TAOISEACH AND MINISTER FOR EDUCATION LAUNCH 3U PARTNERSHIP – "The future of Irish education"
(Tuesday, 26th June 2012) An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. together with Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn T.D. today announced details of the 3U Partnership – a major collaboration between NUI Maynooth, Dublin City University (DCU) and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). Building on the success of collaborative work between the institutions over the last number of years, the new formal partnership will see significant developments in academic programmes, research, education and internationalisation.
Speaking at the launch An Taoiseach said that the partnership was vital to Ireland's future educational success and a cornerstone of Government policy. "This is a very significant collaboration between three of our finest institutions with very complementary and distinct fields of expertise. Through collaboration we can achieve scale that allows us to compete more effectively on the global stage. It is clear that this partnership will lead to increased competitiveness for major research awards, innovation at the intersection of disciplines, and also the intellectual, cultural and financial benefits of a greater internationalisation of our student base in Ireland", he said.
The 3U Partnership will see:
• The immediate establishment of 3U Biomedical Research to harness the talents of a combined pool of over 750 researchers across the three institutions to develop leading-edge research in areas like cancer, diabetes and neurology. Some of the world's foremost experts in research into Alzheimer's, muscle wasting diseases, lung and breast cancers and medical imaging are working at the three institutes and 29 PhD students are already working in this area under the BioAT doctoral programme launched last year. Working with industry 3U Biomedical Research is dedicated to bringing research solutions for human disease to the market more efficiently.
• Significant growth in international student numbers for the Greater Dublin region. Each institution will bring its own recruitment strength in key areas like India, Middle East, China and North America. A joint International Foundation and Induction Programme for all incoming students will be developed and a number of measures to enhance the academic, cultural and social experience of international students will be announced.
• The introduction of new national and international study programmes, particularly at postgraduate level, which combine the particular strengths of each institution and will see students moving between campuses over the course of their work. New programmes being developed include Masters Degrees in Healthcare Technology, Humanitarian Logistics & Emergency Management and Global Health.
• Developments in education of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at third level, combining the expertise of the three institutions to develop new means of teaching methods and approaches at third level in what is a strategically crucial area for Ireland. Commenting on the announcement, Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn T.D. said "One of our greatest educational challenges is to produce excellent graduates who are flexible and adaptable, capable of interpreting and responding to the needs of an ever-changing world around them. That in turn drives our competitiveness. The 3U Partnership has this principle at its core and through collaborations of this nature the international reputation of our education and the impact of our research will be greatly enhanced".
Professor Brian MacCraith, President of DCU, said that the 3U Partnership would enable the institutions to achieve much more together than they could separately. "This partnership is a positive development on so many fronts – it will create richer educational opportunities for our students, it will lead to improvements in the quality of learning throughout our education system, and it will enhance our ability to solve some of the major research problems facing today's society. For example, our combined expertise and critical mass in Biomedical Research is certain to lead to major developments in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of major diseases."
President of NUI Maynooth, Professor Philip Nolan highlighted the commitment of the partner institutions to deep and sustained collaboration: "This launch is a public statement of our commitment to working closely together over the coming decade, developing our institutions together in order to deliver for our region and our country, and enhance our global presence. This is a partnership of real substance. We are highlighting today important new collaborations in research, new joint academic programmes, joint teaching initiatives, and a major development in international education. And this is just the beginning; there is an impressive pipeline of planned activities which will see the 3U partnership become a national and international model for co-operation in higher education".
Professor Cathal Kelly, CEO, RCSI said the partnership would be recognised through the graduates it will produce, the research it conducts and its contribution to society, and the benefits would be felt right throughout academia and the economy. "This is Ireland's busiest region, the fastest growing and economically most important, which is served by our three institutions. International students are demanding to come here and we will make their experience in the region and by extension Ireland, truly world-class. This pays off economically, but just as importantly it pays off academically, giving our own students great experience and bringing new intellectual approaches to the mix. Partnership allows us bring more students and offer them a richer experience".