‘The Campaign for DCU’, an ambitious €300 million development plan for the university launched in the Helix last week.
The first stage is a €100 million fundraising drive: DCU/Shaping the Future.
The campaign which aims to double DCU’s student population of 13,000 boasts 21 projects that include: the construction of the new student centre, a GAA National Education and Research Centre, and the Institute for Innovative Government. Many of the projects are already in operation and would receive further funding from the campaign should the university raise it.
DCU President, Professor Brian MacCraith, outlined DCU’s strategic ambition in launching this campaign, “This development plan, unparalleled in our institution’s short history, is the blueprint for a challenging new direction which will enable DCU to grow and deliver impact by aligning its research priorities with global challenges and by preparing our graduates for the jobs of the future.”
DCU/Shaping the Future will seek funding from private and corporate donors for the 21 projects including the development of an Institute of Education, which will have a special focus on digital learning, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) education and special needs.
Other new faculties planned are:
•CHAnge (Centre for Healthy Ageing) which will focus on healthy and active ageing and the management of chronic diseases.
•An Institute for International Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction which will research key areas of international concern and support peace-building in post-conflict regions.
•FuJo (Institute of Future Journalism and Media) which will be an extension of DCU’s existing journalism school to explore latest data technologies and new media challenges.
•DCU Water Institute which will develop approaches to water quality, flood prevention, global access to safe drinking water.
DCU has already achieved 25 per cent of the fundraising target, attracting a total of €25 million over the last three years, during the ‘quiet-phase’ of the campaign.
When asked about the likelihood of raising the target, MacCraith responded, “When I took over in this role the sort of levels of money we were raising on an annual basis was in the small millions. Now this is the advice we got, take on something ambitious like this and people will back you . In three years we have €25 million, that’s real money in the door so therefore over the next number of years I would absolutely expect to raise the €100 million. If we only hit 90 would I be crying? No I wouldn’t.”
“A lot of people want to be backing the ambitious DCU. People are surprised that this young university on the north side of Dublin is going places because that sort of money means this place is going to be dramatically transformed,” MacCraith told The College View.
The €14 million for the new student centre has been raised through student support as 90 per cent of students voted to pay a levy to help build the centre which will commence construction this summer. The centre will have an enterprise and innovation floor which will be a ‘change maker’ for students to develop their ideas and impact on society.
From the 21 initiatives that make up the ‘Campaign for DCU’, MacCraith said the Institute of Education stands out for him, saying “I just believe this is going to transform education in Ireland for decades and decades to come”.
Larry Quinn, venture capitalist and Chairman of the DCU Educational Trust said: “Since its foundation in 1988, the DCU Educational Trust has been a strong force in advancing the goals of Dublin City University as a modern, thriving university. Shaping the Future is about redoubling that effort to assist the university address the important goals of its future.”
Larry Quinn continued to say, “We are preparing DCU students for the future. Research and development is essential in producing well rounded graduates who understand the tasks they are going to face in the future”.
DCU hope to achieve the €300 million over the next ten years and to make an impact nationally and globally through innovation and education.
The campaign was launched at a ceremony in the Helix on Wednesday morning last week, the event was hosted by DCU graduate and RTE correspondent, Sean Whelan. Staff and students were invited to hear from MacCraith, Quinn and Futurist Peter Cochrane among others about the campaign. In the evening time potential investors and stakeholders attended a lavish ceremony which also took place in The Helix.
Katie O’Neill and Catherine Devine