3U Symposium Highlights Leadership and Innovation

A leadership symposium this weekend organised under the 3U Partnership, a collaboration between NUI Maynooth, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and Dublin City University, explored leadership and highlighted innovation in the fields of education and healthcare.

The symposium, hosted at NUI Maynooth, is the first collaborative event between NUI Maynooth’s Education Department, in partnership with Professional Development Service for Teachers’ (PDST) and RCSI’s Institute of Leadership. Panelists from education and healthcare explored the importance of understanding and encouraging leadership at all levels within an organisation and role of the professional in leading reform.

Despite coming from different sectors, the symposium heard there were many similarities in terms of the challenges and opportunities presented to education and healthcare professionals including managing the change and reform process, dealing with people, organisational issues, and encouraging learning and new ideas among colleagues. The event featured contributions from individuals within the education and medical fields who had orchestrated change and innovation within their organisations. Attendees heard that leadership doesn’t have to come from senior management and that any individual with skills, enthusiasm and motivation can implement significant change within an organisation.

The symposium was opened by Minister of State at the Department of Health, Alex White TD and was also addressed by Mr Tomás Ó Ruairc, Director of the Teaching Council and Professor Kieran Murphy, President of the Irish Medical Council. Keynote speakers were Professor John West Burnham, Professor in Educational Leadership at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham and Professor Áine Hyland, Emeritus Professor and former Vice-President of University College Cork.

A number of case studies by graduates from NUI Maynooth’s Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Leadership and the RCSI’s MSc in Leadership were presented at the event including:

  • Introducing of a major incident response plan for St James’s hospital
  • Creating a sustainable model of CPD for teachers
  • Establishing a long-term monitoring unit for evaluation of epilepsy
  • Helping Youthreach students to succeed in education or employment

Speaking at the Symposium, Professor Philip Nolan, President of NUI Maynooth said: ‘‘Whether you work in a hospital, school, office block or shopping centre, everybody has the potential to be an effective leader. Skills for leadership can be developed and enhanced and the 3U Partnership has developed courses to equip professionals within our fields to lead effectively. The event today has demonstrated that those who lead and instigate change across different sectors often face similar challenges and journeys. There is much that we can discover from each other and collaborative relationships such as the 3U Partnership are very important to facilitate this shared learning.”

Professor Cathal Kelly, CEO, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland said: “Today we have heard from inspiring people who are instigating change and innovation on the ground within their organisations. The idea for this event began merely as a conversation about leadership in healthcare and education and expanded from there, which is the essence of what we want to achieve through the 3U Partnership – discourse and output. The symposium has been the first partnership event between RCSI’s Institute of Leadership and NUI Maynooth’s Education Department and I’m delighted to say it has been a great success.”