We will realise our mission through 9 inter-linking goals.
01 — We will foster an ever more diverse and inclusive student community.
Trinity is committed to a policy of managed and resourced growth, prioritising quality of education, access, internationalisation and student experience. By 2025, our student body will be approximately 21,500 students. We are an inclusive community that values diversity and is committed to providing adequate supports mapping on to that diversity. We recognise that diversity takes many forms. We are committed to widening access to university across the social spectrum in Ireland and will intensify the pursuit for greater equity of access by strengthening our Trinity Access Programmes. At the same time, we will continue to attract the best students from around the globe in a manner that is commensurate with our identity as a European university making a global impact in research and scholarship. By the same measure, we take seriously our responsibilities as an Irish university, with a duty to educate the next generations from the whole island of Ireland, north and south. We will also significantly increase our modular offerings and short-term programmes, thus catering for the growing needs of continuous professional development, equipping life-long learners for a rapidly changing world of work. We do all this because we recognise, as educators, that learning is made richer when the voices heard around the campus speak in many idioms.
- 1.1Pursue strategies to ensure that by 2025, 30-35% of our students will come from outside of Ireland, up from our 2016/17 baseline of 24%. [GRS3]
- 1.2Approve a new undergraduate admissions strategy by 2021 to spur on excellence by increasing the socio-economic and geographical diversity of the Irish students in the university. [SL]
- 1.3More than double to 90 the students annually progressing from Further Education into programmes in Trinity by 2025, up from 40 in the 2016/17 baseline figures. [TAP]
- 1.4Have had, by 2023, 100 school engagements under Trinity Access 21, with 20 of these being in-depth partnership (Leader schools) over 6 years and 80 of these being 1 to 3-year engagements in the Schools of Distinction award scheme (Network schools). [TAP; TA21]
- 1.5Increase access and ensure inclusivity. Students who have entered Trinity via the Trinity Access Programmes or the national HEAR and DARE schemes and other under-represented groups will make up 25% of our undergraduate population. [AP]
- 1.6Ensure our diverse student community has access to state-of-the-art support with broader and more diverse catering offerings, including venues for preparing their own food. [GRS3; D&I; TCDSU]
- 1.7Embed a culture of equality, inclusion, respect and dignity across all aspects of our operations to provide a foundation for the flourishing of all our students regardless of their background through instituting a robust Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy. [D&I]
- 1.8Expand the range of scholarships for the student body enabled by philanthropy. [TDA]
- 1.9Engage the wider university community in empowering students with disabilities. [D&I]
- 1.10Develop and enact strategies, policies and procedures to enable more diverse and more flexible learning and programme delivery in the areas of continuous professional development and micro-credentialing, including a policy on prior accredited learning. [SL; AR]
02 — We will support a transformative student experience.
Students are formally recognised in Trinity as partners in the governance of the university through membership of Board and Council, and through the Student Partnership Agreement. We work together as active partners to further develop the Trinity student experience and to ensure that it supports the development of the full potential of our students. The unique atmosphere and compact footprint of our main campus is central to the creation of a vibrant student community. All throughout Trinity’s history, it has been a community in which formative student experiences take place as much outside as inside the seminar room, lecture hall or laboratory. At all levels, teaching in Trinity is research-led, and students are enabled to develop their research skills and encouraged to drive their own research agenda, be it with the final year capstone project as the culmination of their undergraduate studies, or through the various student publications supported by the university. To ensure that the learning experience of Trinity’s students continues to be based on close interaction with their lecturers and their research, we are committed to improving student-staff ratios by combining a policy of regulated growth in student numbers across the different categories of students with a major investment in staffing.
We will also support formal and informal learning in its various forms with improved student services. As the campus population grows, there is increasing pressure on space, and so we will take steps to enhance both the learning spaces and the informal spaces in which so much student life takes place. More pressingly, Trinity’s location in one of the most vibrant parts of a dynamic capital city means that affordable student accommodation will continue to be a challenge in the years ahead. We will meet that challenge by not only building more student rooms, but also by diversifying our residential options with an eye to affordability. All of these actions are enablers for the over-riding objective: being a Trinity student must be a transformative experience that enables our students to embark on successful careers and lead fulfilled lives as engaged citizens of the world, equipped with the graduate attributes to think independently, to communicate effectively, to act responsibly and to develop continuously.
