Six colleges awarded over €830,000 in recognition of positive higher education initiatives

The €5 million government fund was divided among successful institutions from a pool of 18 applicants

Six higher education institutions were selected by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science to receive performance funding awards totalling €5 million, in recognition of their “positive performance” in working towards national strategic objectives.

Each award is valued at €833,333, in recognition of work ranging from access to education for under-represented groups, to issues related to domestic and gender-based violence.

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris said: “It is vital that we recognise outstanding performance in higher education, and I would like to congratulate the successful institutions on their exceptional case study submissions.”

He continued: “These institutions are making a significant and lasting impact in Irish society, tackling key national issues such as domestic and gender-based abuse, the development of our natural energy resources, and opening new pathways into higher education for professional learners and under-represented groups.”

The awards will be made to Dundalk Institute of Technology, Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology, National University of Ireland, Galway, South-East Technological University, University College Dublin, and University of Limerick.

Higher education institutions (HEIs) were invited to submit case studies to showcase “innovative initiatives that made a valuable contribution towards national strategic objectives”.

The submissions were assessed by an independent panel of experts based on criteria provided by the Higher Education Authority (HEA).

Among the successful case studies is Dundalk Institute of Technology, who co-created and delivered Ireland’s first accredited programme for frontline staff on how to recognise and and respond to domestic abuse.

Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology coordinated the national Moving Parts campaign, a series of animations exploring consent, sexual violence and harrassment, and bystander intervention.

National University of Ireland, Galway, delivered partnerships and initiatives for Further Education and Training (FET) learners, people with disabilities and members of the travelling community.

South East Technological University partnered with Tiglin to provide higher education access programmes for those participating in Tiglin addiction recovery programmes.

University College Dublin’s UCD Energy Institute supported the decarbonisation of energy  in Ireland and internationally, through the Energy Systems Integration Partnership Programme.

University of Limerick worked to expand and deliver apprenticeship programmes at higher NFQ levels as part of the Generation Apprenticeship project, including the world’s first apprenticeship at doctoral level.

The HEA has said that this funding can be used to progress existing projects, or to create new projects in line with national strategic objectives.