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In 2011 the Department of Education and Skills in Ireland published its forward looking document ‘National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030’. That document focused on restructuring the higher education system as a key action in ensuring Ireland’s Economic Development and the creation of an ‘Innovation Island’. The Strategy document stated that ‘Engagement with the wider community must become more firmly embedded in the mission of higher education institutions’. The same document proposes the designation of some institutes of technology as Technological Universities and emphasises that the new universities should have ‘very strong links with enterprise to create programmes informed by enterprise needs, co-taught by practitioners and academics, with constant renewal and change to ensure relevance… and …a particular focus on meeting the national research agenda of supporting local and regional small and medium-sized enterprises’. In response to this national context, and building on its leadership of two inter-institutional projects at the interface between academia and enterprise, Cork Institute of Technology established the CIT Extended Campus in November 2011. The Extended Campus model is unique in the Irish higher education system as a single point of contact for external organisations seeking to interact with academics and researchers in CIT for graduate formation, workforce development or research and innovation. It provides a stimulus for interaction through case studies and exemplars intended to generate the ‘pull’ from within the enterprise sector. By exploring existing successful interactions it supports the development of good practice pathways and shared institutional learning. The Extended Campus acts as a focal point for the sharing of information and practice on engagement and external organisations and contacts in order to support and contribute to institutional strategy and knowledge.
Fallon, D., Sheridan, I. (2014) CIT EXTENDED CAMPUS : Case Studies on Engaged and Entrepreneurial Universities, UIIN Publication : Good Practice Series 2014.