Saturday 16 December 2017

Elaine Byrne: 'We had a recent meeting where Ruairi Quinn basically berated us'

Patrick Prendergast, provost of Trinity College, talks to Elaine Byrne about his salary, fees, claims of elitism, the role of the State and his vision for the future

Elaine Byrne

Patrick Prendergast was elected as Provost of Trinity College Dublin last summer. At 46, he is the university's youngest president in 250 years. Paddy, as he's known to friends, is from a small village in Wexford called Oulart. When a professor of bioengineering, he specialised in the area of medical device technologies.

His first year has been very ambitious. There's talk of opening a Trinity Science Gallery in Moscow. An agreement with the Singapore Institute of Technology will see Trinity running degree programmes for physiotherapists and occupational therapists in Asia. The National Academy of Dramatic Art, The Lir, was opened this year as was the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute on Pearse Street which will employ upwards of 1,000 people.

Here, in his first one-to-one interview since becoming Provost, he outlines his long-term vision for education and his occasional frustration with some of the constraints acting on higher education. He also outlines how he has secured an alternative income stream for an exciting educational initia-tive, announced here for the first time:

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