DCU is involved in forming a new Institute of Education in Drumcondra. The university is working with Mater Dei Institute of Education (MDI), St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra (SPD), and the Church of Ireland College of Education (CICE) to set up the new campus at St Patrick’s College.
The plan is a response to the Higher Education Authority’s ‘Landscape’ document that sets out the reformation of teacher training in Ireland. The four institutions have been working on a response for the past year.
Commenting on the plan, DCU President, Brian MacCraith said: “our discussions to date have been characterised by a spirit of collegiality, mutual respect and a common understanding that together we can deliver more in terms of teaching, research and service”.
Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, who manages St Patrick’s College, said: “Together with the dynamism of DCU, I see a promising pattern of cooperation emerging which responds to the challenge of developing educational policy in a pluralist society where religious education will be present in the highest level of excellence”.
A recent report by the government on the outcome of the International Panel Review of Initial Teacher Education supports the changes in teaching training. The document was put forward by an international panel of experts. Minister for Education, Ruairí Quinn, has requested the Higher Education Authority submit a different report on how to implement the proposed changes.
“This proposed research-led Institute of Education has the potential to play a central role in transforming the future of Irish education”, said MacCraith. An emphasis will be placed on improving Humanities and Social Sciences.
Whether the plan is implemented will be based on approval from relevant authorities in each college. DCU’s governing body would manage the institute.
Another proposed merger is Froebel College and the National University of Ireland Maynooth. Trinity College Dublin, Marino Institute of Education, University College Dublin and National College of Art and Design is another possible alliance.
Aisling Kett, Deputy News Editor