13th Sept – University Presidents Call for Urgent Changes to State Research Funding Following Poor Outcome from EU Programme.

The Presidents of Ireland’s  seven universities, represented by the IUA, have called on the Government and the national research funding agencies to urgently address strategic deficiencies in how Irish research is funded, following the outcome of the latest European Research Council (ERC) funding programme. Only one Irish-based researcher was funded out of a total of 408 grant awards from the €621 million funding programme.

National funding for primary research is well short of that in other countries. The Irish Research Council’s Laureate Awards that support investigator-led research are grossly underfunded. In addition, the Science Foundation Ireland funding programme for individual researchers run in 2016/17 has been replaced by a significantly reduced programme this year. The current programme is likely to provide funding to less than one in eight research applicants.    

The limitations of national funding inhibits the capacity of our top researchers to secure external funding such as that from the ERC fund.

Professor Brian MacCraith, Chair of the Council of the Irish Universities Association and President of DCU said:

“In a week when some universities saw further slippage in international rankings it is clear that addressing research funding as part of an overall investment package for the sector is urgently needed. Ireland’s poor performance in this year’s ERC Funding Awards is a clear warning signal that demands urgent attention from government and the funding agencies.”

 “As an island economy on the western edge of Europe, it is imperative that we have a world class university sector to compete effectively for international investment. Research plays an integral role in maintaining a world class system. We now have the highly regrettable situation where many of our top scientists and researchers are getting no national funding.  While only one Irish-based researcher received funding from the ERC, six Irish nationals located in other countries were successful.”

The Irish Universities Association supports the continued funding of applied or enterprise-focused research, but this must be balanced by increased prioritisation of investigator-led research.


For more information contact:

Lia O’Sullivan, Head of Communications, Irish Universities Association, 085 7141414 lia.osullivan@iua.ie

Notes to Editors:

The European Research Council is the European Union’s primary research funding agency. Its mission is to promote investigator-led research. For all ERC research grants, scientific excellence is the sole criterion of evaluation.

An economic study on the impact of the university sector in Ireland published by Indecon Economic Consultants in April 2019, confirmed R&D expenditure by Irish universities made a net contribution of €1.53 billion to the Irish economy in 2017/18.          




12th August – IUA Response to comments from Minister McHugh regarding the freezing of student fees

Minister McHugh has made clear that Fine Gael and the Government will not introduce student loans and will not increase fees. So, that tells us what the Minister will not do, we now need to hear what he and Fine Gael will do to solve the long-accepted funding crisis.

The IUA would welcome a firm indication of what the Minister means by the “ultimate solution coming from the autonomy of the third level colleges”.

Universities are prepared to play their part and have already taken as much action as they can within the current restrictions, though large scale cost reductions and by generating extra income through a variety of means including industry partnerships, philanthropy and international students.”

However, the fact is that state funding per student has fallen 43% or €4000 per student over the last decade. It’s time for positive solutions on funding for tuition and education by the Minister and the government.

The IUA has made a comprehensive pre-budget submission which sets out the scale of the challenge faced by the sector and recommendations on how to address this. The submission is available here.


25th July- Budget 2020: IUA calls on Government to urgently invest in Ireland’s future talent and innovation in Budget 2020

The IUA calls for a €377m package to cover core funding, investment in research & innovation and capital funding to prepare for the challenges of the next decade.

25th July 2019 – The Irish Universities Association (IUA) is today launching its pre-budget submission for 2020 calling on the government to support Ireland’s universities to underpin the talent, research and innovation required for today’s knowledge economy and the growth in student numbers.

As part of its submission the IUA, representing Ireland’s seven universities, is calling for €377m in funding across three key pillars to prepare universities for the looming demographic bulge in student numbers and the increasing demands of a knowledge economy.

Commenting on the 2020 pre-budget submission, Jim Miley, Director General of the Irish Universities Association said: “As Ireland positions itself as a knowledge economy of the future, while also preparing for both the challenges and opportunities Brexit presents, our universities are more important than ever. In the last two years we have seen modest increases in funding to third level education but none to the scale required to address the past decade of underinvestment and the dramatic fall in funding per student. We have already seen the impact of this underfunding with Irish universities falling in the international rankings. This investment is urgent now that our student population will increase by more than 25%  in the next decade.”

“The IUA has identified three key areas of funding – core operational funding, research and innovation and capital investment – needed to meet these challenges. This programme of funding is designed to support the talent, innovation and infrastructure that our universities require. It is untenable to expect universities to adequately prepare students for the workforce in the 2020’s with facilities and equipment that are now decades and, in some cases, more than half a century old.”

The three pillars identified by the IUA are:

Core operational funding: Despite a significant growth in student numbers in recent years, universities have seen a small and inadequate increase in funding to manage this demand. Instead, direct State funding per student is 43% lower resulting in declining student-staff ratios. This decline in funding has directly impacted Ireland’s universities fall in international rankings.

The IUA is calling for a real and sustained increase in core funding to allow Ireland’s universities to meet the growing demand and to allow them plan for Ireland’s future needs. To do this the IUA believes an investment of €117 million in core funding in Budget 2020 is the minimum needed to fund the increased student intake, address quality-related and access issues, and to meet known cost increases for national pay rounds.

The Cassells report, Investing in National Ambition, published in July 2016, identified the funding challenge facing our higher education system and set out the scale of the investment required to deliver on our national ambition.

In its Budget submission, the IUA has produced the ‘Cassells Scorecard’ which shows a real deficit in 2019 of €138 million against what the Cassells Expert Group said is required to cater for rapidly expanding student numbers and addressing the existing funding deficit.

Investment in research and innovation: Significant support is required for investigator led / frontier research to enable Ireland to maintain its position as a competitive smart economy of the future, to leverage further European funding and in anticipation of the impacts of Brexit.

This would involve a multi-annual programme of investment with an additional €50 million in the first year, expanding to €70 million extra by 2022 and €80 million by 2025.

Capital funding: The IUA has identified a capital funding requirement for the universities totalling €210 million in 2020. This comprises a €100m injection in new facilities and €110m for a Capital Investment Recovery Fund to cater for the backlog in upgrading facilities and equipment across the universities. This includes urgent health & safety repairs, IT investment and upgrading outdated laboratory and other facilities.

“If this Government fails to act, the quality of our third level education sector will continue to be threatened and the gap between Ireland and our competitors will continue to grow”, commented Jim Miley, Director General of the Irish Universities Association on its pre-budget submission.


