• Education

New DkIT TU steering group to comprise of academics, past and present students

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Pictured (from left) Michael Mulvey, PhD, DkIT President, Paddy Malone, Chair of DkIT Governing Body, Dr Tim McCormac, Head of Research & Graduate Studies at DkIT.

A steering committee, including past and present students, has been established at Dundalk Institute of Technology which the college say is aimed at “accelerating the institute’s trajectory towards TU status.”

The new steering committee will be led by DkIT’s Head of Research & Graduate Studies, Dr Tim McCormac, and will be comprised of key stakeholders including current undergraduate and postgraduate students together with academic, research and professional staff.

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What he third level institute describe as a ‘high-level steering committee’ has been established on foot of a recent decision by the DkIT Governing Body to commit to a new three-year development pathway with the Higher Education Authority (HEA) in progression towards and realisation of established TU status.

DkIT have confirmed they have submitted an application via the Technological Universities Transformation Fund (TUTF), a new €90 million fund (over three years) from the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, to be allocated by the HEA, to assist the development and progression of technological universities.

The institute say they expect to learn the outcome of this funding application over the coming weeks. The strategic plan was launched in June, which included a focus on working towards achieving TU status.

The plan includes a number or targets for achieving such status, including meeting the 4% TU target for the number of postgraduate research students at levels 9 and 10, ensuring 45% of academic staff possess a level 10 or equivalent professional qualification and increasing the competitiveness and sustainability of the research agenda through dedicated support structures.

The plan also aims to enrich the learner experience through the implementation of digital teaching and learning infrastructure and improve the Further Education (FE) to Higher Education (HE) progression possibilities for the North East region.

“As outlined in our recently published Strategic Plan 2020-22, DkIT is firmly committed to becoming a TU. This year we celebrate our 50th year as the leading higher education provider in our region and we see TU designation as a natural evolution of our organisation,” DkIT President Michael Mulvey said.

“It is also crucial for continued social, economic and cultural development of North East South Ulster.  We continue to prioritise work plans to accelerate this process and we are pleased to establish a new and fully representative management committee to oversee this progression.”

The steering committee is led by DkIT’s Head of Research & Graduate Studies, Dr Tim McCormac. Speaking on Friday, he said: “DkIT is already in a strong position in relation to meeting the objectives and ambition for TUs set out in the TURN Report.

“In particular, the Institute has substantially increased its research and innovation outputs over the past 5 years, which will continue to play a significant role moving forward.

“Through the establishment of an institute wide steering committee to drive our ambition, and in partnership with all internal stakeholders, I am confident we can accelerate our progress in key areas such as research and innovation and digital teaching and learning infrastructure, so as we are well positioned to attain university status.”

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