QQI CINNTE Quality Review 2021

TU Dublin’s Review Report Published

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All Irish higher education institutions are periodically reviewed by Quality and Qualifications, Ireland (QQI) from a quality assurance and enhancement perspective. This review takes place through a cyclical process known as Cinnte, the Irish word for Certain. Technological University Dublin undertook a Cinnte review, which was completed in October 2021. The review aimed to establish the effectiveness of our approach to quality, and its impact on; the student experience at TU Dublin; on our mission, strategy and governance; and in public confidence in our university.

QQI recognised that TU Dublin, as Ireland’s first technological university, is a new organisation, and that our strategy, organisation, and processes are in a state of on-going development. Furthermore, they acknowledged that it will take time to mainstream an institution-wide quality assurance system, and to implement institution-wide procedural change. However, enhancing academic quality and excellence is a key goal for each newly formed technological university, and the Cinnte review was timely in allowing us to reflect on our progress in, and processes towards, achieving this.

QQI published TU Dublin’s Review Report in May 2022. It, along with a summary “Review Profile” sheet can be accessed below:

QQI’s press release on 4th May 2022:

TU Dublin receives quality stamp of approval

04–05–2022

TU Dublin is the first technological university to successfully complete a review as part of quality checks conducted by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), the state agency responsible for the external quality assurance of further and higher education and training in Ireland.

Through its CINNTE cycle of reviews, QQI assesses and reports on how effectively all publicly regulated higher education institutions (HEIs) are maintaining and enhancing quality in education. The reviews explore how institutions have improved their teaching, learning and research systems, and how well institutions have aligned with their own mission, quality indicators and benchmarks.

A panel of national and international experts conducted a comprehensive review of the effectiveness of TU Dublin’s recently established quality assurance systems. While the review team acknowledged that the university is at a very early stage of its existence and still in the process of embedding many of its governance and academic structures, examples of good practice demonstrated positive benefits for students, staff and the wider stakeholder community.

TU Dublin was praised for:

  • the comprehensive process it has undertaken towards developing its strategy
  • its institutional self-evaluation report (ISER), which is a coherent and self-evaluative portrayal of the university’s progress towards achieving a unified quality assurance and enhancement framework
  • the process by which its Academic Quality Framework (AQF) is being developed
  • the use of communities of practice for the sharing of pedagogic expertise and development of institutional learning
  • aligning the university’s quality review processes with its equality, diversity and inclusion strategies.

The expert panel has recommended that TU Dublin should:

  • identify ‘quick wins’ and moves quickly towards establishing a ‘one university’ structure; consolidate governance and academic structures; eliminate duplication of functions across campuses and maintain focus on the simplification of structures and processes
  • undertake a holistic and objective assessment of the programme portfolio in light of the anticipated competence and skills needs of wider society and the profile that it wishes to achieve
  • expedite the initiatives aimed at achieving equity and consistency of student experience
  • move swiftly to identify areas of research strength as a priority to bolster the strategic importance of the university
  • prioritise the findings arising from the self-evaluation process and allocate appropriate resources to ensure the recommendations can be progressed quickly and the momentum of the process can be maintained.

Professor Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen, former Vice-Chancellor, Aarhus University, chaired the TU Dublin review team:

“It was a real pleasure for me to chair the international review team for the recent QQI review of the newly established TU Dublin. It is no small order to undergo a cyclic quality review while in the midst of a merger process of three formerly well established and independent institutions. The team was impressed by the quality of the institutional self-assessment including inclusiveness in the process and comprehensiveness of the report. Dublin is doing a great job, and we hope our report will be helpful for the further development of a great technical university for Ireland.”

Professor David FitzPatrick, President of TU Dublin welcomed the publication of the report:

“Technological University Dublin is delighted to receive the QQI CINNTE Review report. This process commenced within a year of the University's establishment, so much of the reflection that informed the report arose from our development. We welcomed the opportunity to have a panel of experts and peers appraise the steps we are taking to build our new University and evaluate the effectiveness of our approved and emerging approaches to quality assurance and enhancement.

The University values the panel's additional perspectives, experiences, and insights, and we welcome their acknowledgement of the "iterative and consultative approach" we have taken to develop our new University policies and procedures and their alignment with an ethos of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

We are ready to move forward with TU Dublin's Institutional Action Plan, capitalising on the QQI CINNTE recommendations to continue developing our university and achieving our strategic ambitions. I want to thank all members of the review panel for their positive engagement and all of the staff, students, and stakeholders who enthusiastically engaged in the review process. Finally, the University gratefully acknowledges the guidance and support of the Institutional Reviews Unit in QQI.”

Dr Padraig Walsh, QQI Chief Executive Officer noted:

“This review was conducted during a period of great transformation for Technological University Dublin, with its merger only recently completed and the university returning to on-campus activities following COVID lockdowns. It is a tribute to TU Dublin that they have hit the ground running with a cohesive and strategic approach to developing a high-quality teaching and learning environment.”

TU Dublin was established on 1 January 2019 as Ireland’s first technological university following a merger of three founding institutions - Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (ITB) and Institute of Technology Tallaght (ITT).

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