Dedicated unit will serve as an incubator for the co-development of skills and talent development innovations in partnership with enterprise
Today, Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) announced the launch of the Enterprise Academy, a new business unit to support Irish-based enterprise in their talent development efforts and long-term skills strategy. The Enterprise Academy team, an accomplished group of sector-facing business professionals, academics and domain experts, will offer consulting and partnership resources for enterprise and facilitate the co-development of flexible, accredited talent development solutions across TU Dublin’s five faculties: Computing, Digital & Data; Engineering & the Built Environment; Sciences and Health; Business; and Arts & Humanities.
As Ireland’s largest Technological University, TU Dublin is forging a new path in Irish higher education. Underpinned by the University’s strategic pillars of People, Planet and Partnership, enterprise engagement is embedded in the University’s culture. The Enterprise Academy is the product of two years of piloting and scaling collaboration models as part of Convene, a Human Capital Initiative project designed to transform university-enterprise engagement led by TU Dublin in partnership with UCD. Through Convene, TU Dublin’s Enterprise Academy and UCD’s Innovation Academy will continue to collaborate in a shared commitment to improving higher education for all.
“The Enterprise Academy builds on our deep history of enterprise engagement and research-informed, practice-based learning and reinforces our commitment to being one of the most flexible universities in meeting the needs of our stakeholders,” said Professor David FitzPatrick, President of TU Dublin. “The Enterprise Academy will develop and enhance how TU Dublin and its enterprise partners work together – streamlining collaboration between enterprise, faculty, professional services, research and innovation, as well as policymakers and the broader academic community, to create a new co-learning system for talent development.”
The Enterprise Academy responds to a series of a national calls including the National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030 and Ireland’s National Skills Strategy 2025 for a single-entry point for enterprise to access the skills ecosystem within higher education, a response to growth in the need for lifelong learning and mechanisms to ensure a two-way exchange of knowledge between academia and enterprise. Through Convene, initiatives to establish flexible, scalable solutions to key areas including transversal skills, digital transformation and sustainability are already underway.
“Convene was awarded funding under the Human Capital Initiative’s Pillar III – Innovation and Agility – and it is fantastic to see TU Dublin supporting the project by creating a long-term structure to transform their engagement with enterprise,” said Vivienne Patterson, Head of Skills and Engagement at the Higher Education Authority. “It’s essential to the future of universities that they not just collaborate with industry, but that enterprise partnerships are strong, inclusive and enduring and inform a culture of lifelong learning for our society,” she added.
The Enterprise Academy’s accredited talent development partnership model includes a wide mix of flexible delivery mechanisms – from Level 6 to Level 10 of the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ), including micro-credentials that can be stacked as pathways to larger awards. Enterprise can also take advantage of TU Dublin’s Linked and Collaborative Provider models, which support enterprises to design, accredit and run their own courses within a supportive, research-informed and quality-assured environment.
“The Enterprise Academy weaves together enterprise, academia, innovation, and research to deliver unique educational models,” said Dr Claire Mc Bride, Convene Project Lead. “Through Convene, we have developed flexible models that can be applied and scaled to target sectors and business types, as well as developing next-practice frameworks for mentoring, transversal skills, work-based learning and micro-credentials. The Enterprise Academy is ‘open for business’ and we look forward to supporting enterprise, our academic community and our students in a spirit of openness and collaboration,” she added.
The Enterprise Academy aims to bring enterprise closer to TU Dublin and will promote engagement between ‘talent developers’ in enterprise and academia and with TU Dublin’s existing community of more than 30,000 students. Ongoing collaborations will serve as a feedback loop to refine and accelerate engagement processes, inform programme development, pioneer new learning technologies and tackle barriers to collaboration.
“For enterprise, universities can be an untapped resource as it can be hard to navigate the complex structures and processes,” said Simon McKeever, Chief Executive of the Irish Exporter’s Association. “Enterprises know that to thrive in a world facing climate change, supply chain disruption and other crises, they need to be active participants in the talent development pipeline and learning ecosystem. The Enterprise Academy will make that process easier and more productive, and we are excited to partner with TU Dublin on this initiative.”