Watch our pre-budget submission video with IUA Director General, Jim Miley here.

Click here to view the full submission 

For more information contact:

Louise Walsh

Drury Porter Novelli

louise.walsh@drurypn.ie; +353 (0)1 260 5000 I Direct: +353 (0)87 7757725 

17th July – Micheál Martin calls for a separate Department of Higher Education and Research at IUA Future of Ireland Event – Download full speech

Irish Universities Association calls for increased investment across core funding and research and innovation

Micheál Martin TD

Wednesday 17th July – Speaking at the Irish Universities Association (IUA) inaugural Future of Ireland series, Leader of Fianna Fáil Micheál Martin called for the creation of a separate Department of Higher Education and Research and for clarity and certainty around core funding. Micheál Martin also highlighted the need to tackle the funding of the innovation gap between large and small enterprises, and the need for fostering diversity and accessibility within higher education.

Speaking about the need to separate higher education from the Department of Education, Micheál Martin said: “I believe the time has come to consider separating higher education from the Department of Education.  Our first and second-level systems face rising demands to address vital issues such as diversity and inclusion” he continued, “The creation of a separate Department of Higher Education and Research might be the only way to guarantee both a real priority for this area and to provide strategic leadership.  Such a Department would have critical mass in terms of size and budget and would mean that for the first time we would have a senior political and administrative leadership whose sole responsibility would be to focus on higher education and the wider research and knowledge agenda.”

On the core funding of higher education, Micheál stated that: “The harsh reality is that our higher education and research system is at a moment of truth.  Important measures are going in the wrong direction and there is an undeniable funding crisis which may cause real damage to participation and quality within the system.” He stated that: “In terms of the core funding of higher education, the system needs clarity and certainty.  We have to end the permanent insecurity about what each year will bring.  How can institutions be expected to manage staff and implement long-term plans if they lack basic financial security? Funding needs to be based on a transparent approach to providing the resources necessary to deliver quality education.”

Leader of Fianna Fáil Micheál Martin with Dr Lisa Keating, Director of Research and Innovation at IUA and Prof. Brian MacCraith, Chair of IUA and President of DCU.

Commenting on Micheál Martin’s speech, Jim Miley, Director General of the IUA said: “Given his history in policy and in supporting third level education, I’m delighted to welcome Micheál Martin as the inaugural speaker at out Future of Ireland series. I welcome Micheál’s comments that there is an undeniable funding crisis and the need for greater state contribution on core funding. It is positive to see the recognition Micheál expressed on the demands the increasing demographic bulge will place on higher education in the immediate future”.

“In conclusion the IUA welcomes Micheál’s contribution to raising awareness of the role of third level education and research in shaping the Future of Ireland. The IUA looks forward to engaging across the political, economic and social spectrum on this very important topic.”


Download full speech: 

Micheál-Martin-TD-Speech-17-July-IUA-Future-of-Ireland-Event.pdf (88 downloads)


Watch full speech at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8cIg0evKd8

For more information contact:

Lia O’Sullivan

Head of Communications, Irish Universities Association

lia.osullivan@iua.ie; +353 (0)1 676 4948 I Direct: +353 (0)85 7141414 


Louise Walsh

Drury Porter Novelli

louise.walsh@drurypn.ie; +353 (0)1 260 5000 I Direct: +353 (0)87 7757725 

21 June 2019 – IUA Statement in response to the Call for Proposals for the Senior Academic Leadership Initiative (SALI)

The IUA welcomes the announcement of the Call for Proposals for the Senior Academic Leadership Initiative (SALI). Our member universities are enthusiastic about engaging in this positive initiative to address the gender imbalance at senior academic level.

The SALI programme adds further to the efforts of universities to tackle gender imbalance which includes:

All seven universities have received Athena Swan Bronze institutional awards and numerous departmental bronze awards. Securing Athena SWAN accreditation, the internationally recognised quality mark for gender equality, is an important enabling process for universities to progress the equality agenda. 

The SAGE Charter of Principles for Gender Equality was formally endorsed by the Irish Universities Association. Designed to promote stronger action on gender equality and research, the SAGE Charter supports structural, cultural and political change to eradicate sexism, bias and other forms of discrimination in research and higher education. 

The IUA has recently set up a high-level group for Vice Presidents for Equality and Diversity and Inclusion which will coordinate the work of universities in this priority area. Rapid progress has also been made on gender balancing in the executive management teams and Governing Authorities.


The official announcement from the Department of Education and Skills can be found here.

For more information contact:

Lia O’Sullivan, Head of Communications, IUA  lia.osullivan@iua.ie  085 7141414

June 20th – IUA and the Irish Refugee Council welcome changes to a Support Scheme to allow more young people in direct provision enter Irish higher education

To mark World Refugee Day, the Irish Universities Association (IUA) and the Irish Refugee Council (IRC) are delighted to jointly welcome a rule change in the Department of Education and Skills Student Support Scheme for students living in direct provision, which will allow a greater number of young people in or having come through direct provision to gain a financially supported place in an Irish university.

Prospective students must have obtained their Leaving Certificate and have been in the Irish school system for at least three academic years by 31 August 2019. This requirement has been reduced from five academic years. To be eligible under these revised Department of Education and Skills criteria, asylum applicants, subsidiary protection applicants, and leave to remain applicants whose eligibility has yet to be determined, must have been part of an application for a combined period of three years by 31 August 2019.

Welcoming the development, Lewis Purser, Director of Academic Affairs, Learning and Teaching at IUA said: “The universities encourage everyone to apply who fulfils the criteria for the Department of Education and Skills’ Student Support Scheme. Applications are now open for the 2019/20 academic year, and the closing date is 1 November 2019. The scheme is complementary to existing activities to support students in the international protection process, including scholarships, which have been introduced by the universities.”

Having been accepted on an approved undergraduate course through the CAO or an approved post-Leaving Certificate (PLC) course, successful applicants will be provided with free tuition and supports in line with the Student Grant Scheme operated by SUSI. In the case of an undergraduate course at any of the Irish universities, this means that the €3,000 per year student contribution will be paid by the State, as will the costs of essential field trips. A maintenance grant will contribute towards living costs. Students will also be assessed and supported through their university’s Access Office in terms of possible academic and/or other financial needs.