- 2.1Reduce the student:staff ratio to 16:1 by 2025, from a 2017/18 baseline of 18:1. [VPO; FSD; DR]
- 2.2Bring the undergraduate experience closer to the research postgraduate experience through the mainstreaming of Capstone Projects across all programmes by 2020. [TEP]
- 2.3Fundamentally re-evaluate the student experience for both postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students and ensure that their bespoke needs are met. [DGS]
- 2.4Grow the quality and capacity of student services in line with the growth of the student body and increase health and well-being services for students. [CSD]
- 2.5Enhance the student experience through increased engagement with career and personal development activities. [TEP]
- 2.6Develop the Tutorial system for undergraduate students, increasing the number of College Tutors and reducing the size of their student chambers. [ST]
- 2.7Mainstream seamless online module registration, enrolment and subsequent integrated information for all students. [TEP; CSD]
- 2.8Open more casual student spaces and informal learning spaces to support increased student time on campus by, for example, renovating the 1937 Reading Room as a dedicated full access postgraduate student space. [ES; LS]
- 2.9Open Printing House Square early in 2020, providing 250 more student beds and a student welfare centre, and build at least 350 additional new affordable student accommodation spaces by 2025 in Dartry. [ES; TCDSU]
- 2.10Work with the Students’ Union to augment the Accommodation Advisory Service. [DS; TCDSU]
- 2.11Introduce robust procedures for addressing issues that arise from student surveys, including the Irish Survey of Student Engagement and International Student Barometer. [DS]
03 — We will practice next-generation teaching and learning.
In Trinity, our teaching is research-led in the fullest sense; our curriculum at all levels is continuously being reshaped by the new knowledge we create. At the undergraduate level, renewal of the Trinity education developed over the 2014-19 Strategic Plan will complete its project phase in 2020, after which the work of continuous pedagogical renewal will continue as an ongoing part of the life of the university. Over the course of this Strategic Plan, we will focus on enhancing the experience of our postgraduate students and will fundamentally re-evaluate and renew our approach to structures, programmes and the pedagogy of our postgraduate taught courses and to our models of supervision for postgraduate research students. Conservative projections show that our student population will consist of more than 30% postgraduate students by 2025, and in the medium term, we are heading for a student mix of approximately two-thirds undergraduate to one-third postgraduate. As Ireland’s leading research university, we believe this to be an appropriate goal, and that we should also copperfasten this by becoming Ireland’s leading graduate school.
For all our students, the emerging challenges of new disruptive technologies to the future of work and learning give an even greater relevance and urgency to the continuous development of our teaching and learning strategies. Globally, it is becoming increasingly clear that as new technologies impact on ever-widening fields of work, it is more essential than ever before that we become adept not only at mastering those technologies, but also at those things machines will never do as well as humans such as thinking creatively, developing genuine and empathetic relationships with fellow human beings, and entrepreneurship in its widest sense. In such a time of rapid and radical technological innovation, teaching and learning itself must continue to embrace emerging technologies, and we will do this by developing a comprehensive new digital learning strategy that will provide a framework for using a full spectrum of digital learning tools, making them part of the mainstream pedagogical practice of the university.
- 3.1Embed and mainstream the innovations of the Trinity Education Project (including Electives, Pathways, Capstone Projects, and the supporting structures of a fixed timetable). [TEP]
- 3.2Strengthen our Partners in Learning approach with our students and develop a new Curriculum Hub to provide a centre for continuous pedagogical renewal. [TEP; TT&L]
- 3.3Increase the number of postgraduate students and pursue strategies that will see Trinity’s student profile shift to more than 30% postgraduate by 2025. [LSDP; GRS3]
- 3.4Meet this changing student profile, within the lifetime of this Strategic Plan, by instituting a major and systemic renewal of all facets of postgraduate education. [DGS]
- 3.5Develop a suite of new postgraduate taught modules and courses across schools and faculties. [DGS]
- 3.6Fundamentally renew our structured Ph.D. programme. [DGS]
- 3.7Develop substantial new capacity for postgraduate research space in our ambitious Trinity @ Grand Canal Quay development on the TTEC site. [T@GCQ]
- 3.8Implement a full-spectrum digital learning strategy by 2022. [DTS]
- 3.9Offer, through Tangent, our student entrepreneurship centre, new specialised entrepreneurship modules for postgraduate students. [TG]
- 3.10Mentor, through Tangent, 3,500 students in new venture ideas by 2022. [TG]
- 3.11Develop new support technologies and an enhanced Learning Management System by 2023 supporting our learners whether on or off-campus. [DTS]
- 3.12Increase, as part of the Continuous Professional Development Framework for academic staff, the number of graduates from the Special Purpose Certificate in Academic Practice by 30%. [TT&L]
- 3.13Deepen Trinity’s strategic alliance with Marino Institute of Education. [RG]
- 3.14Develop Trinity’s strategic relationship with the Royal Irish Academy of Music. [RG]
- 3.15Implement procedures to recognise civically-engaged teaching. [RG]
- 3.16Welcome students to at least ten new Trinity Joint Honors programmes by 2022. [TJH]
04 — We will stand up for research, its quality and impact.
