Irene Sheridan - Higher Education Authority

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• What is meant by the term ‘engagement’?
• What does an engaged higher education institution
look like?...from the outside?
• Can we… should we… move engagement from the
periphery to the core?
• How can we structure our institutions… collect and use
business intelligence?
Regional Engagement and Knowledge Transfer

Universities as ‘engines of the knowledge economy’ (Vorley and Nelles
2008)

OECD ..’regional engagement …create the conditions in which
innovation thrives’

European Commission…







R&D collaboration and commercialisation
Mobility of academics and students
Curriculum development and delivery
Lifelong learning
Entrepreneurship
Governance
Knowledge transfer – exchange – co-creation

National
 Economic and social value – employment, skills needs, enterprise
development, cultural interactions

Institutional
 Academic – relevancy and currency of learning
 Knowledge creation and application
 Diversity of missions

National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030 calls for:
..higher education institutions to ‘engage with the communities they serve in a
more connected manner—identifying community, regional and enterprise needs
and proactively responding to them’
What does an engaged HEI look
Enhancement of
like? Guest
employability
skills
Career fairs
and company
visits
Course design and
delivery Professional
Bodies
External
examiners
Workplacement
Volunteering
Supporting
Entrepreneurship
lectureships
Spin-outs
and spin-ins
Customised
Learning
Innovation
Strategic
Partnerships
Partnerships
and Research
Solutions Patents and licences
CPD
Placement
and projects
Service Learning
RPL
Work-based
learning
Commercialisation
Applied research
Long-term relationship
planning
Alumni Relations


Education in Employment project – workplace as
a valuable learning location and the employer as
a partner
REAP – development of partnership continuum
and exploration of good practice models for
engagement interactions
Relationships, resources and realistic expectations
Engagement has to be an
institution wide commitment,
not confined to individual academics or projects.
It has to embrace teaching as well as research, students as well as
academics, and the full range of support services.
All universities need to develop strategies to guide their engagement
with wider society, to manage themselves accordingly and to work
with external partners to gauge their success.

Goddard, J. (2009) Reinventing the Civic University,
8

Key elements




Stimulus to generate the ‘pull’
Exemplars of activity
Point of contact
Informed view of capabilities, experience and
expertise
 Guidelines for good practice
 Professional approach to case management

Collate expertise and experience from our separate
(competing?) units

Develop an informed, strategic view of past, present and
future engagement interactions

Articulate clearly what makes engagement work (for both
partners)
▪
▪
▪
▪
▪
Structures
Expectations,
Timeframes
Cultures
Climate…
Quantify: Connections made – leads generated –
interactions progressed
 Strategy: location, sector, engagement type
 Process: timelines, workflows, critical gates
 Relationship mapping and progression:

Measurable
?
Work placement
Customised
learning
Social and economic value generation?
Research
Dr Irene Sheridan
www.reap.ie
www.cit.ie/extendedcampus
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