Commenting on what this means for eligible students, Charlotte Byrne, Education Officer of the IRC said “This is great news for all students who have been in an Irish secondary school for three years and who have completed their Leaving Certificate.  It means that these young students can now plan their future alongside their classmates, and it means that their hard work and study has a definite purpose.  While the Student Support Scheme continues to exclude other pathways to University, such as mature student entry and further education applicants it is nonetheless a welcome change in the right direction. “

Further information on how to apply, including the application form, is available on the Department of Education and Skills’ website: https://www.education.ie/en/Learners/Services/Pilot-Support-Scheme/Pilot-Support-Scheme.html

In addition to encouraging students in direct provision to apply for the revised DES Support Scheme as early as possible, the Irish Universities Association and the Irish Refugee Council also encourage students who have Permission to Remain under the 2015 International Protection Act to apply for SUSI student maintenance grants. As a result of the 2015 International Protection act, such students should now be eligible for SUSI supports, as with all other students who have “leave to remain”.


For more information contact

Lia O’Sullivan Head of Communications IUA 085 7141414   lia.osullivan@iua.ie

IUA calls on Government to establish a sustainable core funding solution to support looming demographic bulge – 4th June 2019

As almost 124,000 Leaving and Junior Certificate students get ready to sit exams tomorrow (Wednesday), the Irish Universities Association is calling on the Government to set out a sustainable funding model to prepare for these and future generations of aspiring third level applicants. The numbers of students commencing exams are in the vanguard of a highly significant demographic bulge which will have a material impact on the funding per student at Ireland’s seven universities in the years ahead.

According to the Government commissioned Cassells Report, the number of students completing second level will peak in 2029 when it is projected to be 27% higher than 2015. This huge uplift in student numbers represents the equivalent of needing another one a half UCDs to cater for the inevitable demand in third level education.

We can see this growth replicated in the numbers attending university as stated in the recently published Indecon report on the impact assessment of Irish Universities, which stated that there has been a 50% increase in Irish university enrolments since the year 2000 and growing.  

Speaking about the demographic bulge and its impact on universities, Jim Miley, Director General of the Irish Universities Association said: “With the number of students completing second level expected to peak in 2029 when it is projected to be 27% higher than 2015, the majority of these students will want to continue in education—either in further education or higher education. Places simply must be provided for these young people.”

He continued: “The changing needs of the labour market will also demand an increase in life-long learning, part-time and more flexible higher education, which is still not sufficiently supported in the present system. I’m calling on the Government today to implement a sustainable core funding model so that current and future students can continue to avail of the opportunities a university education brings. If a sustainable core funding model is not delivered by Government, tens of thousands of today’s primary school pupils could be dis-enfranchised in years to come”. 


The Indecon report can be found in full here – https://saveourspark.ie/universities-impact/

For media queries please contact:

Louise Walsh

Drury Porter Novelli

01 260 5000 / 087 775 7725


Campus Engage & IRC Brokerage Event to match Researchers with CSOs to develop Research Partnerships with Societal Impact

Irish University Researchers Working with the Public to Address our Greatest Societal Challenges

 On Monday, 27 May, 2019, Campus Engage and the Irish Research Council will bring together civic, civil society organisations, researchers, social entrepreneurs, Government Department officials and funding agencies to discuss how we can better work together to address some of our greatest societal challenges, including cancer diagnostics; housing crisis; ageing demographics; climate action.

The meeting will be framed around Ireland’s UN Sustainable Development Goals Implementation Plan; and how we better utilise existing infrastructure to maximise impacts from public investment in research, to make real effect in the day to day lives of all people.

Participants at the event will have the opportunity to share insights, learn about national and European Commission funding opportunities, and network with researchers, policy makers, civil and civic society organisations (CSOs) and social enterprises to investigate potential engaged research partnerships.

Campus Engage, based at the IUA advocates that when researchers work with research stakeholders, such as patients or people directly affected by the housing crisis, this maximises the potential use of research in real world settings and provides a better return on public research investment.  It improves the quality and efficiency of research, making it real-world ready; and avoids duplication of effort and investment.


For more information contact: Kate Morris, kate.morris@iua.ie, 086 8166490

May 15th: Minister Mitchell O’Connor launches European charter to promote gender equality in the university sector

TCD Release:

A charter to promote gender equality in the university sector was formally launched by Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor at an event hosted by Trinity College Dublin this morning (May 15th, 2019).

Designed to promote stronger action on gender equality and research, the SAGE Charter of Principles for Gender Equality supports structural, cultural and political change to eradicate sexism, bias and other forms of discrimination in research and higher education. Higher education institutions across Europe will be invited to sign up to the charter.

At the event Trinity’s Provost Dr Patrick Prendergast formally endorsed the Charter on behalf of the Irish Universities Association. By supporting the Charter principles, Irish higher education institutions signal their commitment to addressing persistent gender imbalances and to responding to the European Research Area call for action on gender equality in research. This marks the first Irish signing of the SAGE Charter, which is being rolled out across European higher education institutions.

The 12 principles of the charter include a commitment to improve gender balance at all levels of academic careers; to eliminate the gender pay gap; to mainstream gender equality awareness and best practice in the daily operations of the institutions; to promote family-friendly policies and work-life balance and to eradicate bullying, sexual and moral harassment.

Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor said: “I am delighted to launch the SAGE Charter of Principles for Gender Equality, which is devising and implementing interventions to advance gender equality in higher education. The Charter needs to be adopted by all research and higher education institutions. We cannot afford to lose the talent that we have invested in women. Building greater diversity contributes to greater creativity and innovation.  Role models are vital, and the global experience shows the value to our students in seeing the range of opportunities and experiences available to them.”

Led by Trinity Centre for Gender Equality and Leadership, the SAGE (Systemic Action for Gender Equality) project has developed a proven model that can be implemented throughout the European research sector and beyond. Funded under the EU Horizon 2020 programme, its goals are to remove barriers to the recruitment, retention and career progression of female researchers; address gender imbalances in decision-making processes and strengthen the gender dimension in research programmes.

Welcoming the charter Provost Dr Patrick Prendergast commented: “Our world needs the full contribution of all genders if it is to meet all the great challenges that lie ahead. Recognising the vital role women can and do play in university life, we fully endorse the principles of this charter. It is another step along the important road towards full gender equality both here in Ireland and across Europe.”

The launch will be accompanied by a panel discussion on how gender equality can be implemented and accelerated within the Irish Higher Education sector, featuring contributions by Head of Policy and Strategic Planning at the Higher Education Authority Dr Gemma Irvine; Director General of the Irish Universities Association Jim Miley; Dr Annie Doona, Institute of Art Design and Technology Dun Laoghaire; and incoming President of the Graduate Students’ Union at Trinity Shaz Oye.

