On 19th September 2013 DCU President Professor Brian Mac Craith launched this new DCU project in association with Campus Engage, the Irish Universities Association national platform for civic engagement. A well-attended and representative workshop led by Ursula Kelly (see PowerPoint presentation here) followed.
The economic and social impact of higher education is of increasing policy interest in Ireland and internationally. Higher education institutions (HEIs) are important as significant enterprises in themselves, generating employment and contributing to GDP. Higher education also builds the national skills base, increasing the adaptability and attractiveness of the workforce, supporting indigenous enterprises and attracting inward investment. However there are other, non-market and wider economic and social benefits associated with HEIs as a result both of their direct or planned activities (such as provision of free or low cost workshops, lectures, sporting and other facilities to the surrounding community) but also resulting indirectly from their existence as important civic institutions. In times of austerity these wider economic and social benefits are at risk of being overlooked partly because being able to articulate and evidence their value is a more difficult task than tracking financial flows.
For further details on this project please contact Prof Ronnie Munck at Ronnie.firstname.lastname@example.org