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DkIT Steps Up Drive Towards Becoming A Technological University

02 October 2020

Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) has today affirmed its commitment towards becoming a Technological University (TU) by establishing a new steering committee aimed at accelerating the institute’s trajectory towards TU status.

The high-level steering committee has been established on foot of a recent decision by the DkIT Governing Body to commit to a new three-year development pathway with the Higher Education Authority (HEA) in progression towards and realisation of established TU status.

The primary goal of this structured development pathway is to boost the institute’s readiness to become a TU through the implementation of a series of targeted work-packages which align with national policy on this issue. This includes:

  • Meeting the 4% TU target for the number of postgraduate research students at levels 9 and 10;
  • Ensuring 45% of academic staff possess a level 10 or equivalent professional qualification;
  • Increasing the competitiveness and sustainability of the research agenda through dedicated support structures;
  • Enriching the learner experience through the implementation of digital teaching and learning  infrastructure;
  • Improving the Further Education (FE) to Higher Education (HE) progression possibilities for our region, thereby opening up HE to a larger proportion of our region’s population;

Speaking today, Chair of the DkIT Governing Body, Paddy Malone said,

“After a period of extensive consultation with internal and external stakeholders, the DkIT Governing Body is pleased to confirm that the institute will now proceed with a structured development pathway, in conjunction with the HEA, towards realising TU designation. The agreed development plan will enable the institute to improve quality measures and conduct vital capacity building across key areas such as research & innovation, student experience, teaching & learning and industry engagement. Ultimately it will boost the institute’s eligibility to become a TU over the lifetime of the pathway.”

“Over the course of the past year, management within the institute have engaged with potential TU consortia partners within the sector to explore opportunities for future collaboration. While this option remains open, the institute will now focus on the delivery of the new development plan and we are confident that this is the best approach to fast-track its pathway to TU designation.”

Also speaking today, DkIT President, Michael Mulvey added:

“As outlined in our recently published Strategic Plan 2020-22, DkIT is firmly committed to becoming a TU. This year we celebrate our 50th year as the leading higher education provider in our region and we see TU designation as a natural evolution of our organisation. It is also crucial for continued social, economic and cultural development of North Leinster South Ulster.  We continue to prioritise work plans to accelerate this process and we are pleased to establish a new and fully representative management committee to oversee this progression.”

The steering committee is led by DkIT’s Head of Research & Graduate Studies, Dr Tim McCormac and is comprised of key stakeholders including current undergraduate and postgraduate students together with academic, research and professional staff.

Dr Tim McCormac added,

“DkIT is already in a strong position in relation to meeting the objectives and ambition for TUs set out in the TURN Report. In particular, the Institute has substantially increased its research and innovation outputs over the past 5 years, which will continue to play a significant role moving forward. Through the establishment of an institute wide steering committee to drive our ambition, and in partnership with all internal stakeholders, I am confident we can accelerate our progress in key areas such as research and innovation and digital teaching and learning infrastructure, so as we are well positioned to attain university status”

Like other higher education providers nationwide, DkIT recently submitted an application, led by Dr McCormac, via the Technological Universities Transformation Fund (TUTF), a new €90 million fund (over 3 years) from the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, to be allocated by the HEA, to assist the development and progression of technological universities. The institute expects to learn the outcome of this funding application over the coming weeks.

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