Director of Trinity Centre for Gender Equality and Leadership Professor Eileen Drew added: “Ireland is at the forefront in tackling gender equality in higher education, and it has been very exciting for the Trinity Centre for Gender Equality and Leadership, as coordinators of the SAGE European project, to work with our partners to spread this knowledge and experience across Europe. In 2013 Trinity played an instrumental role in forming the Athena SWAN national committee and a network of higher education institutions and stakeholders, beginning a process that has seen work toward gender equality in the Irish higher education sector growing every day.”



Fiona Tyrrell, Media Relations Officer, Public Affairs and Communications, Trinity College Dublin

tyrrellf@tcd.ie + 353 1 896 3551


Professor Eileen Drew, Fellow Emeritus
Director Trinity Centre for Gender Equality and Leadership
Trinity College Dublin

edrew@tcd.ie +353 1 896 3415 & 086 8547099


Notes to editor:

Photographs of the event taken by Fennell Photography (picturedesk@fennell-photography.ie  / 01 6689766)

The seven participating institutions in the SAGE project are Trinity College Dublin; Queen’s University Belfast; Università degli Studi di Brescia, Italy; Kadir Has University, Turkey; Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Portugal; Sciences Po Bordeaux, France; International University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Further information about SAGE and the SAGE Charter are available here: http://www.sage-growingequality.eu/

Press Release 27 April: Employers and union bosses join students and industry leaders in calls for university and third level funding crisis to be tackled

Ibec, ICTU, USI, American Ireland and British Irish Chamber of Commerce support Irish Universities Association calls for action on funding

Saturday April 27th: The top leadership of the employers union, trades unions, student unions and industry representative bodies have today called for government action on the long-awaited reform of the funding of Irish university and higher education. Writing in a special Irish Universities Association (IUA) supplement published today, the leaders of Ibec, ICTU and USI have been joined by the American Ireland and British-Irish Chambers of Commerce in a concerted call for government action on the third level funding crisis.

In a first such collaborative call for action, the cross-sectoral coalition highlights the risk to Ireland of continuing inaction on the funding crisis and calls for an urgent response from government.

Ibec CEO, Danny McCoy describes the third level funding deficit as “an invisible crisis” that, he says “has already damaged our international reputation to attract research and business investment and is silently eroding our competitive edge”.

Patricia King, General Secretary of ICTU says that “investing in education and our universities is about investing in national ambition and greater opportunity for all.” She argues that “the most sustainable and equitable solution would be to move, over time, to funding the sector predominantly from the public purse.”

Her views are echoed by USI President, Siona Cahill who says that “education which is a public good should be publicly funded”.  The USI President points to the failure to increase funding for student grants since 2012 which she states “is a disgrace and makes education elitist and inaccessible for so many.”

John McGrane, Director General of the British-Irish Chamber of Commerce warns that “consistent underfunding will not only impact on the quality of our higher education system, but also jeopardise potential FDI draw to the country. To secure our future economic success, we must act now,” he says.

American Ireland Chamber of Commerce CEO, Mark Redmond, says that a strategic decision on one of the recommended funding options by the 2016 Cassells report is required. He says the funding regime should “Provide a sustainable system for funding third level, promote inclusiveness between social backgrounds and be equitable regarding funding full-time, part-time and postgraduate pathways to attainment.”

These calls for action on funding follow the recent publication by the IUA of the Indecon report on the Impact of Irish Universities. The independent Indecon report found that the seven universities represented by the IUA contribute €8.9 billion annually to the economy. Crucially, Indecon have shown that the State makes a net financial gain from its investment in universities based on the increased tax take from higher-earning graduates resulting from their university education.

Commenting on the research Jim Miley, Director General of the IUA said: “This report shows us in no uncertain terms that universities not only produce well-rounded, employable graduates but also generate a cash surplus for the State over the long-term. When we consider this along with the 50% increase in student enrolments since 2000, surely this provides a compelling case for the Government and the Oireachtas to prioritise the reform of the funding model for higher education. Without action our universities will face an intolerable strain on the already under-resourced system and opportunities afforded to today’s students may be curtailed for many current and future primary and secondary students”.




Summary Report: Delivering-for-Ireland_An-Impact-Assessment-of-Irish-Universities-2019-04.04.19.pdf (246 downloads)

Full Report: Indecon-Independent-Assessment-of-the-Economic-and-Social-Impact-of-the-Irish-Universities_full-report-4.4.19.pdf (156 downloads)


For more information contact:

Lia O’Sullivan, Head of Communications, Irish Universities Association

lia.osullivan@iua.ie; +353 (0)1 676 4948 I Direct: +353 (0)85 7141414 


Notes to editors

Indecon Research Economists were appointed by the Irish Universities Association, following a competitive tender process, to cover the combined impact of the seven universities represented by the IUA – Dublin City University, Maynooth University, NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, University College Dublin and University of Limerick.

The report is available to read in full at www.saveourspark.ie/universities-impact


April 12th – Universities across Ireland in all-island collaboration

Presidents and Vice-Chancellors of ten universities in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have met at Queen’s University Belfast.

At this meeting, all universities confirmed their commitment to collaborating, on an all-island basis, across a broad range of research and education initiatives.  

This includes proposals for a new All-Island Doctoral Training Partnership – Innovation Lab Ireland – with a focus on innovation. The partnership will bring together universities, industry, community and policy-makers across the island of Ireland to support innovation training and practice for postgraduates.

The ten universities will also take forward collaborations around key research themes in partnership with the CBI, Ibec, NI Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland.  A particular focus for some of these collaborations will be on the opportunities emerging from the Belfast Region City Deal and the renewed emphasis on developing the Belfast to Dublin Corridor.

Queen’s University President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ian Greer, said: “There is enormous appetite and potential for universities and industry partners to work together to support the innovation and skills agenda, regardless of the outcome of Brexit.  An all-island approach provides a unique opportunity to create a real power-house of innovation in Ireland.

Professor Paddy Nixon, Ulster University Vice-Chancellor, said: “The magnitude of change and disruption that higher education, industry and wider society face is unprecedented. These challenges create a tremendous opportunity for institutions and leaders to find new ways of delivering value to our students and to the economy.  Working collaboratively, we will create an all-island ecosystem that will lead to new ways of working, the development of new technologies and ultimately economic opportunity for all.”

