Trinity has received €1,574,655 alongside University College Dublin (UCD) and Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) to fund a “student support services’ retention and engagement strategy”. The project aims to investigate the “consolidation of, best practice, centralisation of data and innovation in student experience”, and will be focused on student support services to address mental health issues.
The project is one of 22 projects to receive funding today, following an announcement made by Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh and Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor. Trinity is one of 23 institutions to receive part of a total €23 million, which is itself part of a €250 million investment made by the Government in higher education since 2016.
According to Minister McHugh, the funding will “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”. He added that “[the Government] needs 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 various projects will see participation from eight universities, ten institutes of technology, and one further education institution. The project will also see involvement from non state bodies including Family Carers Ireland and An Cosán.
Minister Mitchell O’Connor stated that “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”. She also said that it would “enhance student learning and harness technology and new thinking for the benefit of our current and future students”.
She concluded by saying that she welcomes the “collaborative approach taken by institutions”. She also added that the funding “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”.