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Students and staff get first taste of new €14m Student Centre

On May 11, I was delighted to join with many students and staff members, including outgoing Students’ Union President Niall Behan, for a tour of some parts of the impressive, new DCU Student Centre, which is due for completion this August. This building project is a key element of DCU’s comprehensive, five-year €240 million Campus Development Plan.

The Student Centre project, which commenced in February 2016, will provide modern, purpose-built space over three storeys for a broad range of student activities but with a particular emphasis on leadership and life-skills, innovation and entrepreneurship, arts and culture, and global engagement.

Once complete, the Student Centre will be capable of holding over 3,500 users at maximum capacity.

Some of the key features of this flagship building include:

  • An innovation and entrepreneurship area for students’ work space, three meeting rooms and three quiet offices
  • An amphi-theatre with capacity for over 450 guests
  • Seven hi-spec meeting rooms for DCU Clubs, Societies and Students Union (SU) as well as dedicated working space for use by DCU Clubs and Societies
  • Four multipurpose rooms for over 350 users at max capacity
  • A dedicated student venue called “The Hive”, with maximum capacity of over 500 guests
  • A purpose-built radio station suite

The upcoming completion of the Student Centre is an exciting milestone and we are also looking forward to the development of new sports facilities, additional on-campus accommodation and state-of-the-art learning spaces.

 New UNESCO Chair at DCU

In a very exciting development for the University, UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, has agreed to establish a Chair at DCU aimed at tackling the growing phenomenon of bullying in schools and cyberspace.

The UNESCO Chair on Tackling Bullying in Schools and Cyberspace will run for four years, in the first instance, and will involve researchers and academics in Ireland and across the globe working together to tackle the serious impact of both face-to-face and online bullying.

The work of the new Chair will include measuring the international extent of bullying and the development of a set of measures aimed at preventing bullying and providing teachers, educationalists and parents with guidelines and training on how to intervene to prevent harmful practices arising in the school environment. It will also deliver a range of reports on bullying and associated recommendations over the four years of the initiative.

The Chair will facilitate high-level collaboration between internationally-recognised researchers and academics across the world, enabling the development of a comprehensive body of research, including the identification of ‘best practice’ interventions.

The establishment of this Chair is very much a reflection of the DCU mission and values whereby we aim to make a transformative impact on lives and societies through research and engagement.

DCU partners with AIB for Ireland’s first Chair in Data Analytics

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Tomás Ward as AIB Chair in Data Analytics in DCU’s School of Computing. This new Chair position, the first of its kind in Ireland, has been made possible through the support of AIB and reflects the growing importance of data analytics in enabling both private and public sector organisations to gain valuable insights from the large volumes of data that they collect. The creation of this Chair represents another success in DCUET’s fundraising campaign ‘Shaping the Future’.

As AIB Chair in Data Analytics, Professor Ward will focus his research on customer behaviour and how data analytics can support decision-making in business and healthcare.

Professor Ward is an internationally-renowned scholar in the field of data analytics as applied to human behaviour monitoring. He is best known for neuroscience research that uses data from sensing technologies to explain individual thoughts and behaviours.

The position is based in DCU’s School of Computing. The School is strongly research-active and staff members play a key role in a number of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Centres, including the Insight Centre for Data Analytics (www.insight-centre.org), Ireland’s largest ever research initiative.

DCU to host visit from Christine Lagarde, MD of the IMF

We are delighted to announce the visit of Madame Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to Dublin City University on Tuesday, June 26th.

Following a tour of DCU Alpha, our innovation campus, Madame Lagarde will come to the Helix (11.30am) for an on-stage discussion with me on the themes of education, innovation, inclusion and diversity in front of an audience. This will be followed by a Town Hall Q&A. The choice of DCU for this important event is highly significant and reflects an international recognition of the key role we play in the Higher Education and Innovation ecosystem.

DCU to honour Dr Amal Al Qubaisi

On Thursday, June 21st, a DCU Honorary Doctorate will be conferred upon Dr Amal Al Qubaisi, President and Speaker of the Federal National Council, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Dr Amal Al Qubaisi was the first woman in the Arab World to be elected to the National Council in 2006, representing Abu Dhabi. She created further history in 2015 by being the first woman elected as the Speaker of the Federal National Council. The award of an Honorary Doctorate by DCU recognizes the outstanding commitment and contributions of Dr Amal Al Qubaisi to diversity and inclusion.

