Thursday, June 6, 2013
Thursday, December 13, 2012
International Schools of Architecture & Urban Development Policies
At a Glance
Fact & Figures:
Mission / Studies / Research / Innovation
Organization / Alumni / Art & Culture/ Services
Employees / Finances / Cooperation / International / Location
U_POLIS is a “space for thinking” of spatial development policies, applied design and technology, as well as leadership and entrepreneurship!
POLIS mission is to provide “knowledge, technology and leadership for people”.
Through applied and scientific research POLIS develops and promotes “scientific excellence and innovation”. Through academic teaching it enhances “creative and comprehensive competence”.
POLIS is a “regional educational platform” in Western Balkans and East Mediterranean basins, aiming the creation of a new generation of professionals and scientists with “strong social responsibility”.
U_POLIS places great attention to the inclusion of students in “research-based teaching”, via practical community projects, concrete services for local governments, as well as research, development and innovation programs for society, business and authorities.
POLIS offers “a focused range of studies” in Art-design, Architecture, Urban planning, and Environmental studies. It also provides solid “post-graduate specializations” in Structural engineering and Energy efficiency, IT and Parametric applications, Urban design and Landscaping, Restoration and Conservation heritage; Housing and Social issues, Urban management and Good governance, as well as Business administration and Entrepreneurship.
Bachelor Studies; Professional, Executive and Scientific Masters, as well as “Doctoral Programs” are also offered.
RESEARCH & INNOVATION
U-POLIS promotes “development work” by investing the inclusion of “research and technology” in all studies. In addition we encourage interaction between POLIS research and the framework of cooperative projects with other international universities, research institutes, and business partners.
POLIS has established its research and innovation policy by developing “6 research units”, starting with ita mother organization: Co-PLAN Institute for habitat development; followed by Metro_POLIS architecture & engineering studio; Sustainability_LAB; Multimedia-art-design center & gallery; Polis_PRESS Information resource center; and PhD & Innovation Center.
Sharpening “research focus” and promoting “interdisciplinary collaboration” among research and academic units, stimulates further “innovation synergy” via international exchange and cooperation like: Sicily_LAB an experiment in junction with NITRO_Saggio - New information technology research office, a non-conventional research team in Roma Italy; not mentioning joint-degree studies and research with Erasmus University /IHS Institute Rotterdam Holland, TU Vienna Austria, and Ferrara University Italy.
POLIS University is a “privately funded institution” with strong social responsibility. Founders are a group of prominent Albanian professionals, civil society activists and academics aiming the “creation of critical mass” of expertise and civic-entrepreneurial leadership able to push Albania and Region towards EU and global trends. Legally, POLIS is a higher education institution with “University” status, registered and institutionally/program accredited by Albanian Authorities (KM/MASH/APAAL) according EU standards.
The “Founding Board” acts as supervisor and strategic apex, and includes: S.Dhamo (Administrator), G.Haxhia, D.Shutina, B.Aliaj. Board consults the advisory round-table “Friends of POLIS”: P.Nientied (Holland), D.Philippides (Greece), A.Saggio (Italy), A.Fuga, Dh.Bozo and A.Luarasi (Albania).
University is led by the Rector B.Aliaj, Chancellor A.Sulstarova, Deans & Director: A.Di Raimo, L.Rossi and D.Shutina. The “Senate” has 19 members. The “Council of Professors” has 7 members. The “Rectorate”, compounded by the Rector, Administrator, Chancellor, Deans and Directors, acts as a daily management team. Supervision at Faculty/Institute level is undertaken by the respective “Councils”.
POLIS has three main units: “2 Faculties” (FAD Faculty of Architecture, Art, Design; and FPMU Faculty of Urban Planning, Environment, Management) and “1 Institute” (R&DI Research & Development Institute). Each Faculty has 3 sub-units: 2 “Departments” and 1 “Research Center”. The Institute has also 3 research centers itself. The lowest organizational structures are departmental “Sections” integrating all internal and invited staff. In total there are 2 faculties, 4 department, 5 centers, and 8 sections.
ALUMNI & STUDENTS
U_POLIS has quite an active community of “Students and Alumnae”. Respective associations are established to represent them and bridge relations with university, society and market, during and after studies. They organize free elections, participate Senate meetings, share employment info, monitor career development, initiate social and sport events, and provide feedback to the Rectorate and Senate.
Students/Alumni communities of POLIS already established “Walking & Biking the City” initiatives; “Football League”, informal “Fit & Fun” teams of volley/basket-ball; social clubs like “Arch_House”, “El Peor” and “GooGoats”, etc. They are active in the POLIS social media. They open periodically exhibitions, and they design/promote university publications and the alternative brand “I LOVE POLIS”.