As one of Europe’s leading research universities, we place research at the heart of what we do. We are driven by a passion for research and scholarship; it shapes our teaching and is the engine of our engagement with society. This means understanding our teaching mission as research-led at all levels, ensuring that the quality of supervision offered to all students is cutting edge and reflects best practice, and implementing the values of our Research Charter and the actions of our Living Research Excellence Strategy, thereby consolidating our place as Ireland’s leading university.
We take pride in the excellence and reputation of the research and scholarship of academic staff, postdoctoral researchers and research students across all three faculties (Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Engineering, Mathematics and Science; and Health Sciences) and value the diversity of research and scholarship across the disciplines and in all its forms. The ground-breaking research of all members of our research community stretches across the full gambit of research activity, disciplinary and interdisciplinary, individual and collaborative, basic and applied, covering the whole spectrum of the innovation chain.
Our five Trinity Research Institutes and nineteen collaborative Research Themes have a special role within our research eco-system, advancing interdisciplinary and collaborative research, attracting and housing externally funded large scale projects, contributing to addressing the great challenges of our time and articulating the value and reach of our research to academic and non-academic audiences. Our structured Ph.D. programme seeks to provide our students with a top-quality doctoral education in which they receive excellent supervision and generic as well as discipline-specific skills training. This will ensure their research is of the highest possible quality and that they have the tools to equip them for successful careers.
A central element of our ambition to establish Dublin as a major global centre for research and innovation are our plans to develop a new Trinity @ Grand Canal Quay campus, where this €1bn research and innovation campus will become the heart of an Innovation District that will have the potential to propel Dublin into the top 20 innovation cities in the world.
Our reputation as a university flows from research, and from our firm focus on quality and impact. Over the course of this Strategic Plan, we will deliver flagship research initiatives of scale that bring together and harness the individual expertise across the university to tackle key societal challenges of our time.
To give research and its people its central place in our strategies, we will nurture and reward ingenuity, creativity and ambition, generate the resources we need, work closely with national funding bodies such as SFI, HRB and IRC, support research staff and continue to improve the research environment to make Trinity a better place in which to do research. We will defend institutional autonomy and academic freedom as the foundations on which excellence in research rests.
- 4.1Increase academic staff in excess of 200 to enhance research excellence across the university. [DR; FAHSS; FEMS; FHS]
- 4.2Target strategic hires in key areas of research excellence and impact. [LRES]
- 4.3Continuously improve our processes around hiring and retention of high calibre staff so we can ensure that we continue to attract and keep the very best researchers and research support personnel. [LRES]
- 4.4Secure philanthropic support through the Inspiring Generations Campaign for key research positions. [TDA]
- 4.5Institute a major and systemic renewal of all aspects of doctoral education in Trinity to ensure the distinctive character of that education as a holistic concept in which doctoral students receive a diversity of cutting-edge skills training to complement their research. [DGS]
- 4.6Provide structured and sustained support to Early Career Researchers such as postdoctoral and research fellows and work to integrate them more fully into the life of the campus. [LRES]
- 4.7Become a world leader in how we communicate research and its impact to our multiple audiences. [LRES; PAC]
- 4.8Host public research events around the campus, including more than 1,000 in the 2020 to 2025 period in the Trinity Long Room Hub. [TLRH]
- 4.9Systematically present policy-relevant research to decision-makers through a host of seminars and workshops. [LRES]
- 4.10Leverage Trinity’s central location in an EU capital city as a focus for social science research and outreach activities, bringing research impact and an evidence base to vital policy debates on growth, equality ethics and Ireland’s position in a changing world. [DR; FAHSS]
- 4.11Further develop and support academic consultancy across the disciplines via CONSULT Trinity. [CT]
- 4.12Lead on Open Scholarship and promote Open Access publication. [LRES; LS]
- 4.13Create a new Research Collections Study Centre in the Old Library, opening up the unique and distinct collections to postgraduate research and visiting researchers in new ways. [ES; LS]
- 4.14Put in place an Industry Advisory Board by 2020. [TR&I]
- 4.15Consolidate the position of our Trinity Research Institutes and collaborate with SFI Centres to optimise mutual opportunities through AMBER, ADAPT and CONNECT. [LRES]
- 4.16Stand up for research and its people through systematic lobbying for increased national funding for investigator-led research across the disciplines, increased stipends for funded Ph.D. researchers, a balanced research ecosystem and a more sustainable rate of overhead return on research. [LRES]
05 — We will shape our organisation and focus research around the challenge of achieving a sustainable and healthy planet.
