08 February, 2019 - Ministers McHugh and Mitchell O’Connor allocate €23 million in funding under the new Higher Education Innovation and Transformation Fund

The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. and Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. today announced that 22 projects across 23 educational institutions have been awarded a total of €23 million under the new Innovation and Transformation Fund.

The fund was launched in 2018 as part of the modernisation and reform of the funding model for higher education.

It is also part of the €250 million additional investment by the Government in higher education since 2016, bringing total funding to more than €1.7 billion.

The 22 successful projects embody collaboration and innovation across the higher education sector and focus on transformation.

Minister McHugh said: “This €23 million fund is being used to reward and support higher education institutions that are coming up with innovative ideas to attract people to third level and those that are doing more to create flexible options for learning.

“The Government has recognised we need to do more to open up third level education and now we are backing that cause by providing millions in funding for the right initiatives.”

The 22 funded proposals include partnerships amongst the eight universities, ten institutes of technology, two specialist colleges, one Further Education College and five other state and non-state bodies.

Some of the projects will see third level institutions partnering with organisations such as An Cosán, Family Carers Ireland and the Disability Federation of Ireland to learn and adopt better ways of ensuring education is open to as many people as possible.

Some projects will focus on developing digital systems to enable more flexible learning, including through online options and simulation training.

Other projects are focusing on student mental health, supporting entrepreneurs and start-ups, student retention, leadership and preparing students for the working world.

Mr McHugh added: “These Government-supported initiatives will create new opportunities and help to position Ireland’s education system as a leader in inclusiveness, diversity and flexible models of education and lifelong learning.”

The Innovation and Transformation Fund opened with a call for proposals by the Higher Education Authority in 2018. Applications were assessed by an independent panel.

Minister Mitchell O’Connor said: “Innovation and discovery is what our higher education institutions do best – and this fund will enable them to invest in new ideas to improve students’ experiences, enhance student learning and harness technology and new thinking for the benefit of our current and future students.

“The fund will support a range of projects focused on developing new pathways and methods of teaching to support the participation of students from a diverse range of backgrounds. They will help students to develop individually, address student retention and support enhanced progression of students across higher education institutions. It is a real investment in our education system and in our students.

“I welcome the collaborative approach taken by institutions. The funding being announced today is part of an overall package of measures taken in recent budgets which means that investment in higher education has increased since 2016 by more than €250 million or 17% to more than €1.7 billion.”

Notes for Editors:

Funding

The funding commitment for the 22 proposals is €23.3m which will be allocated on a multi annual basis up to 2021.

Project Details

Details of the 22 successful projects are set out below:

Innovation and Transformation Call Funded Proposals 2018

 

HEI Lead

Collaborative Partners

Proposal Title

Category

Area

Indicative

Award

Value

Cork Institute of

Technology

Institute of Technology

Tralee

Creating Entrepreneurial   Students &

Graduates

Teaching   and student learning outcomes

Entrepreneurial   skills in graduates

€987,805

Dublin City

University

 

DCU Global Online Learning

Accelerator

Flexible,   distance and e-learning

Develop   and implement a learning design architecture for accredited awards based on staking micro-creditals

€1,359,084

Dublin City

University

 

Leadership   & Life Skills Centre

Teaching   and student learning outcomes

Create   a model of student engagement and development for each individual student.

€705,000

Dublin Institute of

Technology

Institute of Technology

Blanchardstown

Institute of Technology

Tallaght

Enhancing Student Retention   across

TU   Dublin

Retention   and progression

Real-time   data analytics to improve retention

€498,088

Dundalk Institute of

Technology

 

The   gateway to success: A virtual hub to support all learners

Flexible,   distance and e-learning

Develop   and implement a strategy and framework for providing virtual student support

€321,014

Institute of

Technology

Blanchardstown

Dublin Institute of

Technology

Institute of Technology

Tallaght

Transformative   Student-Centred Learning Record   (Acronym: Transform-EDU)

Teaching   and student learning outcomes

Establishing   linkages between teaching and learning, engagement, resources and   infrastructure

