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Posted 21 June 2011

Independent reviewers commend UCD’s "visionary approach to education"

The Irish Universities Quality Board (IUQB) has published the fourth review report from its Institutional Review of Irish Universities (IRIU) process, this time focusing on University College Dublin (UCD).

Dr Padraig Walsh, IUQB Chief Executive stated: “This evidence-based review provides independent confirmation of UCD’s commitment to quality in line with national and European standards and requirements.”

The Review Team was composed of six national and international experts that identified areas of good practice and areas for further development to assist UCD in assuring the quality of the student experience.

The review report commended UCD for “its visionary approach to education that aims to prepare students to play a role as Irish and Global citizens”.

IUQB was particularly pleased that the review team found evidence of an increased commitment to teaching and learning, an impressive and highly commendable level of international experience offered to UCD students, and initiatives undertaken to ensure the integrity of research that focus on the creation of cross-discipline centres to exploit research knowledge and stimulate entrepreneurship in postgraduate students.

Dr Walsh added: “The Review Team were clearly impressed that UCD’s leadership has promoted and implemented changes affecting all aspects of the University whilst maintaining collegiality. The University was found to have a dynamism and forward-looking approach to education and research which emphasized the role of UCD in shaping the future of Ireland. 

The Report made recommendations regarding governance processes and student supports while acknowledging that many of these were in progress or recommended by the Hunt Report.

UCD President, Dr Hugh Brady welcomed the report’s recommendations. “UCD staff and students can be justifiably proud of this report.  The comments on UCD’s ground-breaking initiatives in teaching and learning and major growth in research and international reputation are particularly welcome,” he said.


About the Review of University College Dublin (UCD):
The IRIU process is undertaken by a team of six independent national and international reviewers selected by the IUQB Board.  This team of reviewers was trained by the IUQB on 7 February 2011. The review visit was conducted by the full team between 28 February and 3 March 2011.

The summary and full UCD review reports alongside the institutional response to the IRIU will be published in the Quality Reviews Catalogue on the IUQB Website at: on Tuesday 21 June 2011, following approval for their release by IUQB Board on Monday 20 June 2011, having been assured that the review process was conducted in line with published guidelines.

UCD IRIU Review Team:

  • Professor Geoffrey Boulton, Vice-Principal and Regius Professor of Geology Emeritus, Edinburgh University, UK
  • Professor Kerstin Sahlin, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Management, Uppsala University, Sweden
  • Professor Iognáid Ó Muicheartaigh, President Emeritus, NUI Galway, Ireland 
  • Mr Ben Gray, Student Liaison Officer, University of Wales, UK
  • Ms Anne Butler, Director, Bize Consulting Ltd, Ireland
  • Dr Andrée Sursock, Senior Advisor, European Universities Association (EUA), Belgium

Further information on the UCD review team members, IRIU review process, the IUQB Board, the outcomes of all internal and external reviews of Irish universities, and the range of quality assurance and enhancement activities undertaken by the IUQB can be found on the IUQB Website

The IUQB’s Institutional Review of Irish Universities (IRIU) process is designed to confirm whether Irish universities are compliant with the requirements of (i) Section 35 of The Universities Act, and are (ii) consistent with the Part One requirements of the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area 2005 (ESG).


About the IUQB:

The Irish Universities Quality Board (IUQB) was established in 2002 to increase the level of inter-university co-operation in developing quality assurance procedures and processes, in line with best international systems. IUQB has been delegated the responsibility to conduct external evaluations of the effectiveness of quality assurance procedures in the 7 Irish universities. The IUQB was incorporated in February 2006 as a non-profit making company.

IUQB has full membership of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) in 2009 and is listed on the European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR) which lists quality assurance agencies that have proven their credibility and reliability in a review against the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance.

In addition to organising institutional level reviews, the IUQB annually monitors quality assurance and improvement processes and communicates these activities to stakeholders via the IUQB Annual Report and its website at:

Irish universities are required under Section 35 of the Universities Act, 1997 to establish and implement procedures for quality assurance and arrange for a review of the effectiveness of these procedures “from time to time and in any case at least every 15 years.”   In 2002, the governing authorities of all seven universities authorised the establishment of the Irish Universities Quality Board (IUQB) and delegated to IUQB the function of arranging regular reviews of the effectiveness of quality assurance procedures, which are institutional in their scope. The IUQB operates an institutional review process every five-six years.


(Produced by UCD University Relations)


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