Professor Brian MacCraith, President of Dublin City University and Chair of the Irish Universities Association (IUA), said: “On behalf of the seven universities in the Republic of Ireland represented by the IUA, I am pleased to say that we very much welcome the opportunity to deepen and broaden collaborations in education, research and innovation with our colleagues in Northern Ireland. We recognise the depth of complementary expertise available and the many possibilities for world-class research, especially in the context of technological innovation. By combining our resources in a strategic manner, we can truly develop our reputation as an ‘Island of Innovation.”

Angela McGowan, Director CBI Northern Ireland, said: “The business community recognises that universities are at the heart of all successful economies and therefore we are delighted to support this new and exciting approach to all-island university collaboration.  Over the last two decades the CBI along with our sister organisation Ibec in the Republic of Ireland, have witnessed the enormous benefits of all-island co-operation for trade and commerce.  However, we also appreciate that there is further to go before the all-island economy reaches its true potential

The CBI expects that this new higher education initiative will add great momentum to delivering that economic prize for both economies by raising our profile on the world stage in key research areas, attracting more investment into the island and creating more jobs for our young people.”  


11th April – IUA welcomes Government announcement of €12m IRC investment in curiosity driven basic research

The Irish Universities Association (IUA) welcomes the announcement today by Ministers Joe McHugh and John Halligan of €12 million investment by the Irish Research Council in ground-breaking, basic research projects. 

Twelve researchers will each receive a maximum of €1million funding under the Irish Research Council’s Advanced Laureate Awards to conduct leading-edge research over four years in the Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Engineering, the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

Commenting on the announcement Dr. Lisa Keating, Director of Research and Innovation at the IUA said: “IUA would like to see these awards embedded as annual calls as they have the potential to improve Ireland’s performance and enhance the success of Ireland-based researchers in competing for prestigious grants from the European Research Council and in Horizon Europe.”

Commenting on the recently published socio-economic impact study of the seven IUA universities Dr Lisa Keating said, “The independent Indecon assessment shows university R&D delivering an annual return to the economy of €1.5billion. The high quality of research across the universities is evident again in the Laureate awards with 140 applications received of which 12 were awarded and another 48 were deemed excellent and fundable if budget was available.”

IUA is delighted that all recipients of the advanced Laureate awards come from four of our member universities including:

Maynooth University

  • Patricia Palmer: ‘MACMORRIS (Mapping Actors and Contexts: Modelling research in Renaissance Ireland in the sixteenth and seventeenth century)’.

University of Limerick

  • Michael Zaworotko: ‘Switching adsorbent layered materials’. 

Trinity College Dublin

  • Adrian Bracken: ‘Understanding the impact of divergent PRC2 complex assemblies on chromatin landscapes and gene regulation’.
  • Lorraine O’Driscoll: ‘Extracellular vesicles in cancer’.
  • Seamus Martin: ‘Death receptors as integrators of cell stress-induced inflammation’.
  • Christine Casey: ‘Surface value: The agency and impact of craftmanship in the architecture of Britain and Ireland, 1680-1780’.
  • Stefano Sanvito: ‘eMag: a computational platform for accelerated magnetic materials discovery’.
  • Igor Shvets: ‘New concepts for superconducting tunnelling junctions’.

University College Cork

  • John Atkins: ‘Codes within THE CODE: Revealing hidden genetic information’.
  • Brendan Dooley: ‘Examining new sources for the European dimension of early modern news, integrating Ireland and elsewhere into the network of circulation, 1550-1700, to understand a forgotten but highly significant media landscape’.
  • Pádraig Ó Macháin: ‘The materiality of the late-medieval Gaelic vernacular manuscript (1100–1600): a study of inks and vellum in the Book of Uí Mhaine, the development of a materiality protocol from that study, and the refinement of that protocol through application to other Gaelic manuscripts from the same era’.
  • Colm O’Dwyer: ‘Battery performance in technicolor – photonic material circuitry and 3D printed batteries for probing electrochemical energy storage mechanisms and cell performance’.



Lia O’Sullivan, Head of Communications, Irish Universities Association
lia.osullivan@iua.ie    01 676 4948 / 085 714 1414


April 11th 10:15 – Michael Murphy elected as first ever Irish President of the European University Association

Breaking news Paris 11th April 10:15: The Irish Universities Association (IUA) are delighted to announce the election this morning of former President of University College Cork, Prof. Michael Murphy as the first ever Irish President of the European University Association (EUA). The announcement was made following election by representatives of all member universities and national rectors’ conferences during the EUA 21st General Assembly, which took place at the Sorbonne University in Paris. Michael takes the helm at the EUA at a pivotal moment for European and Irish universities and will serve as President from 2019 to 2023. 

The European University Association (EUA) represents more than 800 universities and national rectors’ conferences in 48 European countries. The organisation plays a crucial role in the Bologna Process and in influencing EU policies on higher education, research and innovation. The EUA Board consisting of nine members, including the EUA President is responsible for the preparation and implementation of the Association’s policy, the planning of its activities and the management of its affairs. 

Following his appointment, and outlining his aims as newly elected President of the EUA, Prof. Murphy said, “To be competitive and successful in the coming decades, Europe will need the strongest higher education and research system in the world. A “whole of Europe” deeply networked system of well resourced, autonomous but accountable universities will be the foundation for our continent’s economic and social success. EUA will provide sectoral leadership, draft the roadmap and support governments in creating the necessary legislative and investment frameworks”.

A former president of University College Cork, Michael was the IUA representative on the EUA Council for seven years, and was elected to the EUA Board in 2017.  He also serves as Chair of the EUA Steering Group for Teaching and Learning.

As a membership organisation the EUA supports the work of the IUA and what we are trying to achieve in Ireland, by providing best practice and guidance on a range of issues across research, innovation, teaching and learning, governance and finance.

Reacting to Prof. Murphy’s appointment, Prof. Brian MacCraith, President of DCU and Chair of IUA said, “We congratulate Michael on his appointment as the first Irish person to hold the office of President of the EUA and we look forward to working closely with him and the EUA team. His in-depth knowledge of the Irish sector will be an important factor in his new role. Over the next few years, Irish universities face a challenge to maintain our performance relative to other European universities. Brexit has led to an even greater focus on our collaboration with European universities and highlights the importance of working together, especially on major research projects. Likewise, the Macron-inspired European Universities Initiative aims to greatly increase cross-border collaboration and partnerships amongst Europe’s universities and offers new opportunities for Irish universities.”



