A HEA-funded project to develop the institutional relationship between University College Dublin (UCD) and the National College of Art and Design (NCAD), up to and including a full merger, is taking place between June 2014 and September 2015.
UCD is one of Europe’s leading research-intensive universities, and Ireland’s largest and most diverse university. NCAD offers the largest range of Art and Design degrees, and is the only institution specialising in Art and Design within university education in Ireland.
Further to funding received under the HEA’s Strategic Innovation and Development Fund (SIDF) 2013 in October 2013, the overall project NCAD + UCD will develop and produce a detailed strategy plan for the future relationship between the two institutions.
NCAD + UCD will draw on existing and previous planning processes, on models of international best practice and on HEA and government policy. Initial consultations with academic and administrative staff across NCAD and UCD have made visible the creative and collaborative activity already underway between and within both institutions.
The academic lead for the overall project is Prof. Hugh Campbell of UCD’s School of Architecture. Prof. Campbell will be responsible for developing a detailed academic and organisational vision for the enhanced relationship of two academic institutions, ensuring that this vision maintains the distinct identity of both organisations. The Project Manager is Michael Sinnott, who will be responsible for administration and planning.
Key staff from both institutions will be appointed to lead on activity across different discipline areas and project strands.
NCAD + UCD has begun to establish itself as the primary catalyst of potential new activity, within such central offices as UCD Research and UCD International, as well as across academic faculties and schools.
There has been a strategic focus in these engagements on enrolment at three levels: undergraduate, graduate taught, and graduate research. This will have significant positive implications for the recruitment potential of both institutions, particularly in terms of international students.
The creation of new collaborative initiatives between NCAD and UCD will result not only in productive research, teaching and dissemination activities, but will also highlight the already existing relationship between both institutions and allow them to lay claim to a broad and compelling range of creative and critical practice.
This will also establish the partnership as a centre of excellence in the area of creative and arts practice both nationally and internationally, particularly in the potential to offer both practice- and theory-led learning.
Activity is currently taking place under the three project strands, and new activity between both institutions will be derived from the development of collaborative initiatives, covering the full spectrum from the recruiting of students, through the delivery of teaching, to academic oversight and governance.
The resulting creative force will be the unique selling point of the project, ranging from Fine Art to Design in NCAD, connecting with Architecture and across a variety of subject areas in the Humanities, Sciences, Business and Engineering in UCD.