Public Affairs Ireland | Training and Development | Conferences

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, and the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn TD, have announced the details of the 3U partnership – a major collaboration between three of Dublin’s third level institutions, NUI Maynooth, Dublin City University (DCU) and the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI).

While all three institutions have had various links over the past number of years, this new initiative makes their relationship a formal one and will see the three institutions creating a unique identity collaborating expertise, academic staff and research, while still retaining their own ethos.

 The agreement between the institutions, signed by Brian MacCraith, president of DCU, Philip Nolan, president of Maynooth, and Cathal Kelly, chief executive for the RCSI, is expected to result in significant developments in terms of academic programmes, research, education and internationalisation.

The initiative has already announced their decision to establish 3U Biomedical Research, a research co-operative to co-ordinate the work of a combined 750 researchers. Experts in fields of Alzheimer’s, muscle wasting diseases, lung and breast cancers and medical imaging, these researchers will then work with industry in order to bring research solutions for human disease to the market more efficiently.

In a comment on this Professor Brian MacCraith, President of DCU, noted that: “This partnership is a positive development on so many fronts … it will enhance our ability to solve some of the major research problems facing today’s society. For example, our combined expertise and critical mass in biomedical research is certain to lead to major developments in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of major diseases.”

Another key goal of the partnership is to provide international students with the best possible experience when studying in Ireland: according to CEO of the RCSI, Professor Cathal Kelly, “international students are demanding to come here”. In light of this, the 3U Partnership have begun plans to develop a joint International Foundation and Induction Programme, thereby enhancing the academic, cultural and social experience of international students. “This pays off economically, but just as importantly it pays off academically, giving our own students great experience and bringing new intellectual approaches to the mix”, stated Professor Kelly.

The partnership will also focus on creating new national and international study programmes, especially at postgraduate level where new programmes are set to be developed in healthcare technology, humanitarian logistics and emergency management and global health. These programmes will see students moving between campuses over the course of their work in order to benefit from the strengths of each institute.

Other new degree programmes are also being developed. As Professor Nolan stated at the launch, “this is just the beginning; there is an impressive pipeline of planned activities which will see the 3U partnership become a national and international model for co-operation in higher education”.

At the launch, Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD praised the partnership and highlighted the importance of the development stating: “This is a very significant collaboration between three of our finest institutions with very complementary and distinct fields of expertise…will lead to increased competitiveness for major research awards, innovation at the intersection of disciplines, and also the intellectual, cultural and financial benefits of a greater internationalisation of our student base in Ireland.”

To read Sarah Kilduff’s recent interview with Professor Philip Nolan in which he discusses his new role as president of NUI Maynooth as well as some of the issues mentioned above, click here.