An Taoiseach announces Ireland’s first Technological University

TUDublin

The alliance of Dublin Institute of Technology, Institute of Technology Blanchardstown and Institute of Technology Tallaght is set to become the first Technological University (TU Dublin) in Ireland, as revealed by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD in Grangegorman today. The University will be located on three campuses at Grangegorman, Blanchardstown and Tallaght creating an inclusive and open learning experience offering pathways to graduation from apprenticeship to PhD level to a diverse range of students.

Joining An Taoiseach in Grangegorman to mark this transformative development in Higher Education, were Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, and Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD.
Speaking at the announcement, Professor Tom Collins, Chair of the three Institute’s Governing Bodies, said: “The members of the Technological University Dublin Alliance are delighted to receive confirmation today from An Taoiseach that we are to become Ireland’s first Technological University (TU Dublin) in 2019. This is the historic culmination of seven years of hard work and commitment on the part of our three Institutes. The process of engaging with the independent international panel that visited Dublin in May gave us the opportunity to highlight the potential for TU Dublin to be ground-breaking by providing a pioneering and practice-based, research-informed learning framework to students. We are extremely pleased that the panel’s final report, combined with the Higher Education Authority’s (HEA) recommendation, has resulted in a decision by the Minister for Education and Skills to grant us designation as Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin).”

President of Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), Professor Brian Norton, said: “This is a milestone day that marks the beginning of a new type of Irish University that will revolutionise Higher Education in this country. TU Dublin will be positioned at the convergence of the arts, business, science and technology, and will strengthen the Greater Dublin Region and it’s prominence as a location that encourages and supports knowledge advancement, sustainable development and inclusive education. After many years of laying the groundwork, today is the realisation of our long-held collective ambition to become a Technological University and the beginning of an exciting new chapter in Higher Learning in Ireland.”

Dr Diarmuid O’Callaghan, President of Institute of Technology Blanchardstown, said: “Technological Universities are an established feature of many international educational systems in Germany, Austria, Finland, the Netherlands, Canada and New Zealand, acting as a dynamic catalyst for economic, technological, social and cultural progress. TU Dublin will comprise a joined-up approach to the third-level experience that involves connecting students, employers, researchers and the wider academic community to facilitate economic transformation and sustainable growth. On this momentous day, we look forward to the establishment of the pioneering TU Dublin, where our students, staff and societal partners will connect with academic programmes to create Ireland’s skilled graduates of tomorrow.”

President of IT Tallaght, Mr Thomas Stone, said: “On behalf of all the staff, the 28,500 students across our three Institutes, and all the contributors over the last seven years that have made this breakthrough possible, I would like to express our delight at today’s announcement by An Taoiseach. TU Dublin will focus on practice-based, research-informed learning, combined with rigorous academic standards and success through inclusive and authentic engagement with our students. We look forward to the final stage of this process which will include ongoing engagement with the HEA and the Department of Education and Skills in advance of formal designation early next year.”

Dr Mary Meaney, TU4Dublin Programme Lead, said: “This is a red-letter day that is the culmination of a huge effort over many years. The passion and hard work of staff and students across our three Institutes over the last number of months, in particular, laid the final foundations for this exciting announcement and we’re enthused about the ultimate stage of our journey to designation as TU Dublin.”

The legal framework to establish TU Dublin was made possible by the enactment of the Technological Universities Act 2018 in March. Following its application for designation as a TU last April, the Technological University Dublin Alliance submission was evaluated in May by an independent international panel. As part of their evaluation process, the panel met with students and staff from DIT, IT Blanchardstown and IT Tallaght, as well as a wide range of community and industry partners. In a follow-up report to the HEA, the panel confirmed that the application for TU status met the specified criteria for designation. The panel’s report was considered by the HEA, which made a formal recommendation to the Minister for Education and Skills, resulting in his decision to award designation.

With establishment confirmed for early next year, the first graduates of Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) will receive awards from the new university in 2019. CAO and lifelong applicants who accept a place in DIT, IT Blanchardstown or IT Tallaght this August, as well as our continuing students, can look forward to receiving their parchments from the new University.

