UL@50 STRATEGIC PLAN 2019 2024 - University of Limerick

UL@50 STRATEGIC PLAN 2019 2024 - University of Limerick
2019 ̶ 2024
UL@50 STRATEGIC PLAN 2019 2024 - University of Limerick
Living Bridge spanning River Shannon
University of Limerick
UL@50 STRATEGIC PLAN 2019 2024 - University of Limerick

           1 - 20                            21 - 40                     41 - 43
           Foreword 4                        Our Goals                   Implementing the Strategy 41
           President's Message 6                                         References 42
                                             Goal 1
           At a Glance 8                     Transforming Education 21
           Introduction 10
                                             Goal 2
           Context 14                        Research Excellence 25
           Higher Education Perspective 15
                                             Goal 3
           Vision, Mission, Values 16        Internationalisation 29
           Our Ambition 18
                                             Goal 4
                                             City and Region 33

                                             Goal 5
                                             Operating Model 37
UL@50 STRATEGIC PLAN 2019 2024 - University of Limerick
Irish World Academy

                                                                          of Music and Dance

Ms. Mary Harney

                  On behalf of the Governing
                  Authority, I am very pleased
                  to endorse this strategic
                                                                                                            “An international leader
                  plan, which sets out our
                                                                                                              in solving global
                  path for the next five years
                  of development at UL.

                      This plan has evolved from a multi-       innovation in fostering the potential       important part of that, our impact should
                      stakeholder engagement process across     of our students for their future through    go well beyond our bricks and mortar
                      the university. The plan belongs to all   excellence of teaching, learning and        physical presence. UL has always taken
                      of us – students, staff and Governing     research. We are now looking to that        actions to foster equality of opportunity.
                      Authority. We have all contributed to     culture to inform our uptake of new         Firm commitments are made to further
                      its genesis, and we are all responsible   educational technologies and new            enhance educational opportunities
                      for its implementation. Nearly 50 years   approaches in a student-centred             for disadvantaged communities in this
                      ago, a small institution was born with    environment. Our recently opened world-     strategic plan in recognition of UL’s
                      massive zeal and enthusiasm and with      class library is symbolic of the ambition   broader responsibility across
                      a boundless ambition to be successful.    we have for our students and graduates.     the Mid-West.
                      Innovation was at its heart, and the
                      fruits of that endeavour are clear to     Greater awareness of the university’s       Running through our vision is a
                      see all around our campus and in          responsibility to the city and its region   strong theme of raising UL’s reputation
                      the achievements of our alumni.           is an important part of our future          at national and international levels
                                                                direction. UL can never be seen as          through collaboration in research and
                      A reassertion of that ambition            an island of academia remote from           engagement with partners abroad.
                      is embedded in this strategic plan.       the society and community around it.        This is rightly seen as an important part
                      The challenges are great and there is     The university exists because of the        of securing our sustainability for the
                      intense competition for resources but,    passion and commitment of the people        future, improving our ranking among
                      unlike in 1972, we now have a hugely      of Limerick and the Mid-West region         world universities and making UL more
                      impressive foundation from which to       50 years ago, and we are determined         attractive for students and staff.
                      launch the next phase of development.     that it will deepen and widen its
                      UL has always had a reputation for        community engagement over the next          The University of Limerick looks forward
                                                                five years. While the development of        to fulfilling and exceeding the dreams
                                                                the UL Limerick City Campus will be an      of its founders.

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UL@50 STRATEGIC PLAN 2019 2024 - University of Limerick
President's Message
Dr. Des Fitzgerald

                     In a few short years,
                     our university will celebrate                                                                              Summer Graduation 2019

                     the 50th anniversary of the
                     establishment of its forerunner,
                     the National Institute for Higher                   Students and location are key to             UL’s location in the Mid-West of Ireland
                                                                         understanding UL. Our students are           is a key part of our DNA. UL was created
                     Education (NIHE), in 1972.                          at the heart of everything we do.            by the people of Limerick and has had a
                     Strategic plans plot a course                       We must ensure that they are given           huge impact in the region. Our ambition
                                                                         every opportunity to excel; to think         for the years to come goes further
                     for a five-year period. However,                    critically and solve problems; to innovate   – to become a leading national and
                     with the coming anniversary now                     and work; to experience a diverse and        international university here in Limerick.
                     so close, our sights are set not                    inclusive culture; to be leaders, artists,
                                                                         athletes and more; to lay the foundations
                                                                                                                      Only then will UL become the university
                                                                                                                      the people of the Mid-West set out
                     solely on the next five years but                   of a healthy life; and to look back when     to establish.
                     on the next five decades.                           they leave UL and feel real pride in
                                                                         their university.

                                                                         With the right support and backed
                                                                         by significant investment, this plan
                                                                                                                      "Embed entrepreneurship
                           Our predecessors created a university         – UL@50 – will deliver substantial             in everything we do”
                           where none existed before because             benefits to students, staff and the
                           they had vision, ambition and the             region and will lead to:
                           support of their community. UL today
                           has those same qualities and that same        › An additional 4,000 students during
                           commitment from the people of the Mid-          the life of this plan, rising in the
                           West region. We will use them over the          following years to 8,000, many of
                           coming years to create a world-class            whom will be based in the city centre
                           university fit for the 21st century.            in a significant landmark building, thus
                                                                           bringing an additional annual spend
                           To achieve this mission, UL will become         of circa €30m to the city and region,
                           a global leader in a continually evolving       and creating new opportunities for
                           and growing third-level sector. Our             civil and civic engagement; and
                           core objective is to build UL’s academic      › Over 300 additional staff, rising to
                           reputation by building a university that is     over 600 in due course, to deliver
                           led by research and focused on solving          progressive programmes of study
                           difficult challenges that have                  relevant to society and the economy
                           real-world impacts.                             of tomorrow.

