Minister Harris Announces €3.96m For Climate Action Project Led by TU Dublin

Published: 28 Feb, 2022

On Wednesday, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, T.D. announced funding of €7.6 million for two projects under the Human Capital initiative (HCI), including Resilient Design Curriculum led by TU Dublin.

The HCI programme aims to develop innovative methods of teaching and delivery on enterprise-focused courses and, in particular, to provide lifelong learning and upskilling opportunities.

Resilient Design Curriculum, a project led by Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin), working in close collaboration with University College Dublin, Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), University of Limerick (UL), Munster Technological University (MTU), University College Cork (UCC) and Institute of Technology Sligo (IT Sligo), was awarded €3.96 million in funding over three years. 

Resilient Design Curriculum will radically revise architectural education to embed the principles of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The project, led by the TU Dublin School of Architecture in collaboration with all schools of architecture nationally, will adopt agile models of co-operation, collaboration, and co-learning, with the six higher education institutions working together and over 40 partners from industry to engender the knowledge and skills necessary for architects to respond to the twin challenges of the climate and housing crises while demonstrating the societal value of inclusive, safe, and resilient design.

Welcoming the announcement President of TU Dublin, Professor David FitzPatrick, said, “The Resilient Design Curricula project is closely aligned to TU Dublin’s strategic priorities of people, planet, and partnership, and we are leading the way in embedding sustainability into Irish Higher education through creative piloting as we develop our new University Education Model. In addition, working with our academic and enterprise partnerships, we will deliver a national step-change in architectural education to address the societal challenge of the housing crisis in Ireland and the global and existential threat of climate change.”

Vice President of Sustainability at TU Dublin, Ms Jennifer Boyer, who led the successful partnership bid, explains, ‘Global challenges require people to organise and behave differently so that we can respond quickly and positively to real-world challenges. Our collaboration, which uniquely includes all Architecture programmes nationally, convened around ensuring the relevance and responsibility of our profession to creatively respond to climate change. At its core, sustainability is about piloting and innovation. With the creation of new inclusive models for leading large-scale change comes infinite possible futures. In my new role as Vice President for Sustainability, this project provides a national example of how higher education can embed sustainability into learning outcomes and address the complexity of new knowledge, skills, and competencies to create resilient, responsible professionals.’

Continuing, Ms Boyer said, “Throughout the project proposal writing, our consortium of inter-institutional partners has benefitted from the increased levels of collaboration on shared priority activities promoted by this call. In addition, our supportive and shared approach to creating significant positive change to address key sustainability challenges in our industry through the built environment has been recognised by the professional body as our key industry partner.’

Speaking about the announcement, Minister Harris said, “We are living in rapidly changing times. The rate of technological advances, the impacts of climate change and global health issues are transforming how we live at an incessant rate. Our education system as the cradle of ideas and innovative thinking is well placed to develop graduates who can respond to this rapid rate of change and anticipate future challenges. It can equip future generations with the knowledge and skills to navigate the 21st century. Today’s announcement will allow institutions to respond to emerging skills needs and will act as catalysts for further innovation and models for replication across the higher education system.”

TU Dublin is delighted to be collaborating with partners across Ireland on RESILIENT DESIGN CURRICULUM, which adds to the TU Dublin HCI project portfolio following the launch of CONVENE and GROWTHhub in 2021.