Letter to Alumni

President of UCD, Professor Andrew J Deeks, on the University’s five years of remarkable progress

IN NOVEMBER 2014,  in my first year as President of University College Dublin, I launched UCD’s Strategy 2015-2020 and outlined our core ambition to become “Ireland’s Global University”.

Key to our vision in this strategy is that our graduates will be imbued with the knowledge, skills, experience and attitudes they need to flourish in present and future Irish and global societies. And, over the past five years, we have undertaken an in-depth programme of curriculum reform, expansion of student services, research support and global engagement.

Behind the statistics, set out below, is a story of remarkable progress.

With 14 subject areas in the Top 100 and six in the Top 50 in the QS world university rankings, the reach and impact  of our faculty  is growing. Additionally, last year we had our most successful year ever, achieving €122m in externally funded research awards.

To improve our educational and student experience, we undertook a University-wide consultation, introduced multi-disciplinary “discovery” electives, reformed the traditional BA into a suite of Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences pathways and restructured and expanded supports in student advising, health and counselling services.

I have placed a specific emphasis on restoring an acceptable student faculty ratio and am committed to a ratio of 16:1.

I am hugely proud of the expansion in our engagement with you, our alumni. Between our alumni chapters, our reunions and events organised by our alumni relations team, there are now over 160 events annually  – up from circa 40 five years ago. The annual UCD Festival now attracts 20,000 visitors and is the highlight of the alumni calendar. The opening of the UCD University Club this summer gives you a comfortable place on campus to meet fellow graduates and to engage  with  faculty and staff who are always delighted to welcome alumni back to Belfield.

As we drive forward as Ireland’s Global University, we now have a global centre in New York, with further offices in Chicago and Los Angeles, in Beijing, New Delhi, Kuala Lumpur and  Dubai. We have developed relationships with prestige partner universities and work with government agencies, partners and alumni to deliver on our mission.

As we prepare our strategy for the coming five years I want to thank the UCD community for your support and look forward to sharing our journey with you.

Litir Chuig Alumni

Dearcadh Uachtarán UCD, An tOllamh Andrew J Deeks, faoin dul chun cinn iontach a rinne an Ollscoil le cúig bliana anuas

I SAMHAIN 2014, sa chéad bhliain agam mar Uachtarán ar an gColáiste  Ollscoile, Baile Átha Cliath, sheol mé Straitéis UCD 2015-2020 agus leag mé síos ár bpríomhsprioc: “Ollscoil Dhomhanda na hÉireann” a dhéanamh de UCD.

Is cuid fhíorthábhachtach dár bhfís sa straitéis seo go mbeidh an t-eolas, na scileanna, an taithí agus an meon ag ár gcéimithe chun go n-éireoidh leo sa lá   atá inniu ann agus amach anseo in Éirinn agus ar fud an domhain. Agus, le cúig  bliana  anuas, thugamar faoi chlár cuimsitheach chun an curaclam a leasú, seirbhísí mac léinn a leathnú, tacaíocht a thabhairt do thaighde agus rannpháirtíocht dhomhanda a chothú.

Taobh thiar de na staitisticí atá leagtha amach thíos, tá scéal ann faoin dul chun cinn suntasach atá déanta againn.

Tá 14 réimse ábhair againn sna 100 ábhar is fearr agus sé sna 50 ábhar is fearr sa rangú domhanda ollscoile QS, agus tá cumhacht agus tionchar ár bhfoireann teagaisc ag dul i méid. Anuas air sin, bhí an bhliain is rathúla againn riamh an bhliain seo caite, nuair a fuaireamar €122 milliún i ndeontais taighde arna maoiniú go seachtrach.

Chun feabhas a chur ar ár n-eispéireas  oideachais agus mac léinn, thugamar faoi phróiseas comhairliúchán ar fud na hOllscoile, thugamar cúrsaí roghnacha “fionnachtana” isteach, rinneamar leasú ar an BA traidisiúnta chun réimse níos leithne sna hEalaíona agus sna Daonnachtaí agus sna hEolaíochtaí Sóisialta a thabhairt isteach, agus leasaíomar agus leathnaíomar amach tacaíochtaí maidir le comhairle mac léinn, sláinte agus seirbhísí comhairleoireachta. Leag mé béim ar leith ar chóimheas inghlactha idir mic léinn agus an fhoireann teagaisc a bhaint amach arís, agus táim tiomanta don chóimheas 16:1.

Táim an-bhródúil as cur leis an rannpháirtíocht atá eadrainn, a alumni. Bíonn níos mó ná 160 imeacht ar siúl gach bliain anois – méadú ó thart   ar 40 cúig bliana ó shin. Baineann na himeachtaí lenár gcraobhacha alumni, ár n-imeachtaí teacht  le chéile agus imeachtaí eile a eagraíonn ár bhfoireann caidreamh le céimithe. Meallann an fhéile bhliantúil Féile UCD 20,000 cuairteoir anois agus is í buaicphointe an fhéilire í ó thaobh imeachtaí alumni de. Le hoscailt Chlub Ollscoile UCD  an  samhradh seo, beidh áit chompordach agat ar an gcampas  anois chun bualadh le céimithe eile agus caidreamh  a chothú le foireann teagaisc agus baill foirne eile a mbíonn ríméad orthu i gcónaí fáilte a chur roimh alumni ar ais go Belfield.

Agus dul chun cinn á dhéanamh againn mar Ollscoil Dhomhanda na hÉireann, tá ionad domhanda againn anois i Nua-Eabhrac, agus tuilleadh oifigí i Chicago agus Los Angeles, Béising, Deilí Nua, Kuala Lumpur agus Dubai. D’fhorbraíomar caidreamh nua le hollscoileanna comhpháirtíochta ardghradaim agus táimid ag obair le gníomhaireachtaí rialtais, comhpháirtithe agus alumni lenár misean a chur i gcrích.

Agus ár straitéis don chéad chúig bliana eile á cur le chéile againn, ba mhaith liom buíochas a ghabháil le pobal UCD as an tacaíocht a thug tú dúinn agus táim ag tnúth lenár n-aistear a roinnt libh sa todhchaí.