As a university community, we are deeply committed to furthering the cause of a just, pluralistic, inclusive and sustainable society. Our ranking at number 28 in the world in the THE Impact Rankings 2019 testifies to our successes in this regard. We bring together a powerful concentration of specialist abilities and we take seriously the very real societal responsibilities this brings. Engagement with society is a defining hallmark of our identity, and research that tackles the great challenges of our time is at the heart of our research mission. Equally, the graduate attributes which inform our approach to teaching at all levels prepare our students to lead their lives as responsible global citizens. Bringing these different perspectives together, we commit ourselves to finding ways in which as many members of the university as possible can contribute to furthering the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This will involve identifying, and bringing together, research being carried out across the university that touches on questions of sustainability and healthy living. The UN SDGs include not only climate action and addressing poverty and hunger, but also relate to education, gender equality, peace and justice, and sustainable cities. In our schools, research institutes and research themes, we will bring together and highlight teaching, research and scholarship that maps on to the seventeen UN SDGs. Strategic initiatives such as the proposed E3 research institute in Engineering, Environment and Emerging Technologies at our new Trinity @ Grand Canal Quay campus, or the development of programmes to be housed in the Martin Naughton E3 Learning Foundry, will help to equip new generations to tackle the grand challenge of sustainability. Likewise, our pivotal role in the Global Brain Health Institute places us at the forefront of research on healthy ageing. Beyond such specific projects, however, we will align ourselves with the UN SDGs in the ways in which we conduct our lives as members of the College community.
- 5.1Commit to strong ethical leadership in all we do, from research to staff development and throughout the activities of our entire university community. [DR; RG]
- 5.2Create a UN Sustainable Development Goal Hub using our research data to monitor research in all fields linked to the UN SDGs. [LRES; SST]
- 5.3By the end of 2020, have set targets for the significant reduction of our carbon footprint. [DR; RG]
- 5.4Provide leadership in sustainability through improvements in energy use, reduction in waste including single use plastics, promoting areas such as sustainable transport and biodiversity, and ensuring all new buildings are based on sustainability principles. [SST]
- 5.5Support and conduct civically-engaged research thereby increasing the number of research outputs connected to UN SDGs by 20% by 2025. [LRES; SST]
- 5.6Promote civically-engaged research across the university and host public engagement events relating to the UN SDGs in our schools and research institutes, highlighting to the wider public and policy makers the impact of our work. [LRES]
- 5.7Introduce new funded Ph.D. scholarships in line with UN SDGs. [LRES, PC]
- 5.8Build the teaching programmes and research projects of the CHARM-EU alliance around the grand challenge of “Reconciling Humanity with the Planet”. [LRES; GRS3]
- 5.9Achieve an Athena SWAN Silver award by 2025. [AS]
- 5.10Integrate the SAGE Charter for gender equality into our policies and practices by 2021. [AS]
- 5.11Contribute, as part of the Global Brain Health Institute, to the goal of having 125 Atlantic Fellows for Equity in Brain Health working globally by 2022 to create a zealous, creative community of leaders combining to reduce inequities in the field of brain health. [GBHI]
06 — We will enrich and expand our global network.
