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Posted: 20 February 2008

UCD receives highest allocation - €13.7 million – in second round of SIF awards

The Minister for Education and Science, Ms Mary Hanafin, has announced details of the second round of the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF), which awards UCD €13.729m, the highest of any of the universities and institutes of technology. The SIF was introduced by Minister Hanafin to improve teaching and learning, support the development of fourth level, promote access and lifelong learning, enhance collaboration between higher education institutions and support internal change.

The key element of the UCD institutional bid is a pioneering partnership involving all the higher education institutions in the Dublin region. The Dublin Region Higher Education Alliance (DRHEA) brings together UCD, TCD, NUIM, DCU, DIT, IT Blanchardstown, IT Tallaght and DLIADT to work on a series of focused projects to enhance regional capacity in graduate and undergraduate education.

The activities of the DRHEA to be funded under SIF include:

  • Programmes to change and improve how we teach and learn and support development and innovation among academic staff;
  • Increasing our capacity in graduate education through joint courses and shared modules;
  • Initiatives to improve access and revolutionise our approach to lifelong learning within the modular framework.

Further funding to support the internationalisation of the DRHEA and to improve our information systems is to be announced in the near future following further discussion with the HEA.

Speaking about the announcement the Deputy President, Dr Philip Nolan extended thanks to all those at UCD and in the partner institutions who worked hard to develop a winning proposal. “This is an extremely exciting announcement for UCD and for Dublin. This funding allows us to build on the hard work we have done to modularise, restructure and build our graduate schools so that we can provide quality and flexibility for our students. The commitment to collaboration will enable us to create critical mass and thereby maximize our efforts. The partnership builds on a very strong working relationship between the participating institutions. The DRHEA, as a consortium, was awarded €40 million of the €97 million announced yesterday by the Minister, this in itself is a tribute to all those who worked hard and took risks to build this partnership”

Universities and Colleges submitted proposals to Higher Education Authority last year and they were considered by an international panel, convened by the HEA. In total, 29 projects across 20 institutions have been allocated funds under this round of SIF. A further two sectoral submissions from the Irish Universities Association and the Institutes of Technology Ireland have also received funds.

Over the lifetime of the NDP, a total of €510million is being targeted through the SIF to support reforms and collaboration in higher education. €42 million was allocated in Round I and the Minister’s announcement of €97,115 million will be augmented with a further €32 million for projects in internationalisation and information systems to give a total allocation of €130 million in Round II.

Speaking at the announcement Minister Hanafin said “the role of the higher education system is critical to Ireland’s future success. Rapid changes in the global economy are being shaped by new advances in knowledge and technology. Individual institutions recognise that they are part of a national higher education system."

Mr Michael Kelly, Chairman of the HEA, added “The collaborative nature of the projects funded today is something on which the Higher Education Authority places great importance. By working together, Ireland’s third level institutions can further enhance this island’s reputation as a global centre for learning and research. The proposals were assessed on the basis of tangible impact for students.”


SIF II Funding

University College Dublin - UCD
Trinity College, Dublin - TCD
Institutes of Technology, Ireland - IoTI
Dublin Institute of Technology - DIT
University of Limerick – UL
Dublin City University - DCU
NUI Maynooth – NUIM
Irish Universities Association – IUA
University College Cork - UCC
Cork Institute of Technology – CIT
National University of Ireland, Galway - NUIG
Waterford Institute of Technology - WIT
Institute of Technology, Tralee - ITT
Institute of Technology, Tallaght
Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown
Galway Mayo Institute of Technology - GMIT
Limerick Institute of Technology – LIT
Dundalk Institute of Technology - DKIT
Letterkenny Institute of Technology - LYIT
Institute of Technology, Carlow
Athlone Institute of Technology – AIT
Institute of Technology, Sligo
Institute of Art, Design and Technology

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UCD receives highest allocation - €13.7 million – in second round of SIF awards