The Minister for Education, Ruairí Quinn, has praised DCU and their new strategic plan ‘Transforming Lives and Societies’, saying that staff and students coming together would create a new force from within DCU.
Launching the ‘DCU Strategic Plan 2012-2017’, Minister Quinn commended the leadership of the university as President of DCU Brian MacCraith outlined the University’s five-year plan.
“I have every confidence that DCU will achieve the aspirations laid out in their plan, which so strongly echo my own ambitions for the kind of outward facing system recommended by the National Strategy for Higher Education”, Ruairí Quinn said.
“I know that the leadership of this university and its strong, committed staff, both academic and non-academic, and its vibrant student body combine to form a significant force for change both within these walls and outwards into wider society.”
The plan has four core principles, Transformation, Enterprise, Translation and Engagement. These are based on the foundations of Academic Excellence and Operational Excellence.
Minister Quinn launched the plan with President of DCU Brian MacCraith, DCU Students’ Union President, Paul Doherty, Executive Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences Dr John Doyle and Nora Casey CEO of the publishing company Harmonia and former trustee of DCU’s Educational Trust.
At the launch, university president Brian MacCraith emphasised the importance of DCU’s staff, saying that they were the most important aspect of the university and that it was essential to state their value publicly.
“Our new Strategic Plan outlines many important developments that DCU will deliver over the next 5 years”, MacCraith said, adding that they would be looking toward “pioneering initiatives in education, research and innovation, significant new partnerships, and a commitment to optimise the learning and personal development experience of every DCU student.”
The plan is a rolling model meaning it will be reviewed and renewed on a yearly basis. MacCraith said that although there is a “well-founded cynicism of strategic plans”, adding that this one is “very real, it’s about reality” and it was vital that the university “engaged the best advisors”. The document also outlines how DCU will try and get funding from outside investors.
Aspects of the plan include the establishment of a new student centre, a new sports strategy, build global networks with countries such as India and a new student accelerator programme, giving students an opportunity to establish start-up businesses.
The plan aims to establish DCU as Ireland’s leading university for social entrepreneurship, to develop it as 21st century digital campus, linked to a new centre for digital learning, and to form a number of transitional research centres.
IMAGE CREDIT: Nick Bradshaw.
Aisling Kett is our Deputy News Editor