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gradireland Higher Education Awards

Higher Education Awards

On Friday 22 November 2019, gradireland hosted the annual Higher Education Symposium & Awards at the Crowne Plaza Northwood Hotel in Santry, Dublin. This event, sponsored by the Novartis, MSD, Aldi, ESB, Jameson, Novartis and PwC, was attended by over 150 higher education professionals and stakeholders, making it one of our biggest Symposiums to-date. The Symposium was focused on discussing the future of Higher Education in Ireland, exploring current international best practice, Irish and international research findings and expert discussions. Following the Symposium, the winners of the Higher Education Awards were revealed at a gala ceremony.
This event, sponsored by the Novartis, MSD, Aldi, ESB, Jameson, Novartis and PwC, was attended by over 150 higher education professionals and stakeholders, making it one of our biggest Symposiums to-date.

The symposium

The symposium commenced shortly after 10am with a welcome from gradireland Director Gavan O’Brien. The first presentation of the day was from Dr Denise Frawley , Head of Performance Evaluation at the Higher Education Authority who presented on the findings of the most recent HEA Graduate Outcomes Survey (Class of 2017) which surveyed nearly 30,000 graduates to understand what their next step was post-graduation.

Next up was a moderated discussion with Ger Lardner, Career & Skills Consultant specialising in Doctoral Candidates in UCD and Dr Fiona Blighe, Scientific Programme Manager, Science Foundation Ireland on PhD employability outcomes, new methods of developing PhD candidates and the introduction of Centres of Research Training.

Following a coffee break delegates saw a remote presentation from Amsterdam by Laura E. Rumbley, PhD | Associate Director, Knowledge Development & Research, European Association for International Education on what does ‘successful’ internationalisation look like in European higher education? The presentation covered what ways do financial considerations drive or hinder this process? In recent years, the need to answer these questions has become increasingly important.

This was followed by another moderated discussion on strategies towards equality, diversity and inclusion at universities. This started with a remote presentation from Dr Thomas Ekman Jørgensen, Senior Policy Coordinator, European University Association (EUA). Lewis Purser, Director Learning & Teaching and Academic Affairs, followed this up with a presentation and discussion on the Irish context of diversity and graduate outcomes.

The symposium concluded with a moderated discussion on Lifelong learning for lifelong employability with Róisín Donnelly, Head of learning development, College of Business, Technological University Dublin and Dr Maria Gallo, Director of the Centre for Lifelong at St. Angela's College, Sligo, a College of the National University of Ireland, Galway.

We would like to thank all those who took part and brief biographies of the speakers at the symposium are available here.


And the winners were....

Postgraduate Course of the Year in Computer Science & IT, sponsored by ESB 

Winner: University College Cork, MSc in Information Systems for Business Performance  

Postgraduate Course of the Year in Health Sciences sponsored by MSD Ireland 

Winner: University of Limerick, MSc Sports Performance 

Postgraduate Course of the Year in Law sponsored by PwC 

Winner: NUI Galway, Masters in International and Comparative Business Law 

Postgraduate Course of the Year in Science, sponsored by Novartis 

Winner: Maynooth University, MSc Climate Change 

Postgraduate Course of the Year in Business, Finance & Management sponsored by Aldi 

Winner: University of Limerick, MSc in Computational Finance 

Postgraduate Course of the year in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences sponsored by Musgrave 

Winner: Trinity College Dublin, MPhil in Literary Translation 

Best New Course sponsored by Jameson International Graduate Programme 

Winner: NUI Galway, MSc in Cellular Manufacturing and Therapy 



Congratulations to all winners and thanks to all who submitted entries and helped make the gradireland Higher Education Awards & Symposium such a success. Find out more about the awards, shortlists and submissions here or email tristanne.silva@gradireland.com. For a selection of images from the day, visit our gallery. The shortlist for the awards is available here.

Stay tuned to gradireland for more on all aspects of Higher Education and you can read our article on 'what makes a great course' here.