ITB’s Ashling Smith Wins Draíocht’s Inaugural Creative Digital Media Graduate Award 2018

Congratulations to ITB Creative Digital Media Student, Ashling Smith, who recently received the Inaugural Draiocht Creative Digital Media Graduate Award for her work titled “Vision”.

The award was open to this year’s graduating students from the Creative Digital Media degree programme at ITB and was selected by Fiach MacConghail, CEO Digital Hub Development Agency. Mr. MacConghail described the field as strong and competitive with rich and varied work and he found the decision a difficult one, saying “I am selecting this graduate – Ashling Smith – because of the sculptural and painterly quality of the work, it’s immersive multi media form which integrates sound, image and text. It is ultimately a considered work blending creativity and art. The artistic intention of the piece highlights the vulnerability and joy of making art.”

On announcing the award Emer McGowan, Draiocht’s Executive Director said: “Draiocht is delighted to be working with the Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown to provide this exciting opportunity for a Graduate Student. Our Strategy 2018 – 2022 ‘Inspiring A Passion for the Arts’ highlights our commitment to building partnerships and to supporting the work of emerging practitioners.This new award demonstrates Draiocht’s commitment to these priorities.” Emer McGowan

Hugh McCabe, Course Coordinator, Creative Digital Media, Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (ITB) said: “Working with Draiocht on this award is a fantastic means of further developing the sorts of synergies between art, design and technology that are at the heart of the Creative Digital Media programme at ITB. We are delighted that the opportunity to collaborate with Draiocht is being offered to one of our students and look forward to seeing the results.”

Further details on the award and Ashling’s work can be found here

ITB Horticulture student scoops Student Entrepreneur Award

Congratulations to Geoff Wright from Longford who recently won a merit award for his company titled “grO2” at this year’s Student Entrepreneur Awards which were held recently at NUI Galway.

Geoff, who is a final year Horticulture student at the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown, pitched his idea for a newly designed plant pot that has the potential to result in drastic cost savings for wholesale container plant nurseries.

According to Geoff, ‘No design for a pot currently exists that is suitable for automated production at scale, particularly for low-value herbaceous plants. My plant production process idea brings the benefits to wholesale commercial production – an industry worth 26 billion euros in Europe alone’.
Geoff went on to say ‘The horticulture syllabus at IT Blanchardstown is very broad and contains many enterprise/entrepreneurial subjects that have contributed to my reaching the finals of the 2018 Student Entrepreneur Awards’.

Sponsored by Enterprise Ireland, Cruickshank Intellectual Property Attorneys and Grant Thornton, the Student Entrepreneur Awards offers third level students from all academic disciplines and courses of study the opportunity to realise their entrepreneurial ambitions. Geoff’s idea faced stiff competition against ten other finalists from across the country, ultimately winning a merit along with a cash prize of €1,500. Well done Geoff!

 

CAO change of mind tips!

So the Leaving Cert is almost over and we are sure everybody is looking forward to some well earned down-time over the summer.

At this stage many people will know exactly what they want to do after the leaving cert and will have made their final choices on the CAO already – that’s great! However, there are some people who may still be unsure of what course to pick.

Don’t despair! There is still time to change your mind on the CAO – you can do so until 17.15 on July 1st.

Even if you are perfectly happy with your original choices, it would be wise to review them again.

Here are some tips..

Before the change of mind deadline, we would encourage you to think about what it is that really motivates you.

Whatever your favourite subject is, it should probably inform your course choices for college. Have a look at some of our student story videos to find out more about our college and courses

Review all of your choices on the CAO.

Have you listed them in order of preference?
Have you kept your options open? We strongly recommend including Level 6 and 7 courses in your choices.

We recommend that you review the module content on all of the courses which you have applied for
For ITB courses, you can do this by logging on to http://courses.itb.ie/ and selecting your choice from the list.

We also recommend researching the colleges to which you have applied for. Consider the following:

What is the student life like on campus?
What are the facilities and services like?
How easy will it be for you to get to college?

This video highlights what student life is like at ITB:

If you have any questions in the coming weeks, please do get in touch. Our expert team is on hand to answer any questions that you might have – you can call us on 01 885 1530 or email us at info@itb.ie

We wish you all an enjoyable summer!