In a world in which connectivity is the new growth, Trinity will grow as a university - not primarily by getting bigger, but by becoming ever more connected in an interdependent world. We will do this by playing our role as a proactive member of a world community of researchers, scholars and educators, strengthening our global network of research and educational links. In 2019, the university launched its third Global Relations Strategy (GRS3). Where earlier Global Relations strategies focussed on increasing the numbers of non-EU students, the new strategy takes a more holistic approach, developing our links with our European neighbours, including the UK, as well as deepening our relationships with partners in the rest of the world. In the European context, we will further develop our involvement with the League of European Research Universities (LERU) and the Coimbra Group of European Universities. As a member of CHARM-EU, one of the pioneering first-round university alliances supported by EU funding, we will develop and test an entirely novel concept of a European University, offering challenge-based, multidisciplinary and collaborative degrees, with students moving flexibly across all member institutions. We will increase the number of dual and joint degrees with top partner institutions from around the world based on our highly successful model partnership with Columbia University. At home, we will increase mobility for staff and students at all levels and embed internationalisation deeper in the curriculum and in campus life, ensuring that all our students are better prepared for lives and careers as global citizens. Our new Trinity @ Grand Canal Quay innovation campus will actively engage researchers with both domestic and international companies, and we have ambitious targets to increase the numbers of international companies with whom we collaborate. To achieve all of this, we will continue to collaborate with our network of alumni to strengthen our partnerships around the world.
- 6.1Nurture the lifelong relationship between the College and its alumni community through innovative programmes and engagement. [TDA]
- 6.2Engage our global network of alumni and supporters in raising €400m in philanthropic funding and 150,000 volunteer hours as part of the Inspiring Generations Campaign. [PC; TDA]
- 6.3By 2025, ensure that 50% of the graduating undergraduate cohort will have had an international experience as part of their programme. [GRS3]
- 6.4Develop teaching and learning initiatives to embed an international perspective into the curriculum for all students and across all disciplines. [TT&L]
- 6.5Enter into at least one new dual, one new joint and three new articulation programmes per Faculty by 2025. [GRS3]
- 6.6Deliver a model for the future European University through CHARM-EU. [LRES; GRS3]
- 6.7Intensify our engagement with LERU and the Coimbra Group. [LRES; GRS3]
- 6.8Further diversify the international student body with an additional 1,000 non-EU students, bringing their overall number to 4,000 by 2025. [GRS3; E3; LS; BSDP; SOM]
- 6.9Increase the number of non-EU postgraduate taught students by 42%. [GRS3]
- 6.10Increase the number of students on our International Foundation Programme with our partner institution, Marino Institute of Education, to 120 by 2025. [GRS3]
- 6.11Play a key role, as part of Dublin’s new Innovation District, in transforming Dublin into the top 20 of innovation cities globally by 2030. [T@GCQ]
- 6.12Add at least one new industry collaborating company from a new country per year. [IS2]
- 6.13Build a new web presence, based on a Content Management System. [DTS]
07 — We will develop and inhabit our space responsibly.
Trinity has one of the world’s most beautiful campuses. We inhabit an historic, residential campus, located in the heart of a vibrant and fast- changing city. This unique space is an intrinsic part of Trinity’s distinctive quality that creates a unique student experience and draws more than a million visitors annually. This comes with a responsibility to look after it, maximise its potential in a sustainable manner, develop the relationship with our neighbours and integrate it more into the fabric of the city. Working and living within the bounds of a city-centre campus means understanding our space better and reshaping it so that we can use it more efficiently. As stewards of some remarkable historic buildings, we will begin work to conserve our landmark Old Library, as well as restoring the oldest building on campus, the Rubrics, which dates from the 1690s. At the same time, we are building for the future. The next five-year period will commence with the opening of substantial new student accommodation at Printing House Square. With the support of our donors, we will build an innovative new teaching space, the Martin Naughton E3 Learning Foundry, and begin work both on a new Law School and on the Trinity St. James’s Cancer Institute at our partner St. James’s Hospital’s site. The next five years will also be the period in which we will lay the groundwork for our second campus, Trinity @ Grand Canal Quay, a transformational development project for Ireland’s future.