Lia O’Sullivan, Head of Communications, Irish Universities Association
lia.osullivan@iua.ie    01 676 4948 / 085 714 1414 

Additional Notes:

More information on the work of the European University Association is at https://eua.eu/

Professor Murphy has held a variety of leadership roles, including President of UCC for a decade, Vice-Chancellor of the National University of Ireland, Chair of the Health Research Board of Ireland, Chair of the Irish Universities Association, Chair of the Permanent Working Group (PWG) of European Hospital Doctors and Board member of the Irish Health Service Executive. In addition to the Scientific Advisory Board of the US National Dairy Council he has been active in many academic organisations in Europe and the United States. 

Media Release 4th April – Irish Universities contribute €8.89 billion to Irish economy annually

Indecon research identifies an average wage premium of 38% – 43% for university graduates over those with no formal education and a large cash payback to the State from investment in universities

Universities generate €386 million per annum in export earnings and €1.5 billion in R&D impacts 

Pictured at the launch were: (L-R). Alan Gray, Managing Director, Indecon, Professor Prof. Brian MacCraith, President of DCU and Chairman of the Irish Universities Association, students Cathal Curry, Marketing, Innovation and Technology student, DCU, Dion Davis, Masters in Education Student, UCC and Tony O’Donoghue, IBEC.

Thursday 4th April – The Irish economy benefitted by €8.9 billion last year from Ireland’s seven universities newly published research has confirmed. The first ever socio-economic impact research undertaken on the role universities play in the economy and society has been carried out by Indecon on behalf of the Irish Universities Association.

The Impact Study looks across a variety of areas to assess the impact universities have on research, society, the economy and individuals, including the benefits arising from international students.

Summary Report: Delivering-for-Ireland_An-Impact-Assessment-of-Irish-Universities-2019-04.04.19.pdf (246 downloads)

Full Report: Indecon-Independent-Assessment-of-the-Economic-and-Social-Impact-of-the-Irish-Universities_full-report-4.4.19.pdf (156 downloads)

Findings from the report include:

  • The seven universities contribute a total of €8.9 billion to the economy.
  • There has been a significant increase in the number of students enrolling for a university education which correlates with the demand for more highly skilled employees in the Irish economy. In 2017 over 120,000 students enrolled, up 50% from 2000.
  • Indecon have identified a cumulative net gain to the Exchequer of €1,606 million in net present value terms based on the lifetime net earnings projections for the 2017 – 2018 cohort of new entrants to the seven universities.  This is based on a net gain to the exchequer from the lifetime earnings of individual undergraduate degree holders of €62,000. In other words, the Exchequer gains a net €62,000 over the lifetime of the graduate in today’s money terms when all costs to the Exchequer are taken into account.
  • University graduates generate an income premium significantly beyond those with no third level education and have consistently lower unemployment rates, even during the recession years.
  • The average lifetime net premium for an undergraduate degree holder is €106,000 compared to a UK premium of £88,000 for graduates from the prestigious Russell Group Universities. Master’s Degree holders’ net premium rises to €146,000 and PhDs’ to €222,000. These figures are net of tax and factor in the costs incurred by students in obtaining their degrees and income foregone during their years at university.
  • Irish Universities make a total research impact of €1.5 billion to the economy. This breaks down into €632 million from direct research expenditure, €373 million spill-over impact of university-based research on the wider economy, and €526 million from indirect and induced effects.
  • In 2017 – 2018 there were 16,701 full-time International students living in Ireland. Indecon estimated that the total annual export income generated for the Irish economy from International students at €386 million.

The report provides further detail on the social and cultural impacts of Irish Universities along with supporting 22,000 jobs, both directly and indirectly.

There has been much debate over the economic return university education generates in Ireland without any rigorous scientific analysis of the actual impacts”, said Brian MacCraith, Chair of the Irish Universities Association. “This vacuum has not served the debate well and I am pleased to say that we have now got a detailed independent assessment on the impact Irish Universities have on our society, our economy and on us as individuals.

What is certain from the report is the significant positive impact Irish Universities are having, from the €8.89 billion contributed annually to the Irish economy to the 21,801 full-time jobs supported, including 15,724 directly employed.

“The 50% increase in student enrolments since 2000 is a precursor to an even greater demographic bubble which will place an intolerable strain on the already under-resourced university system. Unless the Government and the broader political community are prepared to deliver a sustainable core funding solution, the opportunities afforded to today’s students may be curtailed for many current and future primary and secondary students. As a society, we cannot let this happen.”

Commenting on the research Jim Miley, Director General of the IUA said: “The role of universities is to produce well-rounded, employable graduates and to provide centres of innovation through their research work. The Indecon report shows for the first time that, universities not only do that but also generate a cash surplus for the State over the long-term. This surely provides a compelling case for the Government and the Oireachtas to prioritise the reform of the funding model for higher education.  Next Sunday will mark the 1,000th day since the Cassells Report, the Government-appointed Expert Group, identified the scale of the funding gap for higher education and made clear recommendations about dealing with it. The Indecon Report shows that more State investment in university education isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s the profitable thing to do.”

Speaking about the research, Alan Gray, MD of Indecon said: “This analysis is the first of its kind in Ireland.  Indecon undertook a rigorous evidence-based examination on the full range of impacts of Irish universities on the Irish economy and society generally. Ireland has a more highly educated population than the EU average which is often cited as a key reason both multinational organisations and indigenous enterprises base operations here. Our analysis shows the positive impacts that universities have on research and innovation, on graduates earning power and on the positive returns to the Exchequer for their investment.”

Indecon Research Economists were appointed by the Irish Universities Association, following a competitive tender process, to cover the combined impact of the seven universities represented by the IUA – Dublin City University, Maynooth University, NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, University College Dublin and University of Limerick.


For more information contact:

Lia O’Sullivan, Head of Communications, Irish Universities Association 
lia.osullivan@iua.ie; +353 (0)1 676 4948 I Direct: +353 (0)85 7141414 

Louise Walsh, Drury Porter Novelli
louise.walsh@drurypn.ie; +353 (0)1 260 5000 I Direct: +353 (0)87 7757725 


Additional Notes 

Indecon assembled a broad range of data from the universities themselves as well as from public bodies such as the Higher Education Authority, the Central Statistics Office, the Department of Education and Skills and others. Their independent assessment was completed throughout 2018 and early 2019. The Indecon analysis involved detailed econometric modelling in line with best practice approaches for such studies. The Indecon approach is based on a conservative methodology and is in accordance with the latest research notes and guidelines published by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

Indecon Research Economists is the largest independent economic research consultancy practice in Ireland and is part of Indecon International Consultancy Group which includes the leading European consultancy, London Economics.