POLIS students and alumni act as driving force of “AUA Albanian union of architects & urban planners”. They are either innovative private entrepreneurs, or qualified hard-workers requested by the market, and most of them (70%) are usually hired already during the last year of studies or immediately just after graduation.
Higher education tradition in Albania is product of 20-th century. Private sector alternative is also new - result of last 2 decades reforms of post-communist transition. What U_POLIS is unique for in this context is an almost “secessionist” approach towards past syndromes of authoritarism, exaggerated technicism, extreme ideologyzation, and blocking of research and career path for young generations.
POLIS makes clear break from such tradition, meantime appreciating the real values of creative Albanian and regional educational heritage. In addition POLIS enriches it with some of the most updated international experiences. It is not by coincidence that founders and academic leadership of POLIS are combined-product of local and top international universities of EU and Northern America.
Therefore, POLIS is result of the change spirit since early 90-s. Its origin is the establishment of Co_PLAN Institute for habitat development (1995) as a professional institute and civic movement of participatory planning and good governance. By early 2000 Co-PLAN established a “Training and exchange center”. In 2006 it spin off as “POLIS, International school architecture & urban development policies”. Studies of Architecture started 2006, and City Planning 2007. The school is institutionally and program accredited in 2009. New programs of Applied Art-Design started in 2010, and Environmental Studies in 2011. Since 2010 it also opened an “International Life Learning Program” of 6-specializations (joint-degree master cosigned with IHS / Erasmus University Rotterdam). In 2012 Albanian Government issued a decree increasing POLIS status from “IAL - Higher Education College” to “Research University”. Same year MASH Ministry of Education and Science of Albania granted the right to organize PhD Programs (a joint-degree program cosigned by Ferrara University in cooperation also with TU-Vienna Erasmus Rotterdam)
1990 – Wind of Change
1995 – Co-PLAN established, Pilot projects
1997/9 – International recognition by UN Habitat and World Bank Awards
2000/3 – Exchange & Training Center established, International ENHR Conference: Making Cities Work!
2004/5 – The Platform for Reforms submitted to Albanian Parliament
2006 – POLIS established as Higher Education College, Architecture studies start
2007 – City Planning and Urban Management studies started, Studio Metro_POLIS established
2009 – Institutional and program accreditation, Establishment of 2 Faculties + 1 Research Institute
2010 – Studies of Applied Art-Design, and International Master Program started, Move to new location
2011 – Studies of Environmental Studies started
2002 – POLIS gets full status as UNIVERSITY, PhD Program starts
ARTS & CULTURE
POLIS University is a strategic partner to the Municipality of Tirana for the cultural-intellectual life of capital city. It organizes serious international events like “TAW Tirana Architecture Weeks” or supports “TICAB Tirana International Contemporary Art Biennale”, “48-Hours Film Project”, “International Animated Film Festival of Shkodra”, etc. www.tiranaarchitectureweek.com
POLIS hosts the headquarters of “AUA Albanian Union of Architects & Urban Planners”. University has the most specialized contemporary Library for Art-Architecture-City Sciences in Albania. Students and staff often make public performances, civic actions or ‘urban provocation’ within the city.
U_POLIS plans periodically its own calendar of architecture-art-design exhibitions of students, young professionals as well as reputable local artist and international guests, thanks to the “MAD Center & Gallery” or “Arch-House”. Despite many interesting publications that could be found at “Bookstore/TEG” and “Adrion/Intl.Library”, POLIS issues the only “FA+P Journal of Architecture and Planning” in the Albanian speaking territories. It also organizes throughout the year, weekly professional and intellectual reflection/debates, namely “Open Forums”, or projects movie series “Cine_POLIS”, and supports summer schools, international workshops and conferences. “Walking the city” initiative, “Book+Tea” and “GooGoats” social clubs are special attractions not only for locals but also to foreigners and visitors.
Despite university dimensions, POLIS support administration functions also with the mentality of a “service center”. The main task of service units is to efficiently support research and teaching and provide services to the exterior. Apart from “Information Resource Center” focused on IT and Library services, POLIS has also a “Conference Center” that includes parking, security service, copy-printing-stationeries support, as well as the “MoTown Canteen/Bar”.
POLIS, Co_PLAN and Metro_POLIS provide respectively (on individual- or combined-basis) applied research and consultancy services of good governance, urban planning, environmental management; and of architectural, design, engineering aspects.
