News at DCU
Fundraising drive to help DCU shape the future
Below Image

DCU launches ambitious €0.3bn development programme

Dublin City University, the country’s fastest-growing university, today announced the first funding step of an ambitious €323m development programme which aims to future-proof the university’s graduates and align DCU’s research objectives with modern, global challenges.  The programme will see DCU deliver significant global impact in areas such as education, connected health, 21st Century media, conflict resolution and water security; increase its geographical footprint in the North Dublin region through multi-campus growth; and double its student body.

Today’s launch of DCU/Shaping the Future - a €100m fundraising drive - will be followed by a series of significant announcements before the end of this year on major capital investments.  The campaign will seek philanthropic support from private and corporate donors for 21 key projects, aimed at securing DCU’s international leadership in areas such as research, innovation, teaching and learning, student experience and human capital.

Professor Brian MacCraith outlined DCU’s strategic ambition in launching this unparalleled development plan,

“DCU has a reputation as an innovative force within the most rapidly expanding region in the country.  We are recognised for our focus on innovation, matching our enterprising efforts to future trends in employment, industry, science and technology.  Today’s announcement signals DCU’s ambition to show leadership in this space, to radically scale our future development to meet the challenges of a world grappling with realities such as an ageing population, natural resources under threat, preparation for the jobs of the future yet to be imagined, and an increasingly digitally connected global family where concepts of information, community and conflict transcend borders.”

Professor MacCraith continued,

“DCU has as its mission the formulation of responses to, as yet, undefined needs at local, national and global levels.  This development plan, unparalleled in our institution’s short history, is the blueprint for a challenging new direction which will enable DCU to grow and deliver impact by aligning its research priorities with global challenges and by preparing our graduates for the jobs of the future.”

The projects being supported by DCU/Shaping the Future are:

  • CHAnge (Centre for Healthy Ageing) supports healthy and active ageing and focuses on the management of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.  Project Leader - Professor Christine Loscher.

  • Institute for International Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction which supports peace-building in post-conflict regions by producing research on key areas of international concern such as online radicalisation, post conflict transitions and women in conflict, and supporting policymakers and communities in addressing tensions and legacy issues in Northern Ireland.  Project Leader - Professor John Doyle.

  • FuJo - Institute of Future Journalism and Media provides an exciting, convergent space where media organisations and digital industries can work together with students and researchers of journalism and data technologies to explore contemporary media challenges and shape the future of journalism in society.  Project Leader - Dr Jane Suiter.

  • DCU Institute of Education, Ireland’s first university faculty of education will educate world-class teachers across the full education continuum, carrying out pioneering research in 21st Century priority areas such as Digital Learning, STEM Education and special needs.  Project Leader - Professor Fionnuala Waldron.

  • DCU Water Institute is developing and applying innovative approaches to global issues such as water quality, flood prevention, access to safe drinking water and wastewater treatment.  Project Leader - Professor Fiona Regan.

  • DCU Access:  Pathways to Brighter Futures is the largest access programme of any university in Ireland, transforming the lives of students, their families and their communities by creating equality of access to third level education in Ireland.  Project Leader - Ita Tobin.

  • Age-Friendly University is committed to opening up every aspect of campus life, including all educational, research, cultural and recreational facilities and activities, to respond to the needs and interests of older adults.  Project Leader - Christine O’Kelly.

  • Institute for Innovative Government will collaborate with public servants, politicians and public bodies to offer consultancy, expertise and information exchange on policy issues.  Project Leader - Professor Gary Murphy.

  • Centre for Family Business will develop and translate knowledge to support family businesses and to increase their competitiveness.  Project Leader - Dr Eric Clinton.

  • Historic Collections Research Centre (HCRC) will be an internationally-significant resource in modern Irish politics, culture and society by acquiring personal, corporate and social movement archives to complement existing collections that include the Charles J Haughey papers, Sean Lester diaries and the first Irish Media History Collection.  Project Leader - Christopher Pressler.

  • Ireland India Institute supports research, enterprise and academic collaboration between both countries.  This sharing of expertise, in areas such as education, health, science and entrepreneurship, will deepen understanding in Ireland of India’s economic growth path and promote business development and real partnership between sectors and individual businesses in Ireland and India.  Project Leader - Professor John Doyle.