- 7.1Launch, by 2022, the masterplan for Trinity @ Grand Canal Quay, part of the Grand Canal Innovation District initiative, providing infrastructure for new research linking Engineering, Environment and Emerging Technologies. [E3; T@GCQ]
- 7.2Complete work on a new generation teaching space enabled by philanthropy, the Martin Naughton E3 Learning Foundry, by 2022, providing a home for the E3 project, uniting the Schools of Computer Science and Statistics, Engineering, and Natural Sciences. This building will achieve Well Building standards and BREEAM excellence. [E3; ES]
- 7.3Develop plans for a new Law School with new and enhanced learning and research facilities. [LSDP]
- 7.4Complete architectural plans for and begin the conservation and redevelopment of the Old Library, including a new Research Collections Study Centre and new Exhibition Visitor Centre. [ES; LS]
- 7.5Build the new collaborative off-site Collections Resource Centre, thereby improving the environment for our collections and enabling the re-imagination/re-configuration of our contemporary library spaces. [ES; LS]
- 7.6Refurbish, by 2022, the campus’s oldest building, the Rubrics, and Chief Stewards House, providing new student and staff accommodation and a research space for Fellows Emeriti. [ES]
- 7.7Begin developing the new Trinity St. James’s Cancer Institute. [TSJCI]
- 7.8Redevelop our sports facilities and infrastructure at Iveagh Grounds. [ES; TCDSU]
- 7.9Commit to a programme of continual improvement and uniformity of standards of our learning and teaching spaces, facilitated by improved data around the use and condition of the spaces ensuring more effective management for a better student experience. [TEP; CSD]
- 7.10Encourage sustainable transport and biodiverse rich areas on campus. [SST]
- 7.11Ensure that our built structures accommodate staff and students in an inclusive manner. [D&I; ES]
08 — We will be one Trinity community.
The university community in Trinity is driven by shared convictions and ambitions, a strong sense of belonging and an ethos of collegiality. It functions as a complex web of relationships, not only embracing academic staff, professional staff and students, but also reaching outwards to our global network of 140,000 alumni worldwide, our partners in industry, in other universities around Ireland and the world, and our generous benefactors. Community in this sense also means recognising that the campus embraces not only the main city-centre campus, but includes colleagues working in St. James’s Hospital, and in Tallaght University Hospital, as well as in offices and associated programmes stretching from Belfast to Columbia University to Singapore Institute of Technology. As with any complex set of relationships, there is the daily challenge of keeping everyone informed and involved. More fundamentally, there is the need to renew constantly the recognition that all members of the community together contribute towards achieving the work of the university. We can do this by finding new ways to make our means of working fairer for all. This includes a fundamental commitment to promote equality and inclusivity in all that we do. We will be more transparent, more agile, and more effective, and we will make our decision-making processes simpler. However, and perhaps most importantly, it means affirming that we put people – students, academic staff, professional staff, alumni, friends – at the core of what we do in a community founded on mutual respect and sharing a common purpose.
- 8.1Develop communication channels that will enable connection and contribution by all members of our community, in recognition of the need and desire of all staff to be involved in the university community. [PAC; HR]
- 8.2Make equality, diversity and inclusion a cornerstone of our ethos and practice across all aspects of College life by instituting a robust EDI strategy and action plan. [D&I]
- 8.3Ensure that at least 40% of Chair Professors will be female in Trinity by 2025. [AS]
- 8.4Create a new internal College intranet and continue to develop our internal communications. [PAC]
- 8.5Recognise and reward staff achievement in fair and transparent processes. [HR]
- 8.6Invest in the development of staff at all levels in the university with programmes such as Career Frameworks and Leadership Development. [HR]
- 8.7Encourage the physical, mental and social health of the whole College community through implementation of the Healthy Trinity initiative. [HT]
- 8.8Strengthen connections to our alumni community, building our alumni network worldwide and engaging our alumni to achieve 150,000 volunteer hours by 2025 as part of our Inspiring Generations Campaign. [TDA; GRS3; PC]
- 8.9Ensure that our decision-making is transparent, flexible and effective. [PO; SO]
- 8.10Explore ways of making Heads of School more fully integrated into the university’s decision-making processes. [VPO; SO]
- 8.11Re-evaluate our approach to postdoctoral researchers in the campus community and work to integrate them more fully into the life of the campus. [LRES]
- 8.12Create opportunities for all categories of staff to enrol in available modules across the university for continuous professional development and micro-credentialing. [HR; DTS; VPO]
- 8.13Continue to strengthen our data and information tools to enable collaboration and strategic decision-making, especially in the area of diversity and inclusion data. [DTS]
- 8.14Establish a Working Group on Family Leaves and Flexible Working and monitor the take-up of maternity, paternity and parental leave. [AS]
- 8.15Implement fully the Core Meeting Hours Policy. [AS]
- 8.16Further improve the status of the Irish language in College life through services, training and events in the spirit of the Official Languages Act (2003). [SO]
- 8.17Implement a new CRM (Customer Relations Management) system by 2022, allowing us to work more effectively with those from beyond the College community. [DTS]
- 8.18Embed and foster a culture of philanthropy within Trinity and lay foundations for future philanthropic campaigns. [TDA]
09 — We will secure the financial basis for our future development.