€1,389,961

Institute of

Technology Carlow

An Cosan Virtual

Community   College

Higher Education Pathway for   Non-

Traditional Learners. Flexible,

Blended Learning, Competence   and

Community   Education Based

Flexible,   distance and e-learning

Develop   pathway for mature students from socio-economic disadvantage

€355,269

Institute of

Technology Sligo

Mayo Sligo and Leitrim

Education and Training

Board

Disability Federation of

Ireland

Family   Carers Ireland

Full-time   degree programmes accessible via online/blended learning

Flexible,   distance and e-learning

Provide online/blended degree programmes for   students who are unable to be on-campus due to location , disability, etc

€543,060

Irish Universities

Association

Dublin City University

Maynooth University

National University of

Ireland Galway

Trinity College Dublin

University College Cork

University College Dublin

University   of Limerick

Enabling Change: Enhancing   Digital

Capacity in Teaching and   Learning in

Irish   Universities

Teaching   and student learning outcomes

Staff   development programme to enhance the digital confidence, skills and   competencies of University lecturers

€2,964,381

Letterkenny

Institute of

Technology

Galway Mayo Institute of

Technology

Sligo Institute of

Technology

Letterkenny Institute of

Technology

Innovative Opportunities

Transforming Education   (iNOTE)

Project - Building digital   capability

for flexible learning   delivery in the

West/North   West Region

Flexible,   distance and e-learning

Building digital capability for flexible learning   delivery in the West/North

West   Region

€2,844,000

Maynooth

University

 

Maynooth   University ICT and STEM enhancement

Teaching   and student learning outcomes

Additional supports for   activities in

ICT   and Maths

€563,610

Maynooth

University

 

Future Ready: Increasing

Employability and   Accessibility

Through   Curriculum Innovation

Teaching   and student learning outcomes

Enhance   employability of graduates

€1,445,440

Maynooth

University

 

Mi-Lab - The Maynooth   University

Innovation   Lab

Teaching   and student learning outcomes

Innovation   worship to tackle challenges faced by HE

€810,950

Royal College of

Surgeons Ireland

 

Establishing a 'Centre for   Simulation

Education   and Research' in Ireland

Flexible,   distance and e-learning

Simulation   based learning

€1,228,113

 

HEI Lead

Collaborative Partners

Proposal Title

Category

Area

Indicative

Award

Value

Trinity College

Dublin

University College Dublin

Athlone Institute of

Technology

Student Support Services’ Retention and   Engagement Strategy:

Consolidation   of Best Practice, Centralisation of Data and Innovation in Student Experience

Retention   and progression

Student   support services to address mental health issues

€1,574,655

University College

Cork

 

Supporting   Student Transitions to develop distinctive graduate attributes

Retention   and progression

Deliver   a suite of transition modules

€936,974

University College

Dublin

 

UCD LEAP (Live Engagement   &

Attendance   Project

Retention   and progression

Use   of data analytics to assist universities to understand factors contributing   to retention and progression

€295,000

University of

Limerick

Limerick City and County

Council

HEI   MEITHEAL UL

Teaching   and student learning outcomes

New   framework for civic engagement

€1,426,008

University of

Limerick

Mary Immaculate College

Limerick

Limerick Institute of

Technology

REAP   – Regional Enterprise-Academic Partnership   Building capacity by engaging practitioners in designing and   delivering online and blended learning

Flexible,   distance and e-learning

Building   capacity by engaging practitioners in designing and delivering online and   blended learning

€1,412,970

University College

Cork

Trinity   College Dublin

Collaboratively developing, implementing and   mainstreaming a quality-assured, blended learning

environment for the new   integrated

MPharm   (COMBINE)

Teaching   and student learning outcomes

Developing   new integrated MPharm course

€758,901

Waterford Institute of   Technology

 

Engaging with RPL for   Lifelong

Learning

Recognition of

Prior   Learning

Create   online RPL portal that will target and facilitate adult learners

€470,198

Waterford Institute of   Technology

 

Student Transition -   Promoting

Opportunities   for Student Success

Retention   and progression

Expand   existing initiatives supporting transition and progression

€397,464