gradireland Higher Education Awards & Symposium

On Friday 23 November 2018, gradireland hosted our annual Higher Education Symposium & Awards at the Crowne Plaza Northwood Hotel in Santry, Dublin. This event, sponsored by the Higher Education Authority, AbbVie and PwC, was attended by over 200 higher education professionals and stakeholders, making it our biggest Symposium to-date. The Symposium was focused on discussing the future of Higher Education in Ireland, exploring current international best practice, Irish and international research findings and expert discussions. Following the Symposium, the winners of the Higher Education Awards were revealed at a gala ceremony.


The Symposium

The symposium commenced shortly after 10am with a keynote speech by Dr Kara McGann of IBEC and was followed by a briefing on student experience and trends by gradireland Director Mark Mitchell. Dr Arlene Egan of the Irish Management Institute presented on the skills of peer assessment and feedback and this was followed by a  session from Dr Anna Logan of Dublin City University on the concept of Co-teaching; supporting participation, engagement and learning in a large university class.

The early afternoon sessions focused on the very current topic of automation, and the rise of automation robots and what it means for professionals in this sector, and indeed any sector. The final segment of the symposium was a panel discussion on the role of educators, careers advisors and employers in supporting the students’ ability to acquire, understand and use the employability skills they will need for the changing workplace. Taking part in the engaging and very well-received panel discussion, chaired by Dr Kara McGann, were Sinead D’Arcy of Jameson, Jackie O’Dowd of Smart Futures, Professor Irene Sheridan from CIT and Brendan Baker from Maynooth University.


The consensus from delegates and speakers was that this was the most content rich and engaging symposium yet on the subject of higher education and issues relating to it. We would like to thank all those who took part and brief biographies of the speakers at the symposium are available here.


The Awards

The afternoon saw the hosting of the gradireland Higher Education Awards, with awards across eight categories, the full shortlist is available here.

And the winners are….

Computer Science & Technology – University College Cork, MSc in Information Systems for Business Performance


Health Sciences – Trinity College Dublin, M.Sc. in Hospital Pharmacy


Law – Law Society of Ireland, Diploma in Aviation Leasing and Finance Law


Science – Dublin City University, MSc in Bioprocess Engineering


Business, Finance & Management – NUI Galway, MSc in International Management


Arts & Humanities – University of Limerick, MA in Technical Communication and



Best Postgraduate Prospectus – University College Dublin, Graduate Prospectus 2019 Entry


Best New Course – Maynooth University, MSc Design Innovation (Food)


Congratulations to all winners and thanks to all who submitted entries and helped make the gradireland Higher Education Awards & Symposium such a success. Find out more about the awards, shortlists and submissions here. For a selection of images from the day, visit our gallery.

Stay tuned to gradireland for more on all aspects of Higher Education and you can read our article on ‘what makes a great course’ here.

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