Technological universities have been funded €650,000 through the initiative ‘N-TUTORR – Transforming Learning’, this week.

The N–TUTORR project is a programme within the Technological University sector and funded by the European Union and NextGenerationEU.

The National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) has been developed by the Government so that Ireland can access funding under the EU’s recovery and resilience facility.

The aim is to help repair the immediate economic and social damage brought about by the pandemic and to prepare for a post-COVID Europe that is greener, more digital, more resilient and fit to face the future.

A collaborative approach

The ‘Students as Partners in Innovation and Change’ funding grants have been awarded to 131 projects across Ireland’s seven technological universities.

The project is funded by the European Union-NextGenerationEU.

N-TUTORR is co-ordinated through the Technological Higher Education Association (THEA), with support from the Higher Education Authority (HEA).

Funded projects

The projects involve collaboration between learners and staff and focus on enhancing the experience of students at technological universities.

Each of them will receive up to €5,000 and were informed by the UN sustainable development goals. Some of the recipients are listed below.

Munster Technological University (MTU)

‘The Hurling Cú | An Cú Iomána (a universally designed performance of the skills of hurling set to Celtic music)’

This project will see its team develop digital assets to celebrate the 'intangible cultural heritage' status awarded by UNESCO to hurling in 2018.

Featuring nods to both Cú Chulainn and warrior-queen Medb, signifying gender equality, the project aligns with an equality, diversity and inclusion theme.

Atlantic Technological University (ATU)

‘University Greenhouse’

The team plans to build a university greenhouse to enable students to grow and harvest fresh produce. The ATU Green Campus society will play an active role in promoting the use of the greenhouse.

Technological University (TU) Dublin

‘Improving the Water Quality & Enhancing the Environmental & Amenity Value of Local Urban Streams’

With the aim to improve the water quality and enhance the environmental and amenity value of local streams on or near the TU Dublin Tallaght campus.

This project will examine levels of pollution, remove litter from the streams and plant orchids; and an advanced research project by students on water contamination for specific metals and organic contaminants.

Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT)

‘TikTok for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’

Students from different disciplines will work collaboratively with staff to communicate the sustainable development goals to both their peers and their wider communities by using the short video platform TikTok.

Midlands Midwest (TUS)

‘Promoting academic integrity in the context of disruptive technologies’

To explore the impact on, and potential of, Chat GPT as a tool for learning and teaching in undergraduate psychology.

South East Technological University (SETU)

‘Green Microcapsule Development’

To develop a sustainable, eco-friendly alternative to microplastic beads, as a response to the recent ban on the use of microplastic in personal care products, due to concerns about its impact on marine life and the food chain.

Institute of Art, Design & Technology, Dún Laoghaire (IADT)

‘Researching and developing an ecological-friendly print studio’

This project will explore ecological, non-toxic printmaking and the setting up of an ecologically-friendly print studio, with improved accessibility.

Transforming the student experience

“This is an innovative, whole-sector collaboration across the Technological University sector that aims to transform the student experience,” said Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris at the announcement.

Pictured at an announcement of 131 successful projects being awarded funding of more than €650,000 under a new learning and teaching initiative called ‘N-TUTORR — Transforming Learning’ for Ireland’s Technological Universities sector were: Dr Victoria Brownlee, senior manager in system development and performance management at the Higher Education Authority (HEA), Crow Mullen, deputy president, IADT Students’ Union, Dr Joseph Ryan, CEO, Technological Higher Education Association (THEA); Dr Niamh Shaw, writer, award-winning science communicator and educator about space; Sharon Flynn, national coordinator, N-TUTORR (Transforming Learning) Programme; Moira Maguire, N-TUTORR head of learning and teaching, DkIT, and Carina Ginty, N-TUTORR ATU institution lead. \ Marc O'Sullivan

“Collaboration between students and teachers, in co-creating projects to support innovation and enable student success, will enrich the teaching and learning experience, as well as contributing to Ireland’s progress on the sustainable development goals,” he added.

N-TUTORR national co-ordinator Dr Sharon Flynn said: “The N-TUTORR initiative has been developed to transform the learner experience in the technological university sector through technology and staff-student collaboration.”

“Crucially, it is informed by the UN’s sustainable development goals, so the projects receiving funding today will not only enhance their own institutions but also contribute to and reflect positive changes in wider society.

They address issues such as water quality, sustainable food production, and the implications of AI for academic integrity.”

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