THE FUTURE DIRECTION OF INSTITUTES OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN IRELAND AND PATHWAYS OF TRANSFORMATION: A CASE STUDY OF DIT’S “OPERATION TRANSFORMATION” AS A LEADING EXAMPLE OF AN INSTITUTE OF THE FUTURE
Dublin Institute of Technology (IRELAND)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The principle aim of this research is to investigate what might an institute of education be in the future through viewing the current changes afoot in the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) and the underlying reasons for these changes to take place. It is not proposed that DIT is the ideal example but it is one example of Irish higher education (HE) in transition to be more students focused and flexible for future demands.
The HE system in Ireland is broad in scope and encompasses the university sector, the technological sector, the colleges of education and private, independent colleges. Ireland is a society undergoing major change economically, but also demographically through recent migration and mobility of workers from all over Europe and beyond especially since accession states joined since May 2004. In an economy as open as Ireland’s it is vital that higher education operate to a maximum effectiveness responding to changing societal needs. The Higher Education Authority (HEA) has recommended that Institutions need to compete globally and changes are being implemented to effect these recommendations. Such changes are already transpiring within the DIT as it has already undergone some operational structural changes which have seen the old Faculties of Tourism and Food and Faculty of Applied Arts merging to form one College of Arts and Tourism. The Faculties of Environmental Health and the Faculty of Science are also undergoing similar changes.
The methodology of this EdD research will be a case study of the DIT as it goes through its transition from traditional multi-site colleges to one main campus in the heart of Dublin’s historical inner city. The proposal for a move-in date to the campus in Grangegorman is constantly being postponed. Only recently (26/07/2010) have the government announced its Government Infrastructure Investment Priorities which outlined that the Grangegorman project is approved and will go ahead. Individuals driving the process will be interviewed, as well as focus groups (Race et al, 1994) of staff and students in selected DIT sites (those already merged) to ascertain the internal stakeholders’ perception of this change and what it means to them and the future of education.
The paper presented at this conference will be of the preliminary stages of this research and proposals of the future direction of this research.
Race, K. E., Hotch, D. F., and Parker, T. (1994) Rehabilitation program evaluation: Use of focus groups to empower clients, Evaluation Review, Vol. 18, No. 6, 730-40.
Keywords: Pathways of Tranformation, Higher Education in Ireland, Dublin Institute of Technology, Changes.