A new research centre focussing on higher education policy was recently launched by the Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan TD, in the Trinity Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin. The Cultures Academic Values and Education Research Centre (CAVE) is a newly recognised research centre within Trinity’s School of Education, founded by Dr Aidan Seery, Dr Andrew Loxley and Dr John Walsh.
Speaking at the launch, Minister O’Sullivan said: "We are fortunate to have educational institutions such as Trinity College that do not just disseminate data but give their students the space to think and grow as rounded human beings. In this way Ireland can nurture its capacity to generate new knowledge within and across our academic institutions. I wish everyone associated with the CAVE research centre every success and I want to put on record my appreciation for the work Trinity is doing in making Ireland a renowned country for research excellence."
"Academic research on higher education is even more crucial at a time when the higher education sector is undergoing major policy and institutional changes – there has often been a ‘disconnect’ between public commentary on higher education, particularly in the media and the evidence informed by critical research. At a time of significant policy change, it is crucial that policy-making and new policy initiatives are informed by evidence-based research and this is a key part of the mission of the CAVE,” said Co-director of CAVE, Dr John Walsh.
In formally launching the Centre, the Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast commented: “The higher education sector in Ireland has an impressive track record in preparing a very significant number of high quality graduates and more recently in widening participation. Yet many of the mechanisms of higher education at a system, institutional and even individual level have not been researched in any great depth. CAVE will help to ensure that Trinity College continues to play a key role in contributing to policy debate on the national stage.”
Professor Carmel O’Sullivan, Head of School of Education, added: “The new research centre will have national and international impact, through an impressive range of publications and established collaborations with other research organisations.”