IMPACT’s IoT branch symposium on mergers in higher education

Photo: REG GORDON
Photo: REG GORDON

IMPACT’s Institute of Technology branch are holding a symposium on mergers in higher education on Friday 12th February, at the DIT Grangegorman Campus in Dublin.

The purpose of this symposium is to have informed and open discussions about the challenges ahead, as many of Ireland’s Institute of Technologies prepare for mergers. Participants will learn from the experiences of other European higher education settings that have gone through similar processes.

Key speakers at the event include IMPACT’s deputy general secretary Kevin Callinan. “The future of higher education is a big issue. Once the report of the expert group is published, there will be really important decisions to be made, not just about education as it effects students but how this will affect the country as a whole,” said Mr Callinan.

Other speakers include Professor Brian Norton, President of DIT; Kevin Donoghue, president of the Union of Students in Ireland, and Tom Boland, head of the Higher Education Authority in Ireland who will talk about mergers, objectives and progress to date. Maggie Ryan, Gina O’Brien and Stella Griffin from IMPACT will all address the symposium.

The symposium will include two panel discussions. The first panel will discuss ‘creating the future together’ and the second panel, during the afternoon session, is themed ‘learning from experiences’. Both these panels will have speakers from Danish universities, plus speakers from technological universities.

Guests from the University College of Northern Denmark (UCN) and Aarhus University will also address the symposium. Both third level settings went through their own processes of mergers. In moving through Ireland’s period of mergers for the Institutes of Technology the symposium will look at the success factors through the Danish experience, while also making an in-depth examination of what worked, what didn’t work and what factors inhibited success.

“There is an enormous amount of change involved for staff within any merger. This event will be looking at the issues around mergers from the point of view of administrative staff working in the various Institutes of Technology,” said Gina O’Brian, chairperson of IMPACT’s education division.

The symposium is targeted at anyone involved in the mergers in higher education, not just IMPACT members and staff involved, but those involved and working within the mergers structure, such as the presidents of each of the Institutes of Technology, those working in human resources, and other trade unions involved in the merger process. Invitations are being issued this week.

The Symposium takes place on Friday 12th of February in the St Laurence’s building on the DIT Grangegorman Campus, Dublin 7 from 10am – 3.30pm.