On Friday 22 November 2019, gradireland hosted the annual Higher Education Symposium & Awards at the Crowne Plaza Northwood Hotel in Santry, Dublin. This event, sponsored by MSD, Aldi, ESB, Jameson, Novartis, Musgrave and PwC, was attended by over 150 higher education professionals and stakeholders, making it one of our biggest Symposiums to-date. The event was focused on discussing the future of Higher Education in Ireland, exploring current international best practice and Irish and international research findings. Following the Symposium, the winners of the Higher Education Awards were revealed at a gala ceremony.
The symposium commenced shortly after 10am with a welcome from gradireland Director Gavan O’Brien. The first presentation of the day was from Dr Denise Frawley , Head of Performance Evaluation at the Higher Education Authority who presented on the findings of the most recent HEA Graduate Outcomes Survey (Class of 2017), which surveyed nearly 30,000 graduates to understand what their next step was post-graduation.
Next up was a moderated discussion with Ger Lardner, Career & Skills Consultant specialising in Doctoral Candidates in UCD and Dr Fiona Blighe, Scientific Programme Manager at Science Foundation Ireland, on PhD employability outcomes, new methods of developing PhD candidates and the introduction of Centres of Research Training.
Following a coffee break delegates saw a remote presentation from Amsterdam by Laura E. Rumbley, PhD (Associate Director, Knowledge Development & Research, European Association for International Education) on what does successful internationalisation look like in European higher education? The presentation covered what ways do financial considerations drive or hinder this process? In recent years, the need to answer these questions has become increasingly important.
This was followed by another moderated discussion on strategies towards equality, diversity and inclusion at universities. This started with a remote presentation from Dr Thomas Ekman Jørgensen, Senior Policy Coordinator at the European University Association (EUA). Lewis Purser, Director of Learning & Teaching and Academic Affairs, followed this up with a presentation and discussion on the Irish context of diversity and graduate outcomes.
The symposium concluded with a moderated discussion on Lifelong learning for lifelong employability with Róisín Donnelly, Head of learning development, College of Business, Technological University Dublin and Dr Maria Gallo, Director of the Centre for Lifelong at St. Angela’s College, Sligo, a College of the National University of Ireland, Galway.
We would like to thank all those who took part and brief biographies of the speakers at the symposium are available here.
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 were….
Postgraduate Course of the Year in Computer Science & IT, sponsored by ESB
Winner: University College Cork, MSc in Information Systems for Business Performance
Postgraduate Course of the Year in Health Sciences sponsored by MSD Ireland
Winner: University of Limerick, MSc Sports Performance
Postgraduate Course of the Year in Law sponsored by PwC
Winner: NUI Galway, MSc in International and Comparative Business Law
Postgraduate Course of the Year in Science, sponsored by Novartis
Winner: Maynooth University, MSc Climate Change
Postgraduate Course of the Year in Business, Finance & Management sponsored by Aldi
Winner: University of Limerick, MSc in Computational Finance
Postgraduate Course of the year in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences sponsored by Musgrave
Winner: Trinity College Dublin, MPhil in Literary Translation
Best New Course sponsored by Jameson International Graduate Programme
Winner: NUI Galway, MSc in Cellular Manufacturing and Therapy
For more on postgraduate study and to find a course that suits you, click here.