The university’s financial position has improved significantly over the last five years due mainly to successful strategies for generating non-exchequer revenue. However, there are still major challenges in achieving the income required for a globally-competitive research university. Significant additional funding will be required from the Government to address the shortfall in public funding per student which has reduced significantly in recent years and to meet anticipated growth in demographic and participation rates. Exchequer income has declined from 70% of the university’s total income in 2008 to 40% in 2018 and the financial outlook for the university will continue to remain uncertain unless the Government commits to long-term funding or else lifts the cap on undergraduate student fees. Furthermore, a globally- competitive research university needs a national R&D funding environment where its academic staff can compete for research contracts: Ireland’s public funding of research is very low by international standards and has fallen by 21% since 2008.
Notwithstanding these challenges, we remain committed to the university’s mission to deliver research of international impact, and to a student experience underpinned by quality teaching and access to the best student services. We will continue to invest strategically in world class infrastructure and facilities which will underpin our growth and drive future success. We have invested over €180m over the last three years and currently have over €300m in capital projects in the pipeline. These investments, funded mainly by philanthropic support and long-term financing from our partners in the European Investment Bank, will deliver financial returns in line with carefully planned and managed business cases. In addition, we are also committed to delivering longer term strategic investments such as the new Trinity @ Grand Canal Quay campus on the TTEC site and the Old Library refurbishment. We will continue to focus on our core strategy of growing non- exchequer income across four key engines – research income, global relations, commercial revenues, and philanthropic income. We will also continue to focus strongly on improving efficiency in our operations and support functions and reducing operating costs through investment in best- in-class IT systems and processes.
As a core element of this Strategic Plan, we are committed to a step change in improving the quality of the student experience in the university. We are committed to prioritising the financial resources needed to significantly reduce the student:staff ratio and we will carefully manage growth in student numbers in the various categories of undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students to ensure that the quality of student experience is maintained as the core objective.
In support of the Strategic Plan, we have developed a comprehensive 5-year financial model which includes full costing of strategic initiatives and provides a fully integrated view of income, costs, investments, financing and cashflows for five years to 2025. This financial model is a key enabler in facilitating the development of scenarios for growth and investment and for the assessment of key sensitivities and risks in the plan, as our 5-year financial plan will inevitably need to be adapted for economic and other factors over time.
- 9.1Have funding, including philanthropy, in place for investment of €300m over the next five years in new infrastructure projects set out in the Strategic Plan, including the Martin Naughton E3 Learning Foundry, a new Law School, and student accommodation facilities in Printing House Square and at Dartry. We are also committed to investing in longer term strategic projects such as the new Trinity @ Grand Canal Quay on the TTEC site and the Old Library refurbishment and are currently evaluating funding options to support these projects. [ES; E3; FSD; LSDP; T@GCQ; TDA]
- 9.2Achieve financial sustainability through annual net surplus (before unrealised gains and losses) of 1% of income from 2020 onwards with targeted EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, Amortisation) growth from 3% to 8% of income by 2025 to cover annual costs associated with our capital investment programme. [FSD]
- 9.3Grow student numbers (which underpin income growth), in line with the Global Relations Strategy 3, which includes targeted growth in postgraduate student numbers from 28% to 32% of total student base over five years and growth in non-EU student numbers from 15% to 18.5% by 2025. [GRS3]
- 9.4Grow the value of philanthropy to the university as a method of diversifying our income stream. [TDA]
- 9.5Continue to plan for a reduction in the university’s reliance on exchequer income and anticipate an increase in non-exchequer income from 60% in 2019 to 65% in 2025. [FSD]
- 9.6Achieve a reduction in the student:staff ratio, from 18:1 in 2019 to 16:1 by 2025, and ensure that financial resources are prioritised towards delivering this goal. [VPO; FSD; DR]
- 9.7Ensure net assets of the university are maintained at a minimum level of €800m over the period of the plan. [FSD]
- 9.8Continue to ensure that financing structures are optimised over the period of the plan and that we will fully comply with our banking covenants, maintaining headroom on minimum cash levels, gearing ratios and debt servicing capability. [FSD]
- 9.9Continue to be flexible and adaptable to economic conditions in managing the finances of the university, and meeting opportunities to enhance the academic mission as they arise. [FSD; VPO; CSD; DR]