Education in Ireland - world class rankings or a world class system?

Shaping the future of higher education

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12 June 2009

The future shape of higher education in Ireland will be the subject of an international colloquium in Dublin today. Hosted by Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), a group of Irish and international experts with differing perspectives on higher education will come together to discuss how Irish higher education should be positioned to maximise its contribution to the economy. The participants in the day-long event will include heads of Irish universities and institutes of technology; senior civil servants; economists and representatives from industry and commerce; state funding agencies and local government. International participants include representatives of OECD and leaders in higher education in Britain, Spain and Finland.

Professor Ellen Hazelkorn, Director of Research and Enterprise at DIT, says the aim of the colloquium is to engage higher education leaders and stakeholders in an exchange of ideas about the interrelationship between education, research and innovation. ?This conversation is well-timed. It coincides with a serious deterioration in the state?s finances, a high-level national review of higher education, and the growing attention given to global rankings. It is intended to be an opportunity to look at the experiences of others and to consider what higher education could be in Ireland and whether greater benefits can be derived from building individual world-class institutions or should we focus on creating a world-class system of higher education.?

The morning session, chaired by Dr. Michael Murphy, President of University College Cork, will include speakers who will provide international examples while the afternoon session will be a panel discussion, entitled ?Lessons for Ireland?, chaired by Dublin City Manager, John Tierney.

The colloquium takes place in DIT Aungier Street on Friday 12 June 2009, 10.30 am ? 4.15pm.

Please click here for the timetable for the event and list of speakers is attached.

For further information please contact:
Donal O?Malley
Public Relations Officer
Dublin Institute of Technology
Tel: 01 402 7130 / 086 236 4000
Email: donal.omalley@dit.ie

Editors? notes:

  • Speakers at the colloquium will include Mr. Tom Boland, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Authority; Emeritus Professor John Goddard, formerly Deputy Vice Chancellor Newcastle University and academic leader of OECD project on ?globally competitive and locally engaged higher education institutions?; Josep Vilalta, Catalan Association of Public Universities; Jaana Puukka, OECD/IMHE analyst and leader of ?Higher Education in Cities and Regions? on behalf of OECD; and Frank Turpin, Intel
  • The review of Higher Education in Ireland, announced in February 2009 by Minister Batt O?Keeffe, is being carried out by a steering group chaired by Dr. Colin Hunt, under the auspices of the Department of Education and Science and the Higher Education Authority. Announcing the members of the steering group, the Minister said its remit is to ?set out the blueprint for the development of the sector over the next two decades?. Its terms of reference include assessing the international environment in which the Irish higher education system operates. See Department of Education and Science website for press release announcing the review.
  • Building Ireland?s Smart Economy: A Framework for Sustainable Economic Renewal, Section 2.9, p74ff looks at the question of rationalisation in higher education in Ireland, including the formation of strategic alliances, institutional mergers and the establishment of centres of excellence.

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