Polytechnic Summit 2021

01 Jun, 2021 - 04 Jun, 2021 2 - 6pm
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The 2021 Polytechnic Summit will take place as a Virtual-First event from Tuesday 1st June to Friday 4th June 2021 hosted by Technological University Dublin. Participation is assumed at this stage to be virtual-only.

To facilitate participation from the broadest range of locations, sessions will run each day from 14:00 to 18:00 local time (13:00 UTC to 17:00 UTC).

TU Dublin is the first of many previous firsts – beginning as Ireland’s first technical school in the 1870s, to becoming Ireland’s first College of Technology in the early part of the twentieth century, to Ireland’s first Institute of Technology in 1978, and in 2019, Ireland’s first Technological University.

PS2021 offers local and virtual participants the unique opportunity to network, to collaborate, to inform, and to learn from the development of TU Dublin, and from developments at other practice-based higher education institutions. PS2021 will be hosted from the East Quad building at TU Dublin’s brand new City Centre campus, which is among the largest modern educational construction projects in Europe. Participants will get to explore and present topics that are core to polytechnic education.


Call for Abstracts

Each year the Polytechnic Summit assembles leaders, influencers and contributors who shape the future of polytechnic education. The Polytechnic Summit provides a forum to enable opportunities for collaboration and partnerships and for participants to focus on innovation in curriculum and pedagogy, to share best practices in active and applied learning, and discuss practice-based research to enhance student learning.

The Summit will also provide an opportunity to examine the challenges and opportunities presented by COVID-19 and will offer us all an opportunity to explore the ways in which we can collaborate more effectively using our new-found virtual engagement skills.


PS2021 Themes

  • Design (Programmes, Curriculum, Organisation):
    Under this theme, PS2021 will explore the concept of design – looking at how the university itself can be designed, how the curriculum can be designed, and the programmes within that curriculum. Speakers will address the challenges of creating a new university in different parts of the world. They will also explore the no-less-challenging aspect of developing or innovating a connected curriculum that contains core elements that define the identity of the university, and which are distilled through every programme.
    For example, the CoCREATE project at TU Dublin has developed a bespoke curriculum framework for students, staff and stakeholders that informs the design of teaching and learning activities within the University. The IMPACT project is developing strategically aligned sustainable processes and infrastructure that will maximise the impact of TU Dublin’s teaching and learning practices on the student and staff experience.
  • Practice-Based Learning:
    Together with Pedagogy and Learning Spaces, this theme of PS2021 will explore the environment in which students learn, in terms of both the physical environment, the virtual environment, and also how the learner best engages with their learning and their teachers. We will seek to explore how the defining philosophy and approaches of polytechnic education are implemented in today’s polytechnics.
  • Employability and Graduate Skills:
    A defining feature of the modern polytechnic is that it seeks to cultivate learners with career-ready professional competences, while at the same time not losing sight of the intrinsic value of education. While the contexts of many of the PS2021 faculty participants may vary, they all share a common challenge of nurturing employability and graduate skills within students. This theme touches on what those skills should be, and how acquiring them can be built into the curriculum. There is also the natural tension between the needs of employers, and the needs of the individual with regards to these skills. This theme will be explored with input from industry and university leaders from different countries.
  • Internationalisation, Global Teaching & Collaboration:
    The modern university is an international oasis, in which learners from many different countries and regions converge in-person and virtually to acquire and share knowledge and skills. The act of being immersed within an international learning environment itself can be an enriching experience, and universities actively seek to broaden their student base and that of their faculty. This theme will be explored from the perspective of the benefits of internationalising the university and the curriculum, but also from the perspective of the inherent advantages and challenges in doing this.
  • Sustainability Theme:
    TU Dublin has set as one of its ambitions to drive societal changes, to be a voice for sustainability, and a way of living and working in a new, more balanced way, a way that protects our planet for future generations. This PS2021 theme seeks submissions from across the globe on how others are championing sustainability and incorporating it into strategic goals, curricula and programmes. This theme includes more than environmental sustainability, but also equity, social justice and economic development.

PS2021 Keywords

Submissions on these broad themes can be refined and focused through the inclusion of keywords that describe your submission and allow us to organise our tracks to make them more inter-related, connected and interesting.

When you submit your abstract, you will be asked to indicate the area(s) of your abstract by selecting five (or more) topic areas. Keywords to consider include the following:

21st Century Student, Applied Research, Apprenticeships, Arts in Polytechnic Education, Assessment Modes, Collaboration, Communication Skills, Creativity, Curriculum Design, Design, Diversity, Earn-and-Learn, Engineering and Technology, Environmental Sustainability, Equality, Experiential Learning, Employability, Entrepreneurship, Gender, Global Pandemic & Response, Global Teaching, Graduate Skills, Inclusion, Innovation, Instructional Design, Intercultural Competence, International Experince, Leadership, Learning Spaces, Organisational Design, Participation, Pedagogy, Polytechnic Experience, Programme Design, Practice-Based Learning, Research / Teaching Nexus, Student-Centred, Sustainability, Teamwork


Panel Sessions

PS2021 Organisers are interested in receiving proposals for Panel Sessions. These would likely take place within the time slots for Thematic Tracks, and are presentations and discussions around a specific topic. Proposals must highlight how the subject is enhanced through the form of a panel rather than as separate presentations. Panel proposals should include a title, a 250-500 word abstract, three keywords, and for each panelist a title and a short (max 300 words) abstract.

If a panel is not accepted, there will be a chance for the panel members to present their work as a regular paper presentation if approved by the scientific committee. The scientific committee will evaluate the panel as a whole. Panel organizers are in charge of the selection of their panelists and the evaluation of the abstracts.  If you are submitting an abstract for a Panel, please enter in the subject line “Panel-Title.” For example, if you are submitting an abstract for a panel on “Embedding Design in a Technology Curriculum” you would write: “Panel- Embedding Design in a Technology Curriculum”.


Abstract Submission Process & Dates

Abstract submission deadline extended to Friday 26th March 2021.

  • Abstract may be up to 300 words in length
  • Abstracts may be submitted individually or as part of a grouped thematic submission
  • Abstracts may be solo or may be multi-author efforts
  • Abstract may be in any format you wish
  • Abstract may include suggestions on how you would like to present your work

This may be as:

  • a formal paper with supporting slide presentation
  • a slide presentation only
  • a poster for electronic dissemination to delegates
  • a topic for a round-table or other less formal discussion
  • a pre-recorded video featuring media segments
  • other mode of your choosing

Feedback and Decisions will be notified by Monday 12th April 2021.

Final Submissions to be returned on or before Friday 23rd April 2021.

A selection of papers will be forwarded to the Irish Journal of Academic Practice (IJAP) for Publication in a special issue in Q4 2021. IJAP is a peer-reviewed journal that welcomes articles, case studies, opinion pieces, reflective pieces and reviews relating to learning, teaching and assessment within higher education. It is the aim of IJAP to inspire, educate, stimulate, and generally engage its readership. View further information on IJAP.

Abstracts can be submitted via the Abstract Submission Portal.

Further information is available by emailing polytech.summit2021@tudublin.ie