The academic process is backed by units of “Academic Secretary” and “Teaching Support”. In addition 3 laboratories help research activities via: “Computer-Modeling Lab”, “Multimedia Lab”, “Sustainability Lab”. Office of “Communication & Public Relations” is mainly focused on the exterior. Services are also offered to “International Relation” and “Students/Alumni Associations”. Publishing is taken care by “POLIS_Press Center”.
Employees are the crucial “capital” for a modern and qualitative organization. Therefore, personnel recruitment and development have been always highly significant for POLIS success.
U_POLIS academic and research staff totals an annual average of 100 professionals: 70% of them are full-time staff (40% with PhD/Doctoral scientific grade, or/and Academic Professorship/Docenture). The rest are local external staff or international guests mostly of the highest academic-research records. POLIS has for several years one of the highest standards in Albania and Region: staff-students ratio 1:5. Here are not included 30 other associated research staff of Co-PLAN Institute and Metro_POLIS studio.
POLIS has a capacity building strategy with 4 components: i) ISO-standard training to administrative-support staff; ii) Postgraduate master program for young academic-assistant staff; ii) Assistance towards mid-career staff doing international PhD “Sandwich” Program while working at POLIS; iii) Establishing its own “PhD & Innovation” Program to guarantee internal research, and identification of outside talents.
In addition POLIS has signed agreements and partnerships with several other universities of EU and near region, therefore exchanging regular qualitative academic and research staff.
The sources of finances for POLIS University came from Founders own contribution, Students fee, Incomes from research projects and consultancies, Third parties in-kind contributions, Donations, Continuing education incomes, and VAT exemption or occasional public funding.
POLIS has a highly professional financial department and healthy financial system. Founding Board promotes creative and stable finances and advanced managerial instruments, including private-private partnerships like in the case of university infrastructure/campus development.
Most of outgoings go for personnel, infrastructure, operational and R&D payments.
POLIS University, “R&DI, Research & Development Institute”, and/or its own strategic partners Co-PLAN and Metro_POLIS are often successful when applying for competitive public or donor funding, as well as in the implementation of applied or research projects at local and international scale.
The legacy of Co-PLAN in participatory city planning and good governance consultancies has been a highly valuable starting CV. Such portfolio grew and diversified from grassroots pilot projects to national policymaking platforms, boasted also by the assistance of World Bank, UN network, International civic cooperation, as well as Dutch, Austrian, Swiss, EU, USA, Albanian (non-) governmental partnerships, etc. The cooperation skills have been extended by the reorganization of Metro_POLIS architectural and engineering partner studio in 3 specialized units: Metro-Arch, Metro-Ing, and Metro-Plan.
Numerous local and international collaborations have also been institutionalized in various forms. In this way U_POLIS is involved in many projects and networks, including programs financed by Albanian (AKTI, Brain Gain, Excellence Fund), Dutch (Matra/NUFFIC), German (DAAD), Austrian (ADA); Swiss (SCP), Swedish (SIDA/CHwB), Italian (MFA), United States (USAID), EU (IPA/CEEPU) authorities, etc.
International cooperation is essential part of university activities in a global knowledge society. POLIS University is a signatory of “Magna Charta Universitatum” Bologna Italy, and is an active member of the Associations of: AEEA European Schools of Architecture; AESOP European School of Planning; and CEEMAN Central East European Schools of Management.
Successful participation in international programs, networking in transnational communities, and strategic emphasis of university partnerships, further supports the career of researchers and alumni. POLIS has “strategic partnerships” and “joint-programs” with IHS / Erasmus University Rotterdam, TU-Vienna, and Ferrara University. Other agreements and exchanges works out with Bauhaus/Anhalt University, LorencTech Detroit, Darmstadt TU, Karlsruhe TU, Trieste University, La Sapienza, ISF / Bari Polytechnic, NTU Athens, Belgrade University, AUK and Prishtina Universities, Skopje University, etc.
U_POLIS is also member of “Albanian Conference of Rectors”. It exchanges also thoughts with “Albanian Universities Consortium” a group of privately funded higher education institutions lobbying for quality of education and consolidation of fair competition (Marubi, Luarasi, UET).
Initially located at the very central urban core of Tirana, at a second stage POLIS decided to move into its own new modern premises just in the middle of the most rapidly-growing metropolitan corridor connecting Tirana with its International Airport and the main Albanian port city of Durres. A participatory team of staff-students designed and supervised implementation of main building, as well as a second reserve one. The campus represents an excellent example of contemporary architecture with public spaces and green, sport, parking facilities. It applied adaptation of existing industrial structures, as well as adding new innovative structural, environmental and energy efficiency logic. The unique interiors are well designed full of light and transparency.