[Signpost photo by Brendan Church on Unsplash]

ITB and Fingal “Greener Way for Fingal” Garden awarded Gold Medal at Bloom in the Park

Institute of Technology Blanchardstown, Fingal County Council, and the Dublin Dun-Laoghaire Education and Training Board (ETB) were recently awarded a gold medal for their entry to Bloom in the Park 2018.

‘The Greener Way for Fingal’ was the title of this year’s entry and its theme highlighted the potential for the development of multi-functional public spaces across Fingal. The garden was designed by Award-Winning Landscape Designer and ITB Lecturer Jane McCorkell, while the planting was carried out by ITB students of Horticulture under the direction of their lecturers. The participants of the Local Training Initiative managed by the DDLETB based in Bremore Castle, Balbriggan constructed all the hard landscape features. Many of the materials used in the garden construction will be reused in the restoration of Bremore Castle.

Bloom in the Park opened on Thursday, 31 May. President Michael D Higgins with his wife, Sabina Higgins, was one of the first visitors to the Fingal garden. Both the President and his wife were greeted by Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Mary McCamley, Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, Paul Reid, Senior Parks Superintendent at Fingal County Council, Kevin Halpenny and Designer Jane McCorkell.

Welcoming the award, Mr Kevin Halpenny said: “We are delighted to be given a gold medal for the ‘Greener Way for Fingal’. The collaboration between Fingal, ITB and ETB allowed for the creation of a beautiful garden that highlights the potential we have in Fingal to develop public spaces that can be used for cycle routes, pedestrian routes, wildlife habitats, urban drainage systems and play areas which is vital to allow us increase sustainability.”

Also present was Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Mary McCamley who said: “The Greener Way for Fingal is a celebration of the natural beauty found in our county. I’m delighted that the creativity, skills and hard work of Fingal staff, the ITB students and participants of the ETB have been recognised and rewarded.”

Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, Paul Reid, said: “This year’s Bloom entry is a great example of the county’s commitment to sustainability, environmental well-being as well as maintaining parks and other public spaces. I’m delighted that ‘The Greener Way for Fingal’ has been so highly commended.”

Congratulations to all involved.

Students and staff gather to celebrate inaugural 1916 Bursary Fund Awardees

On Monday 21st May, 25 students from ITB, DIT and ITT gathered in Grangegorman to celebrate receiving the 1916 Bursary Fund with their family, colleagues and Lecturers at a Technological University for Dublin event (TU4D), hosted by DIT.

Each student was personally congratulated by the President of their respective Institutes – ITB, DIT and ITT.

Welcoming the students, Professor Brian Norton, President of DIT said that “all three institutes work hard to encourage greater participation of those in society who are not traditionally represented in Higher Education and that the 1916 Bursary Fund was a powerful addition to the range of supports offered by DIT, ITB and ITT to access students”.

Also, speaking at the event was Dr Louise Callinan, Access Policy Officer in the Higher Education Authority who discussed the organisation’s National Access Plan which is designed to ensure that the student body in Ireland’s higher education sector reflects the diversity and social mix of Ireland’s population.

The 1916 Bursary Fund was announced by the Minister for Education and Skills in December in 2017 to encourage participation and success by students from sections of society that are significantly under-represented in higher education. Over the next three academic years, the 1916 Bursary Fund will be awarded to 25 first-year ITB, DIT and ITT students, with each receiving a bursary in the amount of 5,000 euros for each year of their undergraduate programme of study. The fund is open to full-time and part-time students from under-represented socio-economic groups who meet at least one of the following criteria:

First -time, mature student entrants;
Students with a disability;
Irish Travellers;
Further education award holders;
Lone parents;
Ethnic minorities (including programme refugees);
Students who are or were in the care of the State.

ITB Year 4 Business Students win Digital Marketing Pitch of the Year 2018

Congratulations to Year 4 General Business students Sean O’Grady, Amber Malik and Adedolapo (Dee) Hamid who received an award for Digital Marketing Pitch of the Year 2018.

As part of their studies, they completed a digital marketing pitch as part of their final year marketing module ‘Digital and Contemporary Marketing Practice’ on the Bachelor of Business (Honours) programme.

