THREE third-level colleges are pooling their strengths to become a new force in higher education.
A collaboration between Dublin City University (DCU), NUI Maynooth (NUIM), and Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI) will be known as the 3U Partnership.
Each college will keep its own identity but the forging of formal links is aimed at allowing them to achieve more together than they do separately -- at a time of scarce funding resources.
The collaboration will stretch across all areas of college activity with a focus on enhancing the student experience, producing better research outcomes and creating a new marketing brand for international student recruitment.
Launching the 3U Partnership, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said such initiatives would allow Ireland to compete on the global stage.
As a start, the colleges have set up the 3U Biomedical Research institute to harness the talents of a combined pool of over 750 researchers.
Some of the world's foremost experts in research in Alzheimer's, muscle-wasting diseases, lung and breast cancers and medical imaging are working at the three institutes. From now on, they will work together.
Students will experience the change first hand through joint academic programmes that could involve moving between campuses for lectures in order to tap into the best teaching and most up-to-date materials.
A pilot project in the coming academic year will see DCU and NUIM Maynooth run a joint Electronic Engineering module, with students going to DCU for lectures on digital circuits and to NUIM for lectures on analogue circuits.