President of Technological University of the Shannon (TUS ) Professor Vincent Cunnane has warned that if Ireland’s TU sector is to thrive, Government must have plans in place to support and ensure the success of the TU landscape into the future.
Professor Cunnane was speaking at the official launch of the inaugural TUS Strategic Plan 2023 – 2026 on Tuesday morning.
Informed by the views and involvement of students, staff, Governing Body members and other stakeholders, the TUS Strategic Plan sets out the strategic objectives and expected outcomes to 2026.
The University which was officially launched on October 1, 2021 comprises of six campuses, 15,000+ students and up to 2,000 staff members across the Midlands and Midwest. The four-year Strategic Plan sets out the university’s key strategic priorities which include education, research, people and organisation, as well as connecting communities.
Strategic enablers for the four-year plan will include Resources, Reflective Practice and Continuous Improvement, Governance and Policy Communication, Technology and Digitisation, Campus Development and Facilities and Sustainable Development.
“We are part of a new, transformative entity in education. But the powers to continue the transformation of this critical sector lies not solely in the hands of TUS or indeed the TUs themselves, but rather in the hands of Government and the wider civil service. Government must not only recognise the many significant changes that have taken place but also ensure that possibilities become probabilities and realities. I refer in particular to the need for a new academic contract based on the OECD report, the need for new organisational structures and the need for a borrowing capacity, which would allow us to build student accommodation. As I said this is a new entity. A new sector. A new beginning – it is TUS,” speaking at the event, Professor Vincent Cunnane, said.
Professor Cunnane also spoke about the importance of the university’s collaborative ethos.
“Our close connections with industry, business, culture and arts, communities, our regions, country and Europe through the RUN EU alliance, is the essence of our unique heritage and enables the creativity that guides our strategic direction whilst ensuring deepening connections between us all,” Professor Cunnane added.
Discussing the vision of the Strategic Plan, TUS Governing Body Chair Josephine Feehily, noted that the plan, at its heart, had a vision for an ambitious, networked, integrated Technological University that is built on its statutory mandate and rich history.
“A university which understands its environment, which is focused on optimising its own potential and which has the dexterity to respond to the needs of its stakeholders in ever-changing educational, economic and social landscapes.
“Reaching the milestones on this journey will require innovation, determination and a shaping of the organisation to match the strategy. Critical strategic decisions will have to be made and our resources will need to be oriented towards our key goals and performance indicators. I would like to commend the President and executive leaders of TUS for the level of ambition set out in this Strategic Plan,” Ms Feehily commented.
Speaking about the need for a strong and connected student union Niall Naughton, TUS Student Union President, stated that the strategic plan had clear synergies with the strategic plan for the student’s union.
“This interconnectedness complements our own vision set out in our constitution that each student at the university will have a positive and transformative experience, assisting students in reaching their full potential. The need for a strong and connected student union has never been greater and we are excited to support this plan and to ensure that we are always aiming to further develop the student experience,” Mr Naughton remarked.
For further information on the TUS Strategic Plan 2023 – 2026, visit www.tus.ie/strategicplan