Modern Ireland: Uni Spotlight
Dublin City University
With four major universities and approximately 120,000 students within the city limits, it’s not surprising that we’re turning the spotlight back to Dublin again. This time our focus is on Dublin City University (DCU,) one of Ireland’s youngest (but up and coming!) universities. Founded in 1975 as the National Institute of Higher Education, Dublin, the school first enrolled students in 1980 and was elevated to the university rank in 1989. These days, it’s a thriving 85-acre campus with over 17,000 students (one-fifth of them international) and a thoroughly modern approach to education that’s led to its inclusion on the Times Higher Education Young University rankings year after year.
DCU’s motto is “Ireland’s University of Enterprise” and its take on revamping the Irish higher education system is the perfect example of how it lives up to the name. Beyond holding its own as a research-driven institution that’s led to it becoming one of Ireland’s fastest growing universities, DCU takes an extra step in fostering entrepreneurship with its technologically advanced Innovation and Enterprise Center—“The Invent.” This center is “the university’s commercialization and technology transfer unit where we work with companies and organizations to bring university research to the marketplace.” DCU works with companies of all sizes, connecting them with talented researchers and supporting startups both financially and through access to top research. On the student side, that means research funding while your intellectual property rights are protected with built in networking to help get your ideas to the open market.
DCU’s main research focuses span subjects falling under the following areas: health technology for a healthy society, educational research and innovation, democratic and secure societies, information technology and digital society, sustainability in economics and societies, and advanced manufacturing and materials. There’s a strong focus on interdisciplinary research, as DCU recognizes that “the greatest impact is achieved from a critical mass of multidisciplinary researchers tackling major research challenges. Such is the nature and complexity of these challenges facing the world that international collaboration is essential to make significant and sustained advances.” DCU is a truly modern university that is looking outward, toward global rather than institutional advancement.
But DCU’s innovations don’t stop at science, technology, and business, but cover the arts and humanities, as well. The impressive John and Aileen O’Reilly Library boasts 400 workstations, 1,200 seats, and 18 group rooms and “bills itself as the first university library to put digital records on the same footing as books and journals, granting access to some 250,000 volumes, a number that is growing as technology improves.” This has been a huge boon during Covid, as it’s allowed the university to continue with its record of academic excellence, all while shifting learning methods.
Student life is just another part of the college experience that DCU excels at! The school had multiple campuses—all situated in Northern Dublin closely enough that students can walk or cycle between them—that marry the social life of campus societies, clubs (over 120 to choose from!), and events with city living. DCU is one of the few Irish universities that has guaranteed housing for first year students on campus (and a host of other accommodations, as well!) Many students still chose to live in the city, as Dublin is known for its bustling nightlife, amazing restaurants, historic curiosities, and extensive galleries and museums, to say nothing of the many concerts, festivals, and events the city hosts every year. DCU might not have a storied history like some other schools, but it definitely has a bright and vibrant future with all it has to offer!
But we’ve still got one more university in Dublin to cover! Join us next time where we’ll take a look at Technological University Dublin!
This post is part of a series. Read modern Ireland post, all about kid-friendly Irish films, here. Check out the blog every Monday and Thursday for more posts about Irish history, dance culture, community news, and spotlights on our dancers, staff, and families—among other fun projects! And don’t forget to dance along with us on both Facebook and Instagram.
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