The aim of the module is to replicate the real- life marketing environment where the students created their own marketing agency and devised a strategic and creative response to a brief. This year there were ten ‘agencies’ competing for the coveted award.

Marketing lecturer, Anne-Marie Nolan said, “The School of Business has been utilising this innovative style of learning and assessment for a number of years drawing on my own experience of working in a senior account management role for a number of full-service marketing agencies.”

Previous students have progressed into Marketing and Digital Marketing roles in both brand organisations and marketing agencies. While others have undertaken level 9 Masters programmes in Marketing and Digital Marketing.

For more information regarding this course, please see the course page on the ITB website here: http://www.itb.ie/StudyatITB/bn101.html

Liberty IT hosts ‘Recursion” – ITB Computing end of year show

The Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (ITB) was delighted to showcase their fourth year students in Informatics end of year project exhibition on Thursday May 17th at Liberty IT’s facility in Blanchardstown.

Showcasing the best of innovations in computing, the exhibition featured student’s work from final year projects on the Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Computing and also three groups from the year three group projects. Visitors to the exhibition witnessed a wide range of engaging, creative projects featuring mobile application development, java development, text processing, computer vision and games development and computational intelligence. The top three, year-four projects were voted for by Liberty IT staff and the final order was be decided by a panel of judges. Prizes included Amazon Echo Dot, Raspberry Pi Starter Kits and vouchers.

From the courses’ inauguration in 1999, ITB’s computing programme has attracted an impressive cohort of creative, dynamic and talented students who are passionate about technology: Students who have a serious competence in computing and have developed the skills to allow them to contribute to today’s interconnected world.

The Head of School of Informatics and Engineering at ITB, Dr Anthony Keane said of the exhibition, “Congratulations to the class of 2018 on successfully reaching the end of their college degree and presenting us with their final year projects. As the daily life of lectures, labs, assessments, deadlines, exams, results, happiness, disappointment, fears, triumphs, classmates, discussions ends, so starts a new set of challenges and new experiences as they begin their careers in society.”

“Education has long been recognised as the differentiator between poverty and wealth opportunity and especially in today’s World of technology, where people having a degree in Computing is highly valued by employers. Information Technology is the backbone of the World from big corporate enterprises to personal individual behaviours”, he continued. Daniel McSweeney, Head of Department of Informatics and Engineering said, “Creativity, caring and empathy are not often the first words that spring to mind when we think of Computing. The public’s perception of computing is often framed by the stereotypical masculine image of a cold computer scientist pouring over algorithms and data sets. And yet, when I survey this group of projects, I am taken aback by the level of creativity involved in the design and development of each. They feature many of the core elements of a scientific approach to computing, but surrounding those elements is a project which aims to meet a real human need, be it the need to monitor driver behaviour, a learning application, a tool for visualising data sets, an application for carers, a guide to creative Fingal, or a companion for senior citizens. These students have adopted an ethos of technology for the benefit of others, a tool to enrich the lives of our citizens, families and friends. It’s a noble quality that is often neglected in the discourse surrounding the computing discipline and I’m delighted to see it to the forefront of many projects this year. Its presence is no fluke! Our academic staff have shaped an educational experience of care and inclusion, challenging our students to use their skills for the benefit of themselves and others. In their years in ITB, the students have been fortunate to work with a team of academics who care about their individual and collective development. The form and quality of the projects on display is also a credit to all of the hard work of the academic community in the department”.

Felim O’Donnell Director, Liberty IT explained that “having established a base in Blanchardstown just four years ago, it was important for Liberty IT to build a strong relationship with our local Higher Education Institute. Addressing the final year students, he went on to say “I would encourage all of you, no matter what road you end up travelling- whether you work for yourself, for a small company or even for a multinational to always seek out opportunities to learn. Computing as a discipline will continue to evolve making it challenging and fun to keep up with the latest technological advances”.

Recursion is the brainchild of Stephen Sheridan, Course Coordinator for the final year of the BSc (Hons) in Computing at ITB.