  • The Leaders in Knowledge Creation project has been designed to enable DCU to attract, promote and retain the best academic talent in order to build inspirational leadership, world-class research and transformative education for our student community.  Project Leader - Professor John Costello.

  • Pioneering Developments in STEM education will inform national STEM policy and transform the teaching and learning of STEM subjects in ireland, addressing key challenges in the pipeline for STEM careers.  Project Leader - Dr Eilish McLoughlin.

  • Learning Futures Labs will capitalise on technological advances to move the learning environment for our students away from traditional lecture halls, developing a modern digital campus which will respect individual learning styles, enabling collaboration and learning across disciplines and locations. Project Leader - Professor Mark Brown.

  • Fáilte Ar Líne will make Irish language learning accessible to everyone, anywhere in the world.  Through this unique and innovative programme, participants will be able to progress from beginner level to complete a degree in the Irish language - entirely online.  Project Leader - Dr Mairéad Nic Giolla Mhichíl.

  • GAA National Education & Research Centre, a unique partnership between DCU and the GAA will serve as a hub for research, innovation and education in areas such as player wellbeing, performance analysis, coaching techniques, refereeing, sports medicine and the science of success.  Project Leader - Eugene Kennedy.

  • DCU Sports Academy promotes, supports and coaches students participating in Gaelic games and athletics, and provides targeted resources to a large number of elite athletes.  Project Leader - Michael Kennedy.

  • DCU Student Centre will respond to the rapidly increasing scale of our student population and, more importantly, to address the developmental needs of our student community, providing collaborative and creative spaces where all students can engage with the cultural, social, entrepreneurial and international aspects of university life.  Project Leader - Kim Sweeney.

  • UStart, Ireland’s first student start-up programme, enables students to discover and develop their entrepreneurial flair, empowering them to become trail-blazing social and business entrepreneurs by helping to bring their innovative ideas to market.  Project Leader - Eoghan Stack.

  • The Student Leadership & Life-Skills Centre will be a major resource for students in their personal and professional development, enabling them to develop the skills to flourish in society and in the workplace.  Project Leader - Dr Claire Bohan.

  • The Visual Arts Initiative will provide an attractive space on the DCU campus to exhibit DCU’s growing art collection, incorporating digital and traditional art gifted to or purchased by the university.  Project Leader - Dr Declan Raftery.

Internationally acclaimed futurist, Dr Peter Cochrane, delivered the keynote address at the launch of DCU/Shaping the Future, sharing his expertise and insights on how institutions such as DCU can and must harness expertise and develop innovative thinking to shape a better future.  Speaking at the event, Dr Cochrane said,

“Our world is no longer slow, disconnected and linear; it is fast, connected and highly non-linear.  From the same starting conditions, our systems return wildly different results.  We are talking ‘butterfly wings’ - where a small change can see a big outcome.  This is true of technology, networks, economics and politics - the old ways and old thinking do not work, and they can be dangerous.  It is heartening to see a young, ambitious university like DCU challenging the status quo and taking brave steps to create new responses to the challenges of a rapidly changing world.”

DCU has already achieved 25% of the campaign’s fundraising target, attracting donations of €25m over the last three years, during the ‘quiet’ phase of the campaign.  Some exciting initiatives are already underway, as a result, such as the new Student Centre which is being part-funded through student contributions, with construction expected to commence in Summer 2016; as well as funded Chairs in areas of strategic importance such as education assessment and data analytics.  

Larry Quinn, venture capitalist and Chairman of DCU Educational Trust said,

“Since its foundation in 1988, the DCU Educational Trust has been a strong force in advancing the goals of Dublin City University as a modern, thriving university.  Shaping the Future is about redoubling that effort to assist the university address the important goals of its future.  We will strengthen and build on DCU’s existing relationships with friends, alumni, corporations and foundations.  But we also need to establish new partnerships and external funding to strengthen our base and maintain the momentum of growth that has so profoundly marked the first era of DCU."

The university will add to this ambitious fundraising target, primarily by raising loan finance for capital infrastructure to support the university's future growth.