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UL@50 STRATEGIC PLAN 2019 2024 - University of Limerick
At a
                           7                           80                            366                                           429                                    c16,000                       250,000m2                    354,100
                           Seven villages              Countries                     UL campus comprises                           UL has 429 laboratories                Registered students           Buildings                    Total print
                           providing                   represented in the            366 acres, including                          encompassing teaching,                                                                            books
                           accommodation               student body                  116 acres on the                              research, specialist and
                           for 2,700 students                                        County Clare side                             high-tech facilities
                           and staff

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Designated as a University
                                                                                                                                                             PMTC -                                     of Sanctuary (2017)
                                                                                                                                                             Pharmaceutical                             School of Law wins Law
                                                                                                                                                             Manufacturing                              School of the Year (2017)
                                                                                                                                                             Technology Centre
                                                                                                                                                             (EI/IDA Technology                         Ranked in the 101-150
                                                               2001-04                                                                                       Centre)                                    category in the QS

                                                                                                                                                             established (2013)                         Graduate Employability


                                UL Alumni                                                                                                                                                               Ranking (2017)
                                                                            Ireland’s first                                                                  NISE – National
                                established (1987)                          Olympic-size                                                                     Institute for                              CONFIRM Smart
                                University status                           swimming pool                                                                    Studies in                                 Manufacturing (SFI
                                granted (1989)                              opened in UL                                                                     Education                                  Research Centre)
                                                                            (2001)                                                                           established (2014)                         established (2018)
                                3,490 students (1989)
                                                                            Building                                                                         UL Health                                  6th in the world for
                                University of                               commences on                                                                     Research Institute                         suburban campus
                                Limerick Foundation                         County Clare side                                                                (HRI) established                          (UI Green Metric World
                                established (1989)                          of campus (2004)                                                                 (2014)                                     Ranking) (2018)

          National Institute                          University                                  Lero - The Irish Software             SSPC - Synthesis                          Sunday Times                            Attained expanded charter




          of Higher                                   Concert Hall                                Research Centre (SFI                  and Solid State                           University of the                       Bronze Athena SWAN
          Education                                   opened (1993)                               Research Centre)                      Pharmaceutical                            Year 2015                               award (2019)
          founded (1972)                                                                          established (2005)                    Centre (SFI
                                                      Glucksman                                                                         Research Centre)                          DPTC - Dairy                            Sunday Times University
          113 students (1972)                         Library opened                              MACSI - Mathematics                   established (2009)                        Processing                              of the Year 2019
                                                      (1997)                                      Applications Consortium                                                         Technology Centre
          1,545m2 campus                                                                          for Science and Industry              IComp - Irish                             (EI/IDA Technology                      Kemmy Business School
          buildings (1972)                                                                        established (2006)                    Composites                                Centre) established                     earns AACSB International
                                                                                                                                        Centre (EI/IDA                                                                    Accreditation (2019)
          Students Union                                                                          Living Bridge constructed
          established (1975)                                                                                                            Technology                                                                        Ranked world #2 for
                                                                                                                                        Centre)                                   Clinical Education
                                                                                                                                                                                  Research Centre                         international student
                                                                                                  Epi-Stem – National                   established (2010)                                                                happiness (2019)
                                                                                                                                                                                  (CERC) opened with
                                                                                                  Centre for STEM                                                                 University Hospital
                                                                                                  Education established                                                                                                   Ranked #35 in the Times
                                                                                                                                                                                  Limerick (2016)                         Higher Education (THE)
                                                                                                                                                                                  Munster Rugby                           University Impact
                                                                                                  Graduate Entry Medical                                                          moves to campus                         Rankings (2019)
                                                                                                  School established (2007)                                                       (2016)                                  UL ranked within top 75 in
                                                                                                                                                                                  UL Bernal Institute                     Europe for THE Excellence in
                                                                                                                                                                                  established (2016)                      Teaching and Learning (2019)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          SFI Centre for Research
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Training in Foundations of Data
 10                                                                                              UL@50                                          Strategic Plan 2019 ̶ 2024                                                Science established (2019)
UL@50 STRATEGIC PLAN 2019 2024 - University of Limerick

Our goal above all else is to build the                                                                                              Our student body of 113 in 1972 rose to
                                                                                                                                     circa 16,000 in 2019. The development
academic reputation of the university.                                                                                               of our student facilities has been
We can do that in many ways: through our                                                                                             extraordinary, and we now offer on-site
                                                                                                                                     accommodation to 20% of students.
commitment to research and educational
excellence, through our community of                                                                                                 With a pioneering emphasis on work
                                                                                                                                     experience through partnership with
students and staff, through our inclusivity                                                                                          enterprise, almost all of our students are
and diversity, through our contribution to                                                                                           employed within a year of graduating.
                                                                                                                                     While many stay in the region and have
civic society, and through our ambition                                                                                              helped build the economy of the Mid-
and scope for the 50 years to come.                                                                                                  West region, our alumni can be found in
                                                                                                                                     all walks of life and leadership positions
                                                                                                                                     throughout the world.
It is crucial that we get this right.       able to engage students and better at
As we developed this plan, we had           incorporating 21st-century technology
                                                                                                                                     Our city and region have always been
constructive engagements with a wide        platforms. We need to be more diverse
                                                                                                                                     closely knitted to everything we do in UL.
range of stakeholders, including our        and more inclusive, more international
                                                                                                                                     We have always promoted access in a
staff, students and alumni; our Governing   and more flexible.
                                                                                                                                     region that, traditionally, has had one of
Authority; our Foundation; and our wider
                                                                                                                                     the lowest rates of student progression
community. Each stakeholder played a        Thankfully, our plan has been developed
                                                                                                                                     to third level. We have an exceptional
crucial role in helping us to refine this   on the strongest of foundations. In our
                                                                                                                                     track record of engaging with enterprise
strategic plan, giving us the opportunity   short history, we have graduated more
                                                                                                                                     and public services, particularly in
to convey an institutional vision for the   than 100,000 students and, in 2019, we
                                                                                                                                     teaching and healthcare. However,
future that has the flexibility to meet     were ranked as University of the Year
                                                                                                                                     rejuvenating the city and region is an
the diverse and changing needs of           (Sunday Times) and Best Campus.
                                                                                                                                     ongoing process, and we intend
government, our industry partners and
                                                                                                                                     to do more.
the wider community, which we serve.        We have outstanding academic and
                                            professional staff who are committed
                                                                                                                                     Covering an area of 366 acres,
Over time, four key themes emerged          to attaining the highest standards of
                                                                                                                                     UL possesses one of the most
that inform the way we think about          education and to conducting world-class
                                                                                                                                     spectacular and environmentally
the university:                             research and who have shown great
                                                                                                                                     conscious third-level campuses in the
                                            loyalty to and affection for UL.
                                                                                                                                     world. Core to our ambition for the
›   Transforming learning                                                                                                            campus is the attainment of the highest
›   Digital transformation                  We can boast unrivalled sports and
                                                                                                                                     standards of sustainability and climate
›   City and culture                        cultural facilities, including the Irish
                                                                                                                                     protection while making it more liveable
›   Health and wellbeing                    World Academy of Music and Dance, the
                                                                                                                                     and integrated for students.
                                            Irish Chamber Orchestra, the UL Sport
These themes are key as we seek to          Arena, Ireland’s first 50-metre swimming
develop our educational programmes          pool, an international running track, the
and ways of teaching so that we are         National Self Portrait Collection of Ireland     Small Group Teaching School of Design
more experiential, more problem-            and the University Concert Hall.
based, more entrepreneurial, more

