Director of Educational Design Research for Designing Futures, Office of the Dean of Students, NUI Galway
Learning through and beyond COVID-19, a new programme is helping prepare students for work and life.
The COVID 19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption to education, with the UN estimating that almost 1.5 billion learners have been affected adversely in terms of access to and continuity of their education.
Universities such as NUI Galway have stepped up to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic and used innovation and creativity to find opportunities in the face of adversity. The imperative is to create a more inclusive education system, one that tackles big challenges facing society while giving young people the confidence and skills to engage with the complex and uncertain world of today, and tomorrow.
Future jobs opportunities
A new programme at NUI Galway, Designing Futures, aims to achieve just that. Designing Futures is the combined approach of University Staff and enterprise partners. At the same time it offers a more holistic education and develops the skills to innovate for the future. .
Tony Hall, Director of Educational Design Research for Designing Futures, Office of the Dean of Students, NUI Galway, says: “It will give them the skills to realise their talents and succeed in life.
“Designing Futures is about nurturing and supporting students to develop new skills and equip them with the abilities and competences to be ready for life and the workplace of the future.”
Students will be given personal skills training and learning in tools that will be of use to them throughout their lives.
The programme has four core pillars:
- A personalised student experience supported by success coaches to enable them to design their futures by maximising their university experience. Linked with and based on the Design Your Life approach of Stanford University.
- The new human centred design studio – IdeasLab. It brings together our students and enterprise partners – from some of the biggest and most innovative employers in Ireland – to develop learning experiences that are driven by design thinking, tech, curiosity, creativity and empathy.
- A new suite of modules which breaks down the traditional silos of academic specialism, promoting innovative thinking and problem-solving among students across the university.
- Modelled on the approach of Georgia Institute of Technology, multidisciplinary teams of staff and students are brought together to solve research challenges in culture, enterprise and society.
Holistic approach to university education
Hall concludes: “Students will be given personal skills training and learning in tools that will be of use to them throughout their lives, helping them to make the best career and life choices.
“Our hope and our aim are the same – to better prepare young graduates for the complex world of today and tomorrow.”