Trinity College Dublin (TCD) has set itself an ambitious target to be among the top 20 universities in Europe and the top 50 in the world on the back of a €600m strategic plan being launched today.
The five-year plan will be financed in large part from non-State income, as Trinity moves increasingly towards a future where it anticipates its reliance on Exchequer funding will reduce to 40pc, a further decline on the current 49pc.
TCD Provost Paddy Prendergast said they were "not going to stop arguing for public investment in education but with all the pressures on the Exchequer it would not be prudent to design a plan assuming increases in public funding".
The drive for more private funding will include calls on more than 103,000 Trinity graduates, in 130 countries, to achieve the college's objectives. By 2019, Trinity plans to be raising €210m a year from non-Exchequer sources
New state-of-the-art buildings and student residences, more international students and building its reputation for world-leading research are among the key planks of the college's Strategic Plan 2014-19, being launched today by Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
Dr Prendergast said the aim was to secure Trinity's future as "one of the great universities".
The new plan is being launched in the absence of agreement on the rebranding of the 422-year-old college, plans for which sparked major controversy among the Trinity community earlier this year. Dr Prendergast said they were now engaging in "deeper consultation" about the initiative.
The next five years will see Trinity enhance its building and research infrastructure through three major capital projects, costing a total of €295m: Trinity Business School, a landmark Engineering, Energy and Environment Institute to be known as E3, and a Cancer Institute at St James' Hospital, combining cancer care, research and education in one location.
Construction of the €70m Trinity Business School, which will focus on helping to position Dublin as a global hub for innovation. New residences, on or near the campus, are planned to cater for 2,000 additional students.
Trinity aims to boost student numbers in two key areas, including doubling non-EU enrolments from 1,580 to almost 3,000, while ensuring that all existing opportunities for Irish and EU students are maintained.
Among the academic initiatives planned is a greater emphasis on online teaching.