Knowledge for a better world

NTNU strategy 2018-2025

Vision: Knowledge for a better world

Knowledge for a better worldVision: Knowledge for a better world

Knowledge provides people with opportunities and influence, as well as a foundation for making wise choices. Knowledge inspires and challenges. It changes attitudes, mindsets, and how we perceive the world around us. Informed debate strengthens our democracy. NTNU’s activities should benefit society as a whole and society can trust that our findings comply with best scientific practice.

Knowledge and technology development create opportunities for increasing sustainable value creation and finding answers to major challenges. Through the United Nations, the world has agreed on 17 Sustainable Development Goals. NTNU will contribute actively towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

NTNU’s strength is our competence in science and technology combined with academic breadth and interdisciplinarity.




Academic freedom is the basis for our activities. We take on challenging questions and tasks, and seek innovative solutions through interdisciplinary collaboration. NTNU supports the development of disciplines, people and cultures. We value and encourage innovation among students and staff as well as innovative teaching, research and artistic activities.


Our activities build on fundamental democratic values and we represent an unprejudiced and independent voice. The hallmarks of our academic culture are debate, critical reflection, fact-based knowledge, impartiality and ethical integrity. We challenge conventional ideas and solutions.


We engage in an open and solution-oriented dialogue with society and emphasize both external and internal collaboration. We take social responsibility and we influence, advice and develop each other and our environment through dialogue and dissemination of knowledge. NTNU places emphasis on co-determination and active involvement by students and employees.


Every employee and student has a responsibility to contribute to a work and study environment characterized by respect and consideration. We facilitate personal growth and professional development. We contribute to diversity and equal opportunity in society and in our own activities. We promote equality and tolerance. At NTNU, we show respect for varying attitudes and opinions.



Our mission covers both the expectations that society has of NTNU and the problems in society that we ourselves want to solve. We have a general mission, similar to other universities, and a specifi c mission, which makes us unique.

General mission

As a university, NTNU has a responsibility for basic research and for educating outstanding graduates. We offer research-based education at all levels. We develop and disseminate knowledge and manage expertise about nature, people, society and technology. NTNU promotes and disseminates cultural values, and contributes to innovation in society, business and public administration.

One of the university’s responsibilities is to participate in a knowledgebased public debate. We use our knowledge to benefit society. We commit ourselves to solving global challenges. Our activities promote development, human rights and intercultural dialogue. 

Our spesific mission

NTNU is a multi-disciplinary university with a strong profile in science and technology, and a focus on programmes of professional study.

We contribute to Norway’s development. We create value – economic, cultural and social – and have a national role in developing the technological foundation for the future society.

Through our competence in science and technology and interdisciplinary strengths, we help to solve complex problems. We are an agenda setter for change processes and sustainable development, and we contribute to competitive business and industry as well as a capable public sector through collaboration in new practices, processes and products. 

Artistic disciplines play a key role in NTNU’s identity. We have a leading university museum with unique scientific collections and public exhibitions. NTNU is an important partner for development in the cities and regions where we are located. 

Overview of challenges in 2018

Overciew of challenges Photo: Kristin SøylenOverview of challenges in 2018

NTNU’s activities have a long-term perspective. At the same time, national and global social changes are rapid and wide-ranging, and some of their effects are unpredictable. The importance of knowledge, quality and expertise is increasing. Universities face demands and expectations that directly refl ect the trends in society. We have identifi ed three specifi c trends that will be important for NTNU in the strategy period until 2025: more intense competition, strengthened interaction with society, and willingness to change.


More intense competition

NTNU will experience more intense competition, both in recruiting excellent staff and students and in obtaining research funding. Competition will become increasingly global. To ensure that the best applicants for higher education choose NTNU, we must secure study and learning environments that are recognized for their high quality. We must ensure that our students succeed in the job market, and prevent drop-out and delays in the completion of studies. NTNU must be positioned to succeed in both national and international competition for research funding. A higher proportion of research funding will come from external sources and in collaboration with international partners. Competition for the best employees will increase, which will place new demands on NTNU as an employer.

Strengthened interaction with society

Society expects NTNU to be a partner and contributor in developing the solutions of the future. Major technological changes present challenges, but also offer new opportunities and a strengthened competitive edge. Here, NTNU must lead the way. Teamwork and innovation are cultural traits that must play an even greater role in all our academic environments.

An organization willing to change

For us to succeed in the competition for research and learning environment excellence, and to be an attractive partner, we must improve our activities further. Through well-designed, inclusive processes, we must take advantage of our resources by setting clear priorities and extending our use of new technology. More rapid changes in the world around us require us to change faster than before, while taking care of the university’s fundamental and lasting values. 


Main objectives–NTNU 2025

Main objectives–NTNU 2025  Photo: Tony Hall

NTNU 2025 presents a desired state for NTNU at the end of the strategy
period. The overview of objectives sums up the ambitions in the strategy.
In 2025, we expect that:

We have strengthened our position. We have systematically improved the quality of all our activities. At the same time, we have paved the way for several of our academic groups to be internationally leading. We have achieved the status of an internationally oriented, high-quality research university.

The best students choose NTNU. Our learning environment is innovative and exciting, and our student environment is recognized as the best there is. Graduates from NTNU are highly attractive to employers, both in Norway and abroad.

We perceive NTNU as one unified university, with creative academic environments and exciting interdisciplinary collaboration. We have realized more of the potential offered by the integration of education, research and innovation at the university. In addition, our role as a partner for innovation is an even more distinctive characteristic of NTNU. During the strategy period, we have succeeded in our systematic efforts to develop a culture of innovation among our students and staff.

Our employees are clearly visible in society and contribute actively to its development. We use modern communication methods and disseminate our results according to open access principles.

All our departments have academic groups proven to be at a high international level in at least one of their core areas

We have developed and modernized the technical and administrative support services and provide services of the right quality tailored to the needs of end users. Each employee’s skills and capabilities are valued and developed systematically. Together, we have created inviting university campuses and work environments, and NTNU’s employees refer to their workplace with pride.

In 2025, we have achieved our most ambitious goal; all our departments have academic groups proven to be at a high international level in at least one of their core areas.

We have contributed to knowledge for a better world by setting clear priorities for our efforts and resources in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.