According to Stephen, “the final year project is an integral part of ITB’s undergraduate computing programme and gives students the opportunity to demonstrate all of the computing knowledge and skills they have acquired in their four years of study at ITB. In particular, the project gives students the chance to work on a long-term project from its initial conception right through to a final demonstration of a working system. Having the experience of a full software development life cycle is a critical skill for our computing graduates and our collaboration with Liberty IT gives students the chance to get valuable feedback and insight from industry professionals as well as experiencing a real-world software development working environment. It is always a pleasure to coordinate and supervise year four projects and the year four supervision team and myself would like to wish all our computing graduates the best of luck in their future careers and as it states in the 2018 Project Brochure “Keep in touch!”

ITB hosts ‘Kaleidoscope’ – Creative Digital Media End of year Showcase 2018

‘Kaleidoscope’, the annual showcase for ITB Creative Digital Media students took place on Thursday 17th and Friday 18th May 2018. The exhibition gave visitors the opportunity to witness the very best in emerging digital talent and showcased a diverse range of creatively crafted interactive design and motion projects.

A number of awards celebrating student achievement were presented on the night:

  • Stephen Kennedy of Year 4 won Best Project for his film Dublin “In Focus“.
  • Student Of The Year was awarded to Emmet McDonnell and Ashling Smith was the recipient of the inaugural Draiocht Creative Digital Media Graduate Award.
  • For Year 3, Conor Diggin was commended for his documentary film “Six Portraits” about the Daughters Of Charity Programme.
  • Eric Harford, Shane Egan and Daniel Sharkey of Year 2 won Best Group Project for their excellent work “The Stranger Dance“.
  • In Year 1 a team of students (Siobhan Lee, Ellen Clarke, James Reynolds; Krzysztof Lancucki, Stephanie Sercken, Darragh Cummins and Christopher Carney) were commended for their involvement in the Ahead Debate, hosted by Dell in their maker space, which was a collaborative activity involving all of the CDM Year 1 students.

Course Coordinator, Hugh McCabe, said “The Kaleidoscope show is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the wonderful work of our students on the Creative Digital Media programme. On show will be a range of projects in areas such as Interactive Storytelling, Short Film, Visual Effects, Digital Design, Installation and Gaming. It’s a great chance for potential employers to meet with the best of emerging digital talent and also a great chance for the general public to enjoy the creativity and innovation of a new generation of digital natives”.

Further details on the projects can be found in the slides below and at http://www.creativedigitalmedia.ie/

Adam Kelly wins SciFest@ITB 2018

Adam Kelly SciFest@2018 Winner

13 Post-primary school students from schools all over Dublin, Meath and Kildare took science to the next level with over 80 projects at SciFest@ITB 2018

Of the over 80 projects exhibited at SciFest@ITB (Institute of Technology Blanchardstown) 2018, the top prize on the day went to Adam Kelly from Skerries Community College for his project, An Open Source Solution to GPU Accelarated Quantum Computer Simulation.

As one of the 16 regional venues hosting a SciFest STEM fair, SciFest@ITB saw more than 180 students from schools all over the region exhibit almost 80 projects at the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown and put their knowledge of science to the test.

SciFest@ITB co-ordinator Aideen Hodgins said: “We are delighted to host SciFest for our 10th Year. It is a fantastic annual event and a wonderful opportunity for students and encourages them to develop an interest in STEM. The joy of seeing students showcasing their work and communicating their ideas to others is immensely encouraging and motivational for everyone involved.”

SciFest is an all-inclusive, all-island science initiative which fosters active, collaborative and inquiry-based learning among second-level students. SciFest is funded primarily by Science Foundation Ireland, Intel and Boston Scientific.

Commenting on the SciFest@ITB 2018 regional STEM fair Sheila Porter, SciFest CEO said: “2017 was the tenth anniversary for SciFest and a hugely successful year with another big increase in the number of students taking part. In total 10,000 students exhibited their projects in local and regional STEM fairs across the country. We are sure that 2018 will be another successful year. SciFest gives students an excellent opportunity to develop their interest in STEM and inquiry-based approaches to learning, while developing their creative and problem-solving skills and learning to work in a team.”

SciFest 2018 will be the fourth year of the prestigious Boston Scientific Medical Devices Award, which is presented at each of the 16 regional science fairs; the overall winner of this award will go on to compete for the Boston Scientific Medical Devices Grand Award  at the national final in November.