Celebrating Excellence in Teaching and Learning

The annual President’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching and Learning took place in the Helix on Wednesday May 9th, with worthy recipients from various schools and units acknowledged for their contributions.

The overall winner in the Academic category was Dr Aisling De Paor from DCU’s School of Law and Government. Dr De Paor was commended for her dedication, enthusiasm and passion towards her students, both in and out of the lecture hall.

The full list of award-winners is as follows:

Teaching Support Category: Willie O’Sullivan, Information Systems & Services.

Team Award: Next Generation Management (NGM) Team, DCUBS - Maura McAdam, Grace Fox, Terry O’Brien, Gerry Conyngham, Jennifer Farrell and Jona Kalemi.

Special Awards:

  1. Distinctive Approaches to Teaching: Dr Ciarán Dunne, School of Applied Languages & Intercultural Studies.
  2. Distinctive Approaches to Assessment & Feedback: Dr Justin Rami, School of Policy & Practice
  3. Distinctive Innovation in Teaching: Dr Dónal O’Brien, DCUBS
  4. New Lecturer/Tutor Category: Dr Jules Gaspard, School of Law & Government
Deepening Educational Links with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

We recently hosted a visit from His Excellency Dr Ahmed Al Eisa, Minister of Education, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to DCU St Patrick’s Campus.

The visit from the Saudi delegation focused primarily on Higher Education and Teacher Education and aimed to build on our well-established links with Princess Nourah Bint Abdul Rahman University (PNU) in Riyadh.

Our partnership at PNU has enabled a deepening of educational ties between both universities and a sharing of knowledge and expertise across a range of degree programmes delivered by DCU Business School, the Faculty of Engineering and Computing, and the Faculty of Science and Health.

The Dean of the Institute of Education, Dr Anne Looney, and the Dean of DCU Business School, Dr Anne Sinnott, played a key role in the discussions with the Saudi Minister.

DCU launches new Research Centre for Connected Healthcare

Earlier this month, DCU launched the Centre for e-Integrated Care, which will combine health and social care research findings with advances in digital technology to deliver enhanced, connected healthcare.

It will be led by Dr Pamela Hussey from our School of Nursing and Human Sciences and the Centre’s aim is to advance continuity of care to improve the health and well-being of citizens in Ireland.

Based at DCU’s School of Nursing and Human Sciences, the Centre will bring together academic and research expertise from a number of schools including Nursing & Human Sciences, Business and Computing. The centre is currently engaged with a number of key stakeholders including the Health Service Executive, Health Research Board, Department of Health, Adapt Centre and Horizon 2020.

DCU Students win national award for Social Entrepreneurship for 3rd Year in a row

On May 31st, a team of DCU students from our Enactus Society won the Enactus Ireland national competition for Social Entrepreneurship for the third year in a row. The students will go forward to represent Ireland at the Enactus World Cup in Silicon Valley later this year. Runner-up teams included those from NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin and University of Limerick.

I would like to acknowledge the key role played by academic staff members who have mentored the students – these include Dr Ciarán Dunne (SALIS), Dr Róisín Lyons (DCUBS) and Dr Emer Ní Bhrádaigh (Fiontar agus Scoil na Gaeilge).

One of the social entrepreneurship projects established by our students over the past year is ‘Second Scoop’, a pop-up ice cream vendor which targets corporate and social events. This involved training and mentoring asylum seekers in the business and giving them the tools to develop new livelihoods.

In another project, ‘Threads’, our students set up a clothing company that helps provide asylum seekers with the skills and opportunities to upcycle old and unwanted jeans.

Supporting Leaving Certificate Study Scheme

Finally, for staff who have family members or relatives sitting their Leaving Certificate this summer, we are pleased to launch our Supporting Leaving Certificate Study Scheme, providing access to the O’Reilly Library (DCU Glasnevin Campus) and the Cregan Library (St Patrick’s Campus).

The Leaving Certificate Study scheme is available to students up to June 22nd.