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UL@50 STRATEGIC PLAN 2019 2024 - University of Limerick
facilities; address the demands for more       We have a rich and proud history and
                                                                                                     student accommodation; centralise              have made enormous strides in just a
                                                                                                     student services; invest in technology to      few short decades. NIHE evolved into a
     The Pontoon                                                                                     develop UL as a ‘Digital University’; and      university and expanded its academic
     University of Limerick
                                                                                                     reduce waste and carbon emissions.             programmes far beyond where it started
                                                                                                                                                    from. In the next 50 years – the second
                                                                                                     The great city of Limerick and the wider       half of the first century of UL – we must
                                                                                                     Mid-West region are at the heart of            ensure that we build our academic
                                                                                                     everything we do. However, we must             reputation and that we build our identity
                                                                                                     aspire to the national and, indeed,            as a national and international university.
                                                                                                     international stage and become known
                                                                                                     as a university located in – but not solely    Our students and staff have stated
                                                                                                     for – the Mid-West of Ireland.                 clearly that they want UL to be
                                                                                                                                                    distinctive, dynamic, student focused,
                                                                                                     In the years to come, we will expand our       academically strong, creative,
                                                                                                     reach, beginning with the Digital District     entrepreneurial and innovative – indeed,
                                                                                                     at Parkpoint and the Limerick City             all the characteristics that the university
                                                                                                     Campus before expanding to Dublin and          has fostered and is known for.
                                                                                                     abroad. We will work with the city’s other
                                                                                                     third-level institutions, Limerick Institute   In short, we need to be the world-leading
                                                                                                     of Technology and Mary Immaculate              university that the Mid-West region,
                                                                                                     College, to reimagine Limerick as a            in general, and the city of Limerick,
                                                                                                     student city and to build a regional           in particular, deserves.
                                                                                                     brand for third-level education.

                                                                                                     These developments will enable us to
                                                                                                     achieve several ambitious objectives:
                                                                                                     › to be a research-intensive university
                                                                                                       that solves global challenges;
                                                                                                     › to transform learning and the
                                                                                                       educational experience;
                                                                                                                                                    “UL needs to take
                                                                                                     › to place entrepreneurship and
                                                                                                                                                      advantage of being a
            We have seen extraordinary investment      Sustaining our campus and the wellbeing
            in research at UL. This is key to the      of our community is central to our              enterprise at the heart of what we do;         young university.
            university’s academic reputation, and we   vision. As well as aiming to make the UL      › to address the skills needs                    Our youth allows us to
            must develop it even further by building   campus in Castletroy more integrated
            on our successes and fostering talent.     and liveable for students, one of our key
                                                                                                       of our community;
                                                                                                                                                      be innovative and think
            We want to engage in challenges that are   objectives is to further develop facilities   › to grow student numbers,                       outside the box. That
                                                                                                       particularly postgraduate and
            central to the emerging Horizon Europe,
            the next EU Framework Programme.
                                                       for research, education and student
                                                       accommodation. We want to create more           international students;                        should be part of our
            Indeed, building our EU programmes         innovative teaching spaces that promote       › to greatly enhance life on campus              identity. Be different!”
            is essential if we are to succeed as       problem-based and experiential learning;        and the life of our city;
            a research-intensive university. UL’s      expand our north campus and integrate
            research has always tackled global         our Clare and Limerick campuses;              › and, most importantly, to build
            sustainable development goals (SDGs)       develop facilities for entrepreneurship;        our academic reputation.
            and will continue to do so. In fact, UL    invest further in sports and student
            ranked 35th in the world in the Times      facilities, particularly for students
            Higher Education SDG University            with disabilities; develop distinct
            Impact Rankings in 2019.                   postgraduate and international student

