The UCD Strategic Plan 2015-2020 was launched last week by UCD President, Professor Andrew Deeks. The strategy sets out ten key objectives which are believed will help the university to achieve its vision of an academic institution that supports and develops its “world-leading disciplinary and interdisciplinary research”. It is believed this will help “tackle significant global issues and challenges” as well as improving the university’s ability to turn out graduates who are “equipped with the knowledge, skills, experience and attitudes they need to flourish in present and future Irish and global societies”.

At the announcement, Deeks was joined by the Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan, who praised the plan for its ability to offer students the chance to gain “valuable international cultural and educational opportunities.”

The strategy sets a clear goal to place the university within the world’s top 100 universities by 2020. It is hoped that as well as a dedicated investment in UCD infrastructure and services, that a review of the university’s curriculum will help achieve this goal. Commenting on this measure, Deeks said “We will identify our core disciplines through internal discussion and external comparison in order to consolidate and strengthen them.”

Within plans for the improvement of UCD’s infrastructure, in which ‘a lack of uniformity’ was noted, plans are clearly set out to increase student accommodation on campus from its current level of 2,300, up to a population of 5,000. A move which is hoped to offset the current student housing crisis felt in Dublin. To meet this goal, a large-scale fundraising initiative will be announced early next year.

The plan has been widely accepted by most, in the university with UCD Students’ Union (UCDSU) President Feargal Hynes saying that the UCDSU “welcome the overall strategy.” Hynes points to significant input to the strategy by UCDSU, with all four sabbatical officers sitting on the Governing Authority and feeding in changes based around student needs during the drafting process.