Mar 13 2009

TCD and UCD to Merge Research

Category: Fourth LevelTeknovis @ 8:08 pm

I read earlier in the week that TCD and UCD are going to merge their research capabilities. These are the two largest universities in Ireland. You can read more about this proposed merger in UCD, Trinity announce Innovation Academy and Universities hope merger will create 30,000 jobs.

I think that this is a great move, because the Irish Universities have seen each other as their main competition for too long. In a globalised economy, they need to work together to outperform other international universities. In other words, I think that there needs to be some rationalisation and concentration within the Irish fourth level education system. Ireland can either have several mediocre universities, or one or two world class universities.

However, I am slightly sceptical that significantly increasing the numbers of PhD students is going to be beneficial to the economy. Creating PhD students to improve some national statistic will not be of any benefit unless there is a real need and demand for people with PhDs.

Perhaps it would be equally beneficial, or even more beneficial, to focus on reducing the cost base in Ireland!

I also think that there will need to be some radical changes within the universities. For example, I think that the distinction between an academic career and an industry career needs to be removed. Perhaps it would be a good idea to stipulate that all new academic recruits must have several years of industrial experience. In reality, I do not think that this idea would be popular!

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