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UL@50 STRATEGIC PLAN 2019 2024 - University of Limerick
Context                                                                        Higher Education
Four key themes have shaped                                                    Legislative and                               Changing demographics, greater student
                                                                                                                             mobility and evolving requirements and
the development of UL@50,                                                      Statutory Requirements                        practices in higher education have all
our strategic plan, and are                                                    The University of Limerick operates
                                                                                                                             contributed to the ambitions we have
                                                                                                                             outlined in this strategy. We also want
embedded within the plan:                                                      under national legislation and the
                                                                                                                             to meet global challenges, in particular
                                                                               Universities Act, 1997. The overall
                                                                                                                             the UN sustainable development goals,
                                                                               authority for the affairs of the university
                                                                                                                             through our community and
› Transforming learning
› Digital transformation
                                                         “UL must share       is vested in the Governing Authority,
                                                                                                                             volunteer programmes.
                                                                               which is appointed in accordance
› City and culture                                         expertise and       with the Act.
                                                                                                                             We are committed to contributing to
› Health and wellbeing                                     knowledge                                                         the national objectives of quality and
From our wide-ranging staff engagement process,            through research,   National and International                    academic excellence, developing a talent
                                                                               Policy and Frameworks                         pipeline for our citizens, ensuring equity
the areas we collectively need to focus on include:        education and                                                     of access, leading and contributing to
› Academic reputation – Growing and improving our          engagement          The University of Limerick recognises         world-class research and development
                                                                                                                             through national and international
  academic reputation in Ireland and internationally;      for the benefit     the national policy context in which
                                                                                                                             engagement, and ensuring governance,
                                                                               it operates. The development of this
› ‘The UL graduate’ – Educating outstanding                of society”         strategy is informed by relevant national     leadership and operational excellence.
  graduates and active citizens;                                               policy and framework documents and is
                                                                               aligned to the Higher Education Authority     We are committed to attaining the
                                                                               Strategy and Performance                      highest standards of inclusivity, dignity,
› Supporting our people – Enabling our staff to
                                                                               Dialogue 2018-2021.                           human rights and gender balance in all
  achieve their ambition;
                                                                                                                             the work we do and to promoting and
                                                                                                                             supporting the health and wellbeing of
› ‘Civic University’ – Actively engaging with our city
                                                                                                                             all our students, staff and visitors.
  and our region to support the region and economy;

› Inclusion and diversity – Embracing and promoting
  an open and welcoming campus for all;
                                                                                                                                           Graduate Entry
› Dynamism – Continually challenging our ambitions
                                                                                                                                           Medical School
  and proactively seeking out new opportunities.                                                                                          Research

In short, our efforts are focused on positioning UL
at the forefront of developing practice in education
and research while providing an enriching student
experience and contributing to our city and region
through academic excellence.

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UL@50 STRATEGIC PLAN 2019 2024 - University of Limerick
Vision,    Vision                                        Mission                                       Values

           The University of Limerick will be a          Our mission is to build on the                The University of Limerick fosters
           community of scholars with a global           expertise of our scholars in creating,        curiosity, creativity and academic
           reputation for excellence, creativity,        harnessing and imparting knowledge            excellence in an inclusive community

Values     innovation, entrepreneurship and
                                                         for the benefit of our students and the
                                                         enrichment of our community.
                                                                                                       committed to social good.

           Ultimately, we want to create a               The students and their future impact on       Our core values are:
           destination of excellence in education,       society is at the heart of all we do.
           research and innovation that will attract                                                   ›	Creative and Innovative
           the highest-calibre staff and the best        We must maintain a standard of                     Shape the future by looking at things
           students from all sections of society, both   excellence in education, training, research        differently to others. Appreciating risks
           in Ireland and abroad, and ensure that        and innovation so that we can deliver on           but trusting our judgement.
           Limerick and the Mid-West are recognised      the needs of society and of our students,
                                                                                                       › Inclusive and Diverse
           as great places to live and work.             staff and graduates, and we must ensure
                                                                                                         Welcoming all. Rooted in Europe
                                                         that our students have the opportunity to
                                                                                                         but global in reach.
                                                         become leaders in their chosen careers.
                                                                                                       › Ethical and Sustainable
                                                                                                         Doing the right things, in the right
                                                                                                         way, for the right reasons. Tackling
                                                                                                         national and global challenges,
                                                                                                         and supporting sustainable goals.
                                                                                                       › Supportive and Transformational
                                                                                                         Empowering our students
                                                                                                         and staff to lead.
                                                                                                       › Ambitious and Driven
                                                                                                         Working with all to push the
                                                                                                         boundaries of knowledge.

                                                                                                                                Niche Orla de Brí
                                                                                                                                North Campus

18                                                                  Strategic Plan 2019 ̶ 2024                                                          19
Our Ambition

                                                                                                                                 Goal 1
                             Our university will enhance our                                                                     Education
                             community and our region as a preferred
                             location in which to visit, work, study
                             and live. In implementing this plan, we
                             will transform the University of Limerick                  Goal 5
                             beyond being a regional university into
                                                                                        Operating                           Academic
                             a national – and indeed international
                             – university located in the Mid-West
                                                                                        Model                               Reputation

                             region of Ireland.                                                               Dynamism                     The UL       Goal 2

                                          We are known for the quality of our
                                          graduates and the success of our alumni.                                                                      Excellence
                                                                                                                Inclusion                Supporting
                                          Over the next 50 years, we will further                                  and                      Our
                                          build our reputation internationally as                               Diversity                  People
                                          a university recognised for its research,                                           Civic
                                          impact and distinctiveness and as                                                 University
                                          a significant contributor to solving
                                          global challenges.

                                          Through our transformational approach                  Goal 4
                                          to education, we will deliver the
                                          highest standard of student experience                 City and
                                          and achievement.
                                                                                                 Region                                  Goal 3
                                          We will aim to become the university                                                           Internationalisation
                                          of choice in Ireland for national and
                                          international postgraduate students,
                                          which will develop our intellectual
                                          depth and ensure our sustainability.
     UL alumna Professor Brigid
     Laffan addressing a UL Alumni        We will place enterprise and
     Gathering in Brussels                entrepreneurship at the heart of what
                                          we do to build regional and national skills
                                          and help sustain and build our economy.