University campus locates 5 km from city center main square, and has its own “shuttle buss services” 08.00 mornings and 18.00 evenings, not mentioning several very economic public-transport means during the day. University promotes walking, biking and “car-pooling / car-sharing” strategies. The campus is open 24 hours / 7 days / all over the year, for its own member students and staff.
POLIS is a wireless and smoking free area. Cultural, social and sport facilities make it also accessible for outsiders, families, friends and guests. The ratio m2-students is the highest one in Albania at 1:12.
Të dashur miq,
Në kuadër të aktivitetit për mbledhjen e fondeve për foshnjet jetime, ne dje bëmë një vizitë në “Shtëpinë e Foshnjes” për të parë situatën dhe për të kuptuar nevojat e këtyre fëmijëve. Pas një bisede me drejtoreshën u vendos që fondet e mbledhura në U_POLIS nuk do të dhurohen në formë parash por me to do të blihen nga ne disa mjete të cilat për momentin u mungonin fëmijëve. Në varësi të shumës së akumuluar do të vendoset edhe për dhuratat.
Ndërkohë dëshiroj të përcjell tek ju edhe një kërkesë tjetër të drejtoreshës së “Shtëpisë së Foshnjes”: nëse keni rroba fëmijesh 0-6 vjeç të cilat tashmë nuk i përdorni më dhe dëshironi ti dhuroni, ju lutem që të mendoni për këta fëmijë. Tek Informacioni ju mund të dorëzoni veshje, lodra apo edhe objekte të tjera për fëmijë.
Ju kujtoj që mbledhja e fondeve dhe e dhuratava do të vazhdojë deri të Mërkurën e javës së ardhshme ( datë 19 Dhjetor) prandaj do ju lutesha që brenda mundësive tuaja të jepni kontributin duke respektuar këtë afat!
In the framework of fundraising activity for orphan babies , yesterday we visited the “ Orphan Baby Home “ in order to see the situation and to understand the needs of these babies. After a meeting with the director we decided that the funds raised at U_POLIS will not be donated in the form of money but we will buy some things that these babies need for the moment. Depending on the amount we will decide what to purchase from a list that the director handled us.
Meanwhile I would like to bring you another request from the director of the “Orphan Baby Home”: If you have used clothes for babies (0-6 years) that you no longer use , than please think of these babies! At the information desk you can consign : clothes, toys or everything else for babies.
I would like to remember you that the fundraising will go on till next Wednesday (on December 19th), therefore if it`s possible for you , give your contribution within the deadline!
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Mbledhje fondesh për fëmijët e Shtëpisë së Foshnjes Tiranë/ Collection of funds dedicated to the Orphan Baby Home, Tirana
Të dashur student, kolegë dhe miq të Universitetit POLIS,
Festat e fundvitit tashmë po afrojnë, këto janë momente reflektimi për vitin që po lëmë pas dhe vlerësimi për ato çka kemi realizuar. Në Universitetin POLIS ne vendosëm që në këto momente të bëjmë dicka për të tjerët, të mendojmë për ata që kanë nevoja primare dhe mbi të gjitha ju mungon dashuria dhe ngrohtësia e familjes.
Gjatë këtyre dy javëve, tek recepsioni do të gjeni një kuti në të cilën do të mblidhen fonde të dedikuara për shtëpinë e foshnjes në Tiranë. Në këtë shtëpi aktualisht ndodhen 43 fëmijë të moshës 0-6 vjeç, 80% e tyre janë më të vegjël se 1 vjeç.
Shpresojmë që secili nga ju brenda mundësive të bëhet pjesë e kësaj iniciative. Kjo është mënyrë që të mendojmë për të tjerët dhe të bëjmë diçka për të ndryshuar sadopak situatën e vështirë të këtyre foshnjave të braktisura.
Bëhu edhe ti pjesë e kësaj iniciative, uroji Gëzuar Krishtlindjet fëmijëve jetim të shtëpisë së foshnjes!
Dear students, colleagues and friends of POLIS University,
The holidays are coming, these are moments of reflection on the year we are leaving behind, and evaluation of our accomplishments. At POLIS University we decided to do something for the others, to think for the ones that have basic needs and above all the lack the love and warmth of their family.
During these two weeks, at the Information Desk you will find a box which serves to collect funds dedicated to the Orphan Baby Home, Tirana. This home shelters 43 babies from 0-6 years old, 80% of them are less than 1 year.
We hope you will join this initiative according to your own possibilities. This is an opportunity to demonstrate social responsibility and undertake a civil action which might impact the change for a better situation of these babies.Be a part of this initiative! Wish “ Merry Christmas” to orphan babies of Tirana!