Media Release 2nd April – Irish Universities Association signs agreement with Indonesia to give PhD training to Indonesian University Lecturers

The IUA signed an agreement in Jakarta today with the Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education (MoRTHE) in Indonesia to participate in its overseas scholarship programme as a trusted partner. The programme places PhD candidates into Irish Universities who are currently lecturing in Indonesian Universities.  The agreement is for 5 years and the IUA hope to see over 300 students progress through the program.  The agreement signing was witnessed by representatives of a number of Irish universities travelling in the region.

This follows on from the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the fields of Higher Education and Research signed by the MoRTHE with the Department of Education and Skills in Ireland in September 2018, in Jakarta by then Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton.

There are over 4,000 public and private universities in Indonesia, of which over 17,200 hold a Master’s level degree. The MoRTHE is investing in the development and training of these lecturers to improve the quality of higher education in the country. Overseas PhD placements are an option for some lecturers who meet the requirements of the MoRTHE, these include an English language level of 6.0 on the IELTS score and as well as holding a permanent lecturing position at one of the Indonesian Universities. Since 2008 the MoRTHE has sent over 2000 lecturers abroad to undertake PhD Doctoral training.

In 2017 the IUA, with the support of Education in Ireland and the Irish Embassy in Jakarta, led a delegation of its seven member universities to Indonesia to meet with education government officials and some of its universities.  It was immediately apparent that the PhD offering in Ireland was an excellent fit for the capacity building needs of Indonesia. Ireland’s reputation as leaders in doctoral education in Europe has proved very attractive for international PhD candidates.

Sinéad Lucey, Head of International Affairs and External Engagement at the IUA said: “It has been our great pleasure working in co-operation with the staff at Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education in Indonesia. The IUA is looking forward to growing this partnership and developing the relationship between Irish and Indonesian universities. This agreement is as a result of a ‘team Ireland’ approach. Indonesia is the largest country in the ASEAN region and a valuable partner for higher education institutions. There are many internationalisation opportunities for Irish Universities with Indonesian universities. The support of Education in Ireland and the Embassy in Jakarta has been so important in this process. Ireland is a small country and when the agencies collaborate effectively, it equals success.  Critically the involvement and continued involvement of key academic staff and the Deans of Graduate studies in the universities has been instrumental in getting the agreement over the line. A delegation from the Ministry visited all seven IUA member universities in January 2019 and were highly impressed at the PhD offering in Ireland. The delegation also identified significant opportunities for Indonesian universities to further engage with Irish universities. I hope that the IUA partnership with the Ministry is a stepping stone to a long standing mutually beneficial relationship that will lead to high quality internationalisation in both systems. “

The MoRTHE’s Director General of Resources for Science, Technology, and Higher Education, Professor Ali Ghufron Mukti states that recently the MoRTHE reinstalled the so-called BPPLN Scholarship, which is an Overseas Doctoral Scholarship Programme dedicated to Indonesian lecturers. Through the programme, Indonesian lecturers will have more opportunities to pursue their PhD degrees overseas with the funding support from the Indonesian Government. The programme also opens up more opportunities for overseas universities to be strategic partners, as the programme will prioritize those universities who are willing to offer special support to the students nominated by the MoRTHE. Thus the MoRTHE welcomes IUA as the new strategic partner for the abovementioned program, as IUA offers not only internationally recognized universities but also financial privileges to the qualified students nominated by the MoRTHE. This is a mutually beneficial partnership.

For more information contact:

Lia O’Sullivan
Head of Communications, Irish Universities Association
lia.osullivan@iua.ie; +353 (0)1 676 4948 I Direct: +353 (0)85 7141414 

4th Feb – Galway City Council pass Unanimous Motion in Support of more funding for Higher Education

The IUA welcomes the unanimous vote from Galway City Councillors which calls on the government to act on the Cassells Report and provide a sustainable funding model for third level education.

Councillors are well placed to understand the real pressures that students and families are under as a result of a decade of under-funding and know how important universities are in their local economies such as Galway.


IUA Media Release: Ireland joins Serbia as Europe’s only third level systems ‘in danger’ due to funding shortfall and rising student numbers, European research finds 

Opportunities for Ireland in new European Universities Initiative also outlined by EU Commissioner for Education

Tuesday 29th January – The Irish universities sector is one of just two European countries with a third level system ‘in danger’ resulting from a shortfall in funding and increased student numbers, according to European research presented at a seminar today.

The seminar was organised by the Irish Universities Association (IUA), the representative body for Ireland’s seven universities, and featured contributions from a range of leading participants on how Ireland’s system compares to other European third-level systems.

The seminar was also briefed about a new European Universities Initiative, which seeks to strengthen strategic partnerships across the EU between higher education institutions and encourage the emergence by 2024 of some twenty ‘European Universities. These networks of universities will enable students to obtain a degree by combining studies in several EU countries and contribute to the international competitiveness of European universities.

Pictured are Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport with Mary Mitchell O'Connor, Minister of State for Higher Education and Brian MacCraith, President of DCU and Chair of Irish Universities Association.   

The seminar also heard from speakers including Tibor Navracsics, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport; Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D.; Catherine Day, former Secretary General of the EU Commission and Chair of UCC Governing Authority; Gemma Irvine of the HEA; Prof Jane Ohlmeyer, Professor of Modern History at Trinity College Dublin and Chair of the Irish Research Council; and Thomas Estermann, Director of Governance and Funding at European Universities Association and a leading authority on how European countries compare for third-level funding.

Estermann also presented figures which showed how Ireland is the second-bottom country in the EU ahead only of Croatia for staffing autonomy, the independence of universities to make decisions on staff recruitment.

Thomas Estermann said: “While recurrent funding to Irish universities increased in 2017 and 2018 after almost a decade of cuts, the long-term sustainability of the higher education system in Ireland remains an issue. Funding per student has declined, and third level capital infrastructure is underfunded. Meanwhile restrictions remain on staff recruitment, leaving Ireland near the bottom for the autonomy of its universities to recruit staff. Ireland’s GDP growth suggests possibilities for renewed investment in its universities.”

Commenting on the figures Jim Miley, Director General of the IUA said: “We need to take notice of what is happening in other European countries and how Ireland’s universities system compares in a European context, particularly in terms of funding levels and autonomy. These figures illustrate just how out of step Ireland is with our European neighbours when it comes to funding third level education and supporting the autonomy of our third level institutions. Despite the significant increase in third level students, which now stands at an all-time high, the higher education sector in Ireland remains seriously underfunded. The Government and the Oireachtas must prioritise the reform of the funding model for higher education as recommended by the Cassells Report, the Government-appointed Expert Group that reported almost three years ago.”