20                                                                     UL@50                       Strategic Plan 2019 ̶ 2024                                    21
“[We must] prioritise     Goal 1
                                      investment in technology
                                      to futureproof education”   Transforming Education
                                                                  Our academic model delivers
                                                                  flexible learning, responds to and
                                                                  shapes national and international
                                                                  student aspirations, addresses
                                                                  regional and national skills
                                                                  needs and educates professional
                                                                  leaders for the future.
                                                                  We will build on our academic excellence
                                                                  and capabilities in transformative pedagogies, digital
                                                                  literacies and self-governance as well as innovative
                                                                  and collaborative curricula. We will work in close
                                                                  collaboration with relevant partners, including business,
                                                                  industry, government, national and international
                                                                  educational institutions, communities of interest
                                                                  and our alumni network. Our goal is to foster a student-
                                                                  centred learning environment to enable students to
                                                                  develop as independent, creative and critical thinkers,
                                                                  which will help them to become engaged citizens,
                                                                  professionals and potential future leaders.

     C-Pen Text Reader
     Assistive Learning Technology

22                                                   UL@50        Strategic Plan 2019 ̶ 2024                                  23
Our Priorities   Objectives                                                    Our Priorities               Objectives

Excellent        ›› Diversifying our student body through                      An international             ›› Embedding global perspectives into the curriculum,
student             internationalisation, widening access and growing          university in                   fostering cross-cultural competencies and growing
experience          postgraduate education                                     the Mid-West                    international partnerships

                 ›› Facilitating and promoting flexible learning through                                    ›› Developing an academic reputation that helps
                    the design and delivery of bespoke professional                                            retain talent in the region and attract students
                    development and executive education programmes                                             from across the country

                 ›› Nurturing disciplinary foundations and                                                  ›› Addressing national skills needs by offering
                    interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration                                               postgraduate degree and apprenticeship
                                                                                                               programmes that build on our expertise in areas
                 ›› Enhancing student mobility through international                                           such as artificial intelligence, aircraft leasing
                    short-term and semester-based study and                                                    and teaching leadership
                    placement opportunities and fostering modern
                    foreign-language learning                                                               ›› Developing innovative learning in partnership
                                                                                                               with other academic centres and industries
                                                                                                               so that we can adequately address rapidly
                                                                                                               changing skills needs
Transforming     ›› Developing flexible learning spaces in support
learning            of student-centred, technology-enhanced and
                    enabled learning approaches
                                                                                                            “Being entrepreneurial,
                 ›› Developing new curricula, challenge-driven
                    and collaborative learning modes, and cross-                                              particularly in technology,
                    disciplinary sharing and exchange                                                         gives UL a distinct identity”
                 ›› Embedding entrepreneurship in all our programmes
                    at undergraduate and postgraduate levels,
                    with a focus on curiosity and the imagination

                 ›› Developing our progression and awards
                    strategy, providing flexibility for all students
                    and facilitating lifelong learning

                 ›› Stimulating access to active and personalised
                    learning through educational technology
                    provision and use

                                                                                                                              Professor Stephen Kinsella lecturing
                                                                                                                              in the University Concert Hall

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Goal 2
How we will measure our success

›› Greater student engagement through
   investment in flexible learning and
                                           ›› The development of UL as a
                                              ‘Digital University’ that supports the     Research Excellence
   innovative learning spaces                 delivery of educational technology
                                              across the institution and the
›› The growth of postgraduate                 deployment of data-driven learning
   programmes and industry-led                analytics tools and that promotes
   continuing professional development,       better student engagement                  Defined by excellence and
   including the development of the UL                                                   impact, our research positions
   Limerick City Campus as a graduate      ›› A greater share of students
   centre in business technology and          from outside of the region
                                                                                         us as a leader in addressing
   academies of learning with enterprise                                                 global challenges.
                                           ›› An increase in the number
›› The development of a student stream        of programmes that address                 The national and international reputation of a university
   similar to Co-op for entrepreneurship      national skills needs                      is inextricably linked to the calibre and impact of its
   and creativity at both undergraduate                                                  research. We will focus on building our research culture,
   and postgraduate levels                                                               capacity and capability to further establish ourselves
                                                                                         as a research-led university of choice for high-quality
                                                                                         students and staff. We will continue to build on our
                                                                                         interdisciplinary programmes in materials, software,
                                                                                         advanced manufacturing, applied mathematics and
                                                                                         health and will further develop our research institutes
                                                                                         - the UL Bernal Institute, Lero and the UL Health
                                                                                         Research Institute - to build on this success. However,
                                                                                         we also recognise that we must expand our research
                                                                                         into other areas if we are to achieve our objective
                                                                                         of building UL’s academic reputation.

                                                         2019/20            2023/24

Total number of student registrations                    15,481*           19,416
                                                                        (25% increase)
*as at start of AY 2019/20

                                                 2019/20                    2023/24

Level 9/10 enrolments as a %                       22%                      30%
of all student registrations                                            (33% increase)

26                                                                            UL@50      Strategic Plan 2019 ̶ 2024                                  27
Our Priorities        Objectives                                              Our Priorities               Objectives

Broaden our           ›› Building on existing areas of excellence so we       Research                     ›› Embedding a culture of research, innovation
research programmes      can develop interdisciplinary programmes that        with impact                     and entrepreneurship in our students and staff
                         address global challenges in areas such as
                         digital transformation and health                                                 ›› Building symbiotic relationships with partners
                                                                                                              where impact is considered at all stages of the
                      ›› Being agile – further enhancing knowledge and                                        research programme and knowledge transfer
                         discovery in niche and novel areas                                                   is facilitated

                      ›› Diversifying our research funding in support                                      ›› Translating our research findings to offer
                         of sustainable growth and excellence                                                 maximum impact to people, society and
                         with a particular focus on EU and non-                                               economies and addressing the UN sustainable
                         exchequer funding                                                                    development goals

