Photo: Gerard McCarthy Photography
This UCC launched an ambitious and transformational academic strategy that will transform the UCC learning experience and landscape for the future. The UCC Academic Strategy outlines a new and holistic approach to education that champions the capacity for independent thinking and enquiry, equipping students with the skills required for our rapidly evolving labour market, society and environment.
Speaking at the launch of the Academic Strategy, UCC’s Deputy President and Registrar Professor John O’Halloran said: “Sixty percent of the jobs that our young people will have don’t even exist yet, according to the World Economic Forum, so our graduates need to be flexible, as well as hard-working and skilled. With an eye on supporting the future needs of industry and preparing our graduates to be work-ready and world-ready, we have introduced the Connected Curriculum, which links teaching and research to a core set of values – global citizenship; sustainability; research-based curriculum; creative knowledge and social responsibility – underpinned by the UN sustainability goals. With education and talent comes responsibility, so people must be able to change and create a different world. The connected curriculum puts vital skills and values at the heart of our students’ learning experience to equip them to do just that.”
One of Ireland’s first academic strategies to be published, the new strategy builds on UCC’s strong foundation for delivery and success. Set against the backdrop of a doubling in student numbers over the last decade to over 21,000, a 93% student retention rate, and being ranked in Europe’s top 50 universities for learning and teaching, the strategy outlines a number of priorities and initiatives to ensure UCC remains at the cutting edge and a top ranked global university.
Prof John O’Halloran added: “The strategy outlines our vision for a connected university with a renewed academic mission that will connect our research excellence to our curriculum, and connect our university, staff and students to a dynamic workplace and skill sets required for the future.”
The new UCC Academic Strategy recognises the innovation in course development at UCC and maintains a strong focus on employability; current employment rates of UCC graduates are 94%. Sustainability, inter and transdisciplinarity, as well as civic and community engagement are core to the Connected Curriculum. Reforming academic governance and ensuring effective assessment have been identified as key policy areas in the Academic Strategy.
Lifelong and lifewide learning is at the heart of the Connected Curriculum, to support students to achieve their potential academically, personally and professionally. Curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular experiences will be intentionally connected to equip them with a set of distinctive skills and aptitudes that contribute to a better society, economy and environment.
UCC President Patrick O’Shea has welcomed the Academic Strategy 2018 – 2022, stating: “We want to challenge students to be the best that they can be as scholars, entrepreneurs, citizens and people. Our Connected University will positively impact society locally, nationally and internationally. Through innovation, dedication and our tradition of independent thinking, we believe this Academic Strategy will successfully lead UCC into the future of education.”