Speaking about the European University Initiative, Jim Miley said: “Ireland’s universities are already taking advantage of opportunities for collaboration with their European colleagues under the new European Universities Initiative, building on the strong links they enjoy with European-wide institutions through research collaboration, Erasmus and other programmes.”

Earlier this month Trinity College Dublin became the first Irish university to join a new partnership under the European University Initiative. Together with four other prestigious universities across Europe, including the University of Barcelona, Utrecht University, the University of Montpellier and Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary, TCD has signed an agreement for the Charm European University (Charm-EU) which will focus on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals providing an interdisciplinary, challenge-based education.


For more information contact:

Lia O’Sullivan, Head of Communications, Irish Universities Association 

lia.osullivan@iua.ie; +353 (0)1 676 4948 I Direct: +353 (0)85 7141414 



Note to Editors:

About the European Universities Initiative

The ‘European Universities’ concept has been officially approved by the Ministers responsible for higher education in the European Higher Education Area as the result of the 2018 conference on the topic. It was preceded by the conclusions of the European Council in December 2017. The concept of the European Universities aims to increase the EHEA global competitiveness by supporting close alliances of the EU universities fostering top-quality education, research and innovation.

What is a European University?

Transnational alliances promoting European values and identity, and revolutionising the quality and competitiveness of European higher education.

In order to achieve this the European Commission has launched a new call to test different cooperation models based on the following principles:

  • An alliance of chosen partners from all types of higher education institution covering a broad European geographic scope;
  • With a co-envisioned long-term strategy focussed on sustainability, excellence and European values;
  • Offering student-centred curricula jointly delivered across an inter-university campus, where a diverse student body can build their own programmes and experience mobility at all study levels;
  • Taking a challenge-based approach where students, academics and external partners can cooperate in cross-disciplinary teams to tackle the biggest issues facing Europe today.

Call for Proposals:

The European Commission has published its 2019 call for proposals for the Erasmus+ programme. The total budget is estimated at nearly €3 billion (€2,733.4 million), marking an increase of approx. 10% compared to 2018.

€30 million of this has been earmarked for European Universities, taking forward this initiative as endorsed by the EU leaders and as part of the EU’s ambitions to build a European Education Area by 2025.

Under Key Action 2 (Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices) of the 2019 Erasmus+ call, funding is available to 6 experimental European University alliances to test the concept. 




IUA dismayed at attacks on university autonomy and academic freedom in Hungary -13th December 2018

The Irish Universities Association (IUA) is dismayed by the latest developments in Hungary involving attacks on university autonomy and academic freedom, resulting in the Central European University (CEU) moving a large part of its activities out of Hungary from the 2019-20 academic year. The IUA echoes calls from other concerned observers for the Hungarian government to be mindful that freedom from political intervention and pressure is an essential condition for universities to fulfill their critical role in society. It is essential that universities across Europe maintain their autonomy and capacity to speak with an independent voice at a time of increasing uncertainty and fragility in our democracies.



Please contact:

Lia O’Sullivan, Head of Communications, Irish Universities Association
lia.osullivan@iua.ie    01 676 4948 / 085 714 1414



 For more information on the issues faced by CEU – https://www.ceu.edu/category/istandwithceu

IUA’s 2017 letter of support to CEU https://www.ceu.edu/sites/default/files/attachment/article/18817/irishuniversitiesassociation.pdf

IUA welcomes publication of Gender Taskforce Equality Action Plan 2018 – 12 Nov 2018

The Irish Universities Association (IUA) today welcomed the Report of the Gender Equality Taskforce Action Plan 2018-2020. The IUA is fully committed to working with the Minister and Department of Education and Skills to implement the recommendations arising from the Report in order to bring about meaningful and sustainable change in gender equality in universities.

The seven member universities of the IUA have already committed to implementing in full the Taskforce recommendations in the recently published Charter for Universities as part of their active programme on equality, diversity and inclusion. This builds on the progress already achieved in recent years including the achievement of Athena Swan Bronze Award status by all seven universities and rapid progress on gender balancing in the executive management teams and Governing Authorities.

Welcoming the Taskforce Report recommendations, Jim Miley, Director General of the IUA said: “The IUA and its member universities are wholly supportive of the Taskforce recommendations and commit to working with the Department of Education to accelerate progress in gender balancing. This is an opportunity for delivering a step-change in gender equality across higher education. It will require concerted effort from all stakeholders to deliver the required change including the Department, funding agencies and the higher education institutions. We want to particularly acknowledge the leadership role of the Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor in establishing this Taskforce and driving change on gender equality.”

Universities have made progress in this area including:

  • All seven universities have received Athena Swan Bronze institutional awards. Securing Athena SWAN accreditation, the internationally recognised quality mark for gender equality, is an important enabling process for universities to progress the equality agenda. Currently only 9 institutions in Ireland hold this award.
  • 5 out of 7 university governing authorities are comprised of at least 40% of each gender.
  • 5 out of 7 university executive management teams are comprised of at least 40 % of each
  • All seven universities have appointed, or are in the process of appointing, Vice-Presidents for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. This means the equality agenda will be represented at the senior management level in each university.

The IUA looks forward to participating in the soon to be established Working Group to implement the recommendations of the Gender Taskforce.




For more information contact:

Lia O’Sullivan | Head of Communications
Irish Universities Association | lia.osullivan@iua.ie | www.iua.ie  

Tel: +353 (0)1 6764948 | Direct: +353 (0)1 7996022 

Consultation on Strategy for National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning – deadline 30 Nov

the National Forum has begun a consultation on its 2019-2021 Strategy.

The deadline for submissions is 30 November 2018.

The National Forum is currently developing its strategy to the end of 2021. This strategy will inform teaching and learning policy and practice in the years
to come. This means, if you are reading this, it is likely to impact directly upon your work or studies.

The strategy will focus on four key areas:
— The professional development of those who teach
— Teaching and learning within disciplines
— Teaching and learning in a digital world
— Enabling Student success

It is crucial that their strategy is informed by those who learn, teach, lead, develop policy or shape practice in Irish higher education.
We invite you to help us decide how best to focus our resources and attention within these key areas.

To respond, go to 


or email your thoughts to consultation@teachingandlearning.ie