                                                                                                           ›› Developing research-led, flagship
                                                                                                              postgraduate programmes that showcase
Build partnerships    ›› Extending our national and international reach                                       our areas of strength and enhance our
and collaborations       by strengthening and developing our strategic                                        international reputation
                         partnerships with leading universities, industry,
                         business partners and agencies

                      ›› Facilitating our students and staff to be
                         leaders of, and active contributors to, global
                         research programmes

                      ›› Adding to the intellectual depth and experience
                         of our research by attracting international
                         experts and visiting scholars to UL

                                               “UL must attract the best                                                              Titan Themis Microscope
                                                 researchers at all levels,                                                            Bernal Institute

                                                 including PhD students”

28                                                                    UL@50   Strategic Plan 2019 ̶ 2024                                                         29
Goal 3
How we will measure our success

›› More diverse research funding,
   with a particular focus on EU and
                                         ›› A wider range of structured
                                            postgraduate programmes in                Internationalisation
   non-exchequer funding and                areas of research investment
   high-value awards
                                         ›› More focus on innovation and
›› The development of a range of            entrepreneurship amongst students
   national and international academic      and staff, with an increase in UL         Our creative and entrepreneurial
   and industry research networks           spin-out companies                        approach and programmes attract,
›› Improved global rankings
                                                                                      develop and retain high-calibre
                                                                                      international students and staff,
›› An increase in knowledge transfer
   through licenses, patents and
                                                                                      leading to the diversification
   industry partnerships                                                              of our community.
                                                                                      We recognise the need to enrich the academic and
                                                                                      intellectual experience of our student and staff
                                                                                      communities through internationalisation. We also
                                                                                      recognise the need to develop our global reach so as
                                                                                      to grow our academic reputation. We will accomplish
                                                                                      these goals by honing our programmes to meet global
                                                                                      market needs, by attracting leading international
                                                                                      academics and by continuing to facilitate international
                                                                                      partnerships in research and education.

                                            2019                           2023

Normalised                                  34%*                         50%
citation impact                          above world                  above world
*based on 2018
                                           average                      average

                                         2019                              2023

Spin-outs                                 12*                              18
                                                                      (50% increase
*based on 2018
                                                                       on baseline)

30                                                                         UL@50      Strategic Plan 2019 ̶ 2024                                31
Our Priorities               Objectives                                             Our Priorities               Objectives

Diversify our                ›› Diversifying our student body, targeting global     International                ›› Fostering research partnerships with leading
UL community                    markets aligned to our areas of excellence,         partnerships                    global partners in education
                                and maximising funding opportunities                that enhance our
                                                                                    global ranking               ›› Partnering with emerging European universities,
                             ›› Attracting international academic leaders with                                      specifically with those that share our
                                varying perspectives so that we can enhance                                         enterprise culture
                                our research capabilities and enrich
                                the student experience                                                           ›› Engaging in EU programmes, in particular
                                                                                                                    Horizon Europe, European University Initiative,
                             ›› Developing our language offering, providing                                         European Research Council (ERC) and
                                all students with a second language option                                          Marie Sklodowska-Curie training opportunities,
                                reinforced through our leading position in                                          while continuing and growing our partnerships
                                the Erasmus programme                                                               with UK universities

                                                                                                                 ›› Supporting programmes that tackle global
                                                                                                                    challenges and the UN sustainable development
A high-quality experience    ›› Enhancing the international student experience                                      goals in areas where we have expertise,
for international students      by delivering quality, coherent and integrated                                      such as health and education
                                graduate offerings and engaging our students
                                in industry                                                                      ›› Engaging in global university networks that
                                                                                                                    contribute to the professional and academic
                             ›› Enriching our international education programmes                                    development of the university
                                through a comprehensive suite of supports
                                that, together with the academic experience,
                                make UL the Irish university of choice for
                                international students

                             ›› Supporting international student and staff
                                exchange and study abroad through our extensive
                                network of partnerships, for example,
                                the Erasmus programme

                             “Internationalisation should
                               complement the regional
                               objective, not compete with it”

                                                                                                                 Graduation at University of Limerick

32                                                                          UL@50   Strategic Plan 2019 ̶ 2024                                                        33
How we will measure our success
                                                                                                  Goal 4
›› Greater diversification over time
   in our student and staff body
                                               ›› An increase in the number of leading
                                                  international academic appointments
                                                                                                  City and Region
                                                  or joint appointments in selected
›› More international opportunities               academic fields
   for our students and staff
                                               ›› Greater participation in international
›› Greater internationalisation of                partnerships and networks that tackle           Our engagement with the city
   our flagship PhD programmes                    global challenges                               and region enriches communities
   in targeted areas
                                               ›› Improved university impact rankings
                                                                                                  and enhances opportunities
›› Increased EU funding, particularly                                                             for all who live there.
   individual academic awards and
   research partnerships                                                                          We support the implementation of the Government’s
                                                                                                  ‘Project Ireland 2040 - National Planning Framework’
                                                                                                  and ‘Limerick 2030’, which will, in turn, support the
                                                                                                  development of a stronger Limerick and Mid-West
                                                                                                  region. This will contribute to the city and region being
                                                                                                  regarded as a preferred location to visit, work, study
                                                                                                  and live, making UL more attractive for prospective
                                                                                                  students, staff and industry partners.

                                                                                                  Our community engagement, in particular our focus
                                                                                                  on equality of opportunity for access to university
                                                                                                  education and training, is a huge part of who we are.
                                                                                                  We will continue to accommodate non-traditional
                                                                                                  learners, students with disabilities, those who are
                                                                                                  socially disadvantaged, and those from the Travelling
                                                                                                  community. Acknowledging that access to third
                                     2019/20                                   2023/24            level goes beyond our institution, we will work with

                                                                                                  Limerick Institute of Technology, Mary Immaculate
                                                                                                  College, Limerick City and County Council, local
                                                                                  14%             authorities and other partners to further develop
Increase in non-EU                     7%             (100% increase)
international students                                                                            access opportunities across the Mid-West.
as a % of all students
registrations (FTE's)                                                                             We are committed to contributing to the development of
                                                                                                  sports, arts and cultural offerings in the city and region
                                                                                                  through our campus programmes and facilities, including
                                                                                                  the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, the Irish
                                                           2019/20             2023/24            Chamber Orchestra and the University Concert Hall.

