NUI Galway has launched a new programme developed to prepare students to deal with the complexity of life and the future world of work.
‘Designing Futures’ was developed to increase the employability of NUI Galway graduates by offering practical and creative teaching and skills development with traditional degree studies.
The programme is funded by €7.57 million from the Higher Education Authority’s Human Capital Initiative.
Simon Harris, T.D., Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, said: “Designing Futures is a really exciting and dynamic programme which aims to deliver a unique mix of skills coaching, trans-disciplinary modules and curriculum reform all underpinned by technology.
“It is creating a sustainable system where every undergraduate embarks on a personalised and assessed learning journey. And crucially it has been designed with enterprise and international partners, ensuring graduates are employable and ready for the new world of work.
“NUI Galway continues to dream big, to think big and to lead on the biggest issues facing our country.”
More than 1,500 students have taken part in design thinking programmes each year with more than 300 students attending new transdisciplinary modules in the 2021/22 academic year.
Over 100 students who have been supported by the ‘Designing Futures’ team are running their own business or start-up.
According to NUI Galway, the programme aims to:
- “Promote greater student engagement with civic society, community and enterprise, while expanding their education and preparedness for life and a career.”
- “Empower students to design personalised skills development pathways and to ensure graduates transversal skills achievements are recognised alongside their degree.”
- “Enhance NUI Galway and Ireland’s position as a leader in innovative, student-centred and enterprise-engaged education in Europe and internationally.”
Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of NUI Galway, said new educational technology would provide a personalised learning experience for students.
“As a consequence, this exciting new programme will significantly enhance NUI Galway’s position as a leader in education in its region, and on the national and international stage,” he continued.
“Through the ‘Designing Futures’ programme, we are delighted to contribute substantively to preparing the next generation of our graduates who can creatively tackle the complexities and challenges of the world today, as we live and learn through and beyond this pandemic.”
Partners of the ‘Designing Futures’ programme include organizations such as Aerogen, Boston Scientific, SAP, Rent the Runway, Mbryonics, Veryan, Channel Mechanics and Medtronic, and the Galway International Arts Festival.
Professor Michelle Millar, NUI Galway Dean of Students and ‘Designing Futures’ Programme Lead, said: “’Designing Futures’ reaffirms our continued commitment at NUI Galway to ensuring the best possible education for our students, particularly in these challenging times.
“The innovative design of the programme will ensure our graduates are exceptionally well-placed to face and handle the complexities of today’s world, while also making the most of future opportunities in life after university.
“As well as their academic and disciplinary knowledge, and engagement with enterprise and civic and social partners, ‘Designing Futures’ contributes to students’ holistic and rounded education through specialised personal development and success coaching.
“’Designing Futures’ recognises, enhances and supports the totality of students’ experience at third-level, so that they will graduate well-equipped for the world of today, and tomorrow,” Professor Millar concluded.