indicator/activity||KPI/expected level (2024/2025 if not specified)|
|Impact||Continuing BSIS assessment and PRME reporting|
|Developing flagship programme(s)||Market investigation||Performed during 2022|
|Programme development||Intake to at least one top interdisciplinary (multi-department) programme in 2025|
|Micro-degrees||>20 degrees, including interdisciplinary|
|Intake from top high schools||Social media activities, teachers’ network, back to school programme|
|Widening the intake zone of MBA||30% outside of Estonia, focus on the Baltic region|
|Increase in research funding||>30%|
|Internationalisation impact||Internationalisation development plan||Impact analysis carried out|
|International students||Approximately 30%|
|Internationalisation at home||All Estonian students get considerable international experience during their studies|
|Mobility and borderless classroom||International internship|
|Faculty and staff mobility||Partner portfolio||Share of top schools considerably increased|
|Strategic partnership with potential employers||Partnership with three major partners covers at least three of four subject fields of the School|
|Increase in the number of PhD graduates||3 School-financed doctoral student study places created Graduation rate increases by 15%|
|New professorships||Plan for new professorships and for succession created|
|Employer satisfaction||Survey (university)||Improving|
|Share of faculty with PhD||65% – 70%|
|Professional development||Systematic faculty and staff exchange, employees participate in training sessions according to the plan|
Appendix 3. ERS strategic activities and expected results
|Strategic objective or topic||Indicator/activity||Objective/expected level (2024/2025 if not specified)|
|Research and development||Articles (Scopus, WoS) per year||5 articles/per year|
|Dissemination of research results||Articles in media and seminars||5 articles or interviews and 2 seminars a year|
|Education||Coverage in subjects||e-course module includable in different courses|
|Education||Coverage in subjects||75% of extended syllabuses include filled field on ERS (SDGs)|
|Education-students||Subjects’ content||50% of courses have at least one ERS topic|
|Education||Faculty training||At least one Teaching Day per year covers ERS or SDGs|
|Activities||Faculty training||ERS section in Moodle ABC course|
|Activities-research||Motivating||Best ERS related paper award|
|Education-students||Internship reporting||Report template includes mandatory ERS component|
|Students||Awareness||Measuring BA (from 2022) and master’s (from 2023) students’ attitudes|
|Students-education-research||Student research||At least 2 topics per year per department, involvement of students in projects.|
|Promoting-University||Dialogue||Annual Sustainability Day/Week?|
|Promoting||Promoting the spirit of sustainability and giving||Joint students, faculty and staff participation in events|
|Promoting-stakeholders||Wider awareness||Sustainability initiative launched; cooperation with stakeholders developed|
|Cooperation – WoP||Executive education||At least 1 module on ERS|
|Promoting||Visibility||School’s webpage includes ERS experts|
|Internal environment||Waste sorting||Implemented|
|Internal environment||Paper use decreases||By 20%|
|Internal environment||Routines||ERS working group created|
|Activities||Setting priorities||Cooperation with University|
 Business programme accreditation
 Institutional accreditation
 MBA programme accreditation
 Institutional accreditation
 Public administration programme accreditation
 Ethics, Responsibility, and Sustainability
 Business School Impact
 World of Practice
 Centre for Teaching Excellence and Educational Research
 Sustainable Development Goals
 Environment, Social, Governance
 Principles of Responsible Management Education