20% of undergraduate students                                35%                  40%
spending at least one semester
abroad (EU Bologna 2020 target)

34                                                                              UL@50             Strategic Plan 2019 ̶ 2024                                   35
Our Priorities        Objectives                                                 Our Priorities               Objectives

Social and economic   ›› Strengthening our role as a contributor and             Community engagement         ›› Ensuring the UL Limerick City Campus contributes
development              influencer of cultural life in the city and region                                      in a major way to the rejuvenation of Limerick city
                         through the provision of education and training,
                         performance facilities, talent and expertise                                         ›› Further enhancing community engagement and
                                                                                                                 access programmes so that we can foster engaged
                      ›› Working with local authorities in the region,                                           and accessible learning and entrepreneurship
                         identifying opportunities to support the
                         redevelopment of Limerick city and the broader                                       ›› Continuing to support local voluntary bodies, for
                         Mid-West region                                                                         example, through the President’s Volunteer Award
                                                                                                                 programme and recognition awards
                      ›› Working with Mary Immaculate College and the
                         Limerick Institute of Technology in developing
                         Limerick city as a hub for third-level education

                      ›› Informing and influencing regional and national
                         discussions through the contribution and expertise
                         of our people, in particular in the implementation of
                         the National Development Plan

                       “UL is a leader in education
                         and in empowering
                         our communities”

                                                                                                                                     Munster Rugby
                                                                                                                                     University of Limerick

36                                                                     UL@50     Strategic Plan 2019 ̶ 2024                                                       37
How we will measure our success
                                                                                         Goal 5
                                                                                         Operating Model
›› Greater access for non-traditional      ›› Faster commuting to and from
   students and disadvantaged                 the campus through city and regional
   groups from the city and region,           transportation planning
   including asylum seekers and the
   Travelling community                    ›› Further development of community
                                                                                         Our commitment to a programme
                                              facilities as part of our infrastructure   of continual improvement
›› Further development of access
   programmes across UL, Limerick
                                              framework planning, such as the
                                              UL Fab Lab Limerick and Access
                                                                                         empowers our people to achieve
   Institute of Technology and Mary           Campus at the Limerick Enterprise          excellence, regardless of their role.
   Immaculate College                         Development Partnership (LEDP)
                                                                                         Our operating model determines how we structure
›› Establishment of the UL Limerick City   ›› Greater engagement with                    ourselves, how we allocate responsibilities, how we
   Campus at the junction of Sarsfield        local networks to promote                  incentivise our operating units, how we encourage
   Bridge and Honan’s Quay as part of         entrepreneurship, innovation,              and support our people and how we promote gender
   the rejuvenation of Limerick city          technology and engineering,                equality and opportunity.
                                              for example, Limerick for IT,
›› Engagement with local councils on          Innovate Limerick                          We will ensure that our staff have clarity in relation
   regional planning, for example, the                                                   to their roles and responsibilities and that central
   proposed Special Development Zone       ›› Greater student and staff                  and devolved academic and support unit resources
   led by Clare County Council                engagement in voluntary                    operate in a focused and complementary way. Key
                                              programmes through UL Engage               to our success will be the authority, incentives and
                                              and community networks                     support we give our management to implement UL's
                                                                                         strategic objectives.

                                                2019/20                       2023/24

Maintain access of non-standard                  3,400                         3,870
entrants to undergraduate programmes
at 30% of student registrations

                                                             2019/20          2023/24

Increase in student                                             500             700
participation in PVA programme

38                                                                             UL@50     Strategic Plan 2019 ̶ 2024                               39
Our Priorities                  Objectives                                              Our Priorities               Objectives

Empowering our people           ›› Implementing and embedding revised                   Staff development,           ›› Producing a staff development strategy
                                   organisational structures, processes and             systems and supports            and leadership development programme
                                   governance that support our strategic ambitions
                                                                                                                     ›› Implementing a new, aligned
                                ›› Recognising the importance of good management                                        workforce allocation model
                                   and administrative resources and providing
                                   improved developmental opportunities                                              ›› Developing staff career pathways
                                                                                                                        guided by performance
                                ›› Implementing and supporting equality, diversity
                                   and inclusion, including the committed work that                                  ›› Developing an all-staff annual strategic planning
                                   underpins our Athena SWAN accreditation, our                                         conversation that addresses ongoing performance
                                   Gender Equality Action Plan and our Equality                                         and new opportunities, and aligns strategy with
                                   and Human Rights Strategy                                                            recruitment and financial planning

                                ›› Enhancing the contribution of staff and meeting
                                   their career aspirations

                                ›› Maximising current revenue streams and
                                   identifying new ones to compensate for the fall
                                   in government funding

                                ›› Placing UL on a more sustainable footing to secure
                                   the university's autonomy and to support future
                                   investment in academic facilities and professional
                                   support functions

                                                                                                                     “[We will] produce
       Glucksman Library
       University of Limerick                                                                                          dynamic and challenging
                                                                                                                       graduates and staff”

40                                                                            UL@50     Strategic Plan 2019 ̶ 2024                                                     41
How we will measure our success
›› Annual strategic, financial and
   recruitment planning framed
                                           ›› Delivery of a clear, multiannual staff
                                              development strategy and leadership
                                                                                           the Strategy
   by performance and opportunities           development programme

