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TCD’s new five-year strategic plan to deliver for Ireland as a global leader in education, research and innovation

By Business & Finance
22 October 2014

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, launched Trinity College Dublin’s new Strategic Plan 2014-19 today,which aims to deliver for Ireland as a global leader in education, research, innovation, and will enable job creation.

The five-year plan will cost €600m and will be funded in large part from non-exchequer funding.

Speaking at the launch, the Taoiseach said:”Trinity’s Strategic Plan fits well with the Government’s determination to secure Ireland’s economic recovery by supporting job creation and attracting investment. The focus Trinity has on developing strong partnerships with enterprise and building alliances between employers and the academic community is critical and this is backed up by strong capital investment. I wish you every success with increasing student enrolments from outside the EU and your ambitious target of supporting the creation of more than 160 start-up companies over the next three years, which will make an important contribution to Ireland’s economic recovery.”

Trinity Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast said: “As a university of global consequence, we will be known for realising student potential and for research and scholarship that benefits Ireland and the world.”

The Strategic Plan 2014-19 will include three new major capital projects Trinity Business School, E3 – Engineering, Energy and Environment Institute, and the Cancer Institute at St James’s Hospital, that will drive excellence in research for the benefit of society.

A €70m Trinity School of Business, co-located with an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub, will drive a spirit of entrepreneurship across the campus and in Dublin city centre. It will support a growing culture of job creation among Trinity’s students and faculties, and help position Dublin as a global node for innovation and start-up enterprises. Construction is scheduled to commence in 2015.

The new E3 – the Engineering, Energy and Environment Institute will be the first institute of its kind in Ireland and internationally to integrate engineering, technology and the natural sciences, at scale. It aims to educate the next generation of talented engineers and scientists address major challenges such as sustainability. It will contribute to growth competitiveness for Ireland.

The Cancer Institute will consolidate cancer care, research and education on one site in St James’s Hospital, Dublin with the aim of improving cancer treatment based on cutting-edge research.

The five-year plan aims to maximise research impact, building on Ireland’s global reputation as a location for knowledge creation. It will define a priority Global Research Question focusing Trinity’s research activities in meeting global challenges that will have longterm positive global impact.

Enabling this research it has a funding target of €125m from the EU Horizon 2020 programme and doubling direct research funding by securing €20m from industry.

As part of Trinity’s global engagement, student enrolments from outside the EU will increase from 7.8 to 18%, from 1,580 to almost 3,000 students, while ensuring that all existing opportunities for Irish and EU students are maintained. Trinity as a world class educational institution will continue to attract students of the highest calibre from all continents. This will be further enabled by the development of strategic partnerships and joint partnership degree programmes with institutions globally.

It will also increase the percentage of underrepresented groups enrolled on undergraduate courses to 25% in 2019. In the last academic year the percentage was 20% (575 students) from underrepresented groups among new entrants.

New student residences will be developed to house up to 2,000 students on and near the campus, including construction of a new student hall at Oisín House on Pearse Street, Dublin.

In online education, it will increase the numbers of student online learners to 1,000, on up to 20 courses, focusing on postgraduate and continuous professional development (CPD), a strategy of lifelong learning meeting Ireland’s current and future economic and social needs. It will create global learning communities through high quality Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

A digital transformation is also underway with new technologies fundamentally changing how education is delivered and experienced. In the period of this plan a college-wide information technology strategy will be implemented that cuts across the whole campus – from online education to communications, from alumni relations to the library – and enable these activities with supporting IT infrastructure.

Trinity also aims to play a strong role in helping to catalyse the creative and cultural arts in Dublin city. Strategically connecting research and education to creative practice in the city, and linking them to European and global networks. It will launch Trinity Creative, a curated programme in existing spaces and establish the Connector, a multipurpose creative space in Dublin’s city centre attracting talent and creating the right conditions for creative entrepreneurship.

“Every great advance that Trinity has made has been in partnership with others including other global universities, collaborators in research, both government and local government, industry and philanthropy; it is partnerships that enable Trinity to enhance its standing as a place of learning, and Ireland’s reputation as a civilised society giving equality of opportunity to all with the talent and ambition to succeed,” concluded Dr Prendergast.