UCC Strategic Initiatives

UCC 2022 identifies our strategic vision for the next two years

Prof John O’Halloran

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UCC 2022: Delivering a Connected University replaces the final two years of the Strategic Plan 2017-2022: Independent Thinking – Shared Ambition. It sets out a thematic reframing of our strategic decision making, as well as some transformative changes to our core operations in response to geopolitical challenges, the escalating climate crisis and societal and economic pressures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

This strategic pivot identifies our key strategic priorities for the period 2021-2022, clustered within five interconnected thematic pillars: Learning and Teaching; Research and Innovation; Student Success; People and Organisational Culture; and Infrastructure and Resources. Deeply rooted in extensive collaboration both within and outside UCC, this two-year plan builds on our strengths in student focus, sustainability, and community and global engagement, to identify actions to respond to the current crisis and position UCC for long-term success.

Implementation of UCC 2022 is underway involving a large number of staff across the campus. Several initiatives and projects are already in place and others are in the planning stages to realise our vision. You can read more about these and how they are aligned with UCC 2022 below.  



Pillar 1: Learning & Teaching

The purpose of Pillar 1 is to provide a personalised education for every student through the delivery of future-ready programmes enabling lifelong, life-wide learning. It aims to accelerate the actions in the Academic Strategy innovative assessment and further integration of research, sustainability, global reach and community engagement in the curriculum. Student learning and research will be facilitated through a Connected Curriculum that aligns with demand, university priorities and effective assessment practices.

Academic Strategy on desk









Pillar 2: Research & Innovation

Pillar 2 aims to foreground research and reimagine how we advance research excellence. One of the initiatives aimed at delivering on this objective is cluster hiring in areas of research excellence working towards the establishment of strategic research institutes at UCC. In line with our vision to enhance collaborative research that addresses emerging societal challenges, we have launched UCC Futures - an ambitious programme of academic recruitment across ten indicative areas that will build a foundation for economic, societal and cultural resilience and prosperity.






Pillar 2: Research & Innovation

Rankings contribute positively to our global reputation, profiling the University, enhancing our visibility and our ability to attract talent. Rankings support our ability to engage in cutting edge research partnerships, and to leverage increased resources from agencies and investors. UCC is ranked 8th in the world by the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, placing it as Ireland’s leading university for its impact in working towards creating a sustainable future.

 THE Impact Rankings 2021







Pillar 3: Student Success

Student success is a key strategic priority for UCC and the Bystander Intervention Programme at UCC forms part of our strategic response to the issues of sexual misconduct and violence among student populations. As part of our Sexual Health Framework, the blended-learning approach of the Bystander Intervention programme seeks to not only enhance knowledge and understanding of these issues, but also to lead to attitude and behavioural change across UCC.

Bystander Intervention






Pillar 3: Student Success

As a socially minded, civically engaged, institution, our core values and graduate attributes are the bedrock of the UCC student experience. Graduate attributes refer to the skills, knowledge, and abilities of our graduates, beyond disciplinary content knowledge, that are applicable in a range of contexts in their lives. Support for the development of academic, specialist and technical skills by all UCC students is a priority for Pillar 3 of UCC 2022.


GA logo







Pillar 5: Infrastructure & Resources: The Physical Estate

While digital learning models have increased in prevalence in recent times, the importance of the physical space and place, an acknowledged unique characteristic of UCC, has not diminished. The 2021 UCC Masterplan reviews our physical footprint and infrastructures, and explores opportunities to use them in new ways. It will support UCC to place itself at the forefront of a new globally focused Irish economy, particularly in the areas of learning, teaching, innovation and research.









Pillar 5: Infrastructure & Resources: The Digital Estate

Responsive and agile decision-making based on organisational data and streamlined reporting is a key priority at UCC. Launched in September 2021, UCC’s first Digital Master Plan sets out how digital services at UCC will support teaching, learning, and research and enrich our activities by connecting people with technology on a 21st century campus.



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