›› Implementation and embedding of         ›› Implementation of a transparent and          A strategy document is only as valuable
   revised organisational structures
   and processes that support the
                                              tailored workforce allocation model
                                                                                           as the commitment to its implementation.
   attainment of UL’s strategy and         ›› Implementation of our Healthy UL             UL is committed to implementing the strategy.
   that enable our people to achieve          Framework for staff and students
   their ambitions                                                                         To ensure we do so successfully, we will    Built Development, UL Equality and
                                                                                           establish a high-level implementation       Diversity, UL Research, Transformative
›› The award of an institutional Athena                                                    plan and a performance framework and        Pedagogies, UL Global Engagement,
   SWAN Silver accreditation as part of                                                    will mandate each faculty and unit to       UL Healthy Campus Framework,
   the implementation of our Equality                                                      develop plans that will identify priority   UL Health Research Institute and
   and Human Rights Strategy and our                                                       actions and contribute to the delivery      Bernal Institute strategies and others.
   Gender Equality action plan                                                             of our overall objectives.                  All existing strategies and plans will
                                                                                                                                       support the implementation of the
                                                                                           Through our annual strategic planning       UL@50 strategic plan.
                                                                                           process and the development of
                                                                                           individual faculty, research and            In addition, we will identify, develop and
                                                                                           administrative plans, we will ensure that   implement key cross-campus projects
                                                                                           progress against the implementation         to support the achievement of our
                                                                                           of our strategy will be continually         strategic ambitions.
                                                                                           aligned to our financial and resource
                                                                                           planning. These plans clearly outline the   Finally, it goes without saying that the
                                                                                           contribution and responsibility of each     full strategy implementation plan will
                                                                                           faculty and department towards realising    be initiated, monitored and measured
                                                                                           the UL@50 strategic plan.                   by both the Executive Committee and
                                                                                                                                       Governing Authority. Key performance
                                                                                           Of course UL exists within a wider          measures that align to the national
                                          2019/20                     2023/24              institutional context, and different        System Performance Framework will
                                                                                           parts of the institution have their own     be developed to help us achieve our
                                                                                           strategies and plans. These include         overall outcomes.
Gender balance                             27%                          ≥40%               our HEA Compact, UL Framework for
                                                              at full professorial level

                                                      2019/20               2023/24

Formalise, baseline and improve                                              15%
targets for a range of service metrics                               average improvement
                                                                          on baseline                                                              Maguire’s Field Launch
                                                                                                                                                   University of Limerick

42                                                                            UL@50        Strategic Plan 2019 ̶ 2024                                                             43

Department of Business, Enterprise and       Department of Education and Skills         Government of Ireland (1998-2015).
Innovation (2018). Research Priority         (2017). Languages Connect – Ireland’s      Employment Equality Acts.
Areas, 2018 to 2023.                         Strategy for Foreign Languages in
                                             Education 2017-2026.                       Government of Ireland (2000-2015).
Department of Communications, Energy                                                    Equal Status Acts.
and Natural Resources (2013). Doing          Department of Education and Skills
more with Digital - National Digital         (2019). Safe, Respectful, Supportive and   Government of Ireland (2014).
Strategy for Ireland.                        Positive – ending Sexual Violence and      National Policy Statement on
                                             Harassment in Irish Higher                 Entrepreneurship in Ireland.
Department of Education and Skills           Education Institutions.
(2011). National Strategy for Higher                                                    Government of Ireland (2015).
Education to 2030. Report of the             Department of Jobs, Enterprise and         Innovation 2020 – Excellence,
Strategy Group.                              Innovation (2015). Enterprise 2025 –       Talent, Impact. Ireland’s strategy for
                                             Ireland’s National Enterprise Policy       research and development, science
Department of Education and Skills           2015-2025.                                 and technology. Interdepartmental
(2014). ‘Education for Sustainability’ –                                                Committee on Science, Technology
The National Strategy on Education for       Department of Health (2013).               and Innovation.
Sustainable Development in Ireland,          eHealth Strategy for Ireland.
2014-2020.                                                                              Government of Ireland (2018).
                                             Department of Health (2013).               Project Ireland 2040 – National
Department of Education and Skills           The Establishment of Hospital Groups       Development Plan 2018-2027.
(2015). National Plan for Equity of Access   as a transition to Independent Hospital
to Higher Education 2015-2019.               Trusts – A Report to the Minister for      Government of Ireland (2018).
                                             Health, Dr James Reilly, TD.               Project Ireland 2040 – National
Department of Education and Skills                                                      Planning Framework.
(2016). National Skills Strategy 2025.       Department of Health (2013). Healthy
                                             Ireland - A framework for improved         Higher Education Authority (2016).
Department of Education and Skills           health and wellbeing 2013-2015.            Report of the Expert Group HEA National
(2016). Action Plan to Expand                                                           Review of Gender Equality in Irish Higher
Apprenticeship and Traineeship               Department of Public Expenditure and       Education Institutions.
in Ireland 2016-2020.                        Reform (2019). National Development
                                             Plan 2018-2027.                            Higher Education Authority (2018).
Department of Education and Skills                                                      Higher Education System Performance
(2016). Irish Educated, Globally             Government of Ireland (1997). Number       Framework 2018-2020.
Connected – An International Education       24 of 1997, Universities Act 1997.
Strategy for Ireland, 2016-2020.                                                        Limerick City and County Council (2014).
                                             Government of Ireland (2018).              Limerick 2030 – An Economic and Spatial
Department of Education and Skills           Action Plan for Education 2018.            Plan for Limerick.
(2016). Investing in National Ambition:
A Strategy for Funding Higher Education.     Government of Ireland (2019).              United Nations (2019).
Report of the Expert Group on Future         Action Plan for Education 2019.            Sustainable Development Goals.
                                                                                                                                    Glucksman Library
Funding for Higher Education.
                                                                                                                                    University of Limerick

44                                                                             UL@50    Strategic Plan 2019 ̶ 2024                                           45
Living Bridge spanning River Shannon
     University of Limerick
46                                          UL@50   Strategic Plan 2019 ̶ 2024   47
48   UL@50
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