Extended Campus was established as an interface or facilitator, to create and support links between CIT, enterprise, and community groups.
Problem addressed: Cork Institute of Technology’s (CIT) Extended Campus is a facility designed to support the two-way interactions of individuals and organisations with CIT for knowledge exchange, lifelong learning and responsive engagement. There is a wealth of world-class research, learning and facilities available in academia but it is not always clear to companies, enterprises, individuals or communities how to connect to this knowledge.

How objectives are reached: Through the development of a Customer Relationship Management system interactions with companies were tracked and recorded (Sheridan et al. 2013). This facilitated the development of a codification which allowed the various forms of interaction to be grouped and resulted in the identification of three pillars of engagement: Graduate Formation, Workforce Development and Research & Innovation.

Extended campus objectives are:
• Guide the formation and further development of current partnerships
• Make it easier for external organizations to engage in mutually beneficial interactions with CIT academics and researchers
• Develop a clear view of the extent and depth of existing and desirable engagement interactions to feed into institutional strategy and decision-making
• Stimulate more interactions and measurably support regional economic development
• Ensure that the variety of interactions with companies are collated and built on to develop broader supportive long-term mutually beneficial partnerships

Resources needed

Staff: Senior Academic x2; Administrative Staff x2; Marketing Executive x1; Work Based Learning Officer x1; and Recognition of Prior Learning Officer x1 annual cost €350,000.

An annual non-pay budget of €23,000, incl. Equipment, Computing, CRM licence, Travel, Staff Development and Stationery.

Evidence of success

Some short term concrete outcomes:
• Contact and interaction information shared and collated on CRM: 1,360 accounts in total, 2,530 individual contacts to date
• 1050 individuals on Newsletter mailing list
• 1400 Twitter followers
• 28 Case Study exemplars developed for web and print form
• 10 customized learning interactions facilitated for companies
• 20 in-company learning clinics have been facilitated to support individual and cohort upskilling needs identification

Difficulties encountered

HEIs organise themselves around discipline areas and this initiative requires a cross-institution and cross-disciplinary perspective in order to optimise the experience for the external partner. In a time of budgetary challenges, staff shortages and growing numbers of students, change is difficult.

Potential for learning or transfer

This extended campus model is transferable and can directly benefit any HEI seeking to engage with enterprise in a connected and informed way. Working with the partners on the REAP project the CITs Extended Campus have shared the specifics of the approach and the CRM system with other HEIs in Ireland and abroad.

Case studies of successful partnerships CIT researchers and students have with e.g. Dell EMC, RedZinc, Polar IceTech, Boston Scientific, Superlum Diodes, Dairygold, Trustev, Instant Solar Ltd etc are available on http://extendedcampus.cit.ie.

Academic articles include:
• Sheridan, I. and Linehan, M. 2015. ‘Structures and process to underpin enhanced engagement between Higher Education and Enterprise.’ World Scientific Press Innovation Series: Entrepreneurial Universities.
• Sheridan, I., Barry-Murphy, C. & Madden, H. (2013) ‘Developing the External Engagement Process in Higher Education through Effective Change and Technology.’ Irish Business Journal, 8 (1), 63-76.

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Main institution
Cork institute of Technology
Southern and Eastern, Ireland (Éire)
Start Date
November 2011
End Date


John Hobbs Please login to contact the author.