Our Key Enablers

People and Culture

Our people are our greatest resource. Working together, we create and nurture the unique attributes of our University community experience. We live our values through our actions as we strive to reach our individual and collective potential. We work collaboratively and flexibly in pursuit of our common goals and create an inclusive environment where our community will thrive.


Investment in our people is the key to our future success.

Our community is our heart

Community and connection are at the heart of our University culture. We will build on these foundations to create our future, embracing excellence, new opportunities, diverse cultures and different ways of working and living. We are an international and intercultural campus where diversity is recognised as a strength and all cultures are welcomed and valued.

We will support the development of belonging and wellbeing through the concept of Campas Beo, a reimagination of campus life in light of different ways of learning and working. Our University community is built, not only on our shared purpose as a university, but on rich connections fostered through community engagement and through cultural, social, academic and sporting activity. We will invest in approaches to build stronger working relationships and resolve conflict in constructive ways. We will support initiatives to enhance the health and wellbeing of our University community.

We will continue to embrace and support the diverse cultures of Ireland and the promotion of the Irish language as an integral and enriching part of our campus life. We are committed to embedding the Irish language across our physical and digital campus, enhancing its visibility and increasing opportunities for its use in our work and campus life.

Enabling our people to develop

Investment in our people is the key to our future success. We will systematically and strategically identify, develop, recruit and retain talent from diverse backgrounds and provide our people with the opportunity to flourish as individual contributors to our University community.

We will create a Career Planning and Development Framework for all staff, which will be data-informed and supported by an individual development review, an open and transparent workload allocation model and refreshed promotion schemes. We will continue to support career progression for all academic, administrative, professional and technical staff. We will provide opportunities for staff to participate in internal and external staff mobility schemes to support career development, knowledge-sharing and quality enhancement.

Valuing and developing our leadership

Acknowledging the importance of strategic, inspirational and effective leadership in supporting excellence across the University and achieving our objectives, we will take a strategic approach to investing in the development of our current and future leaders. We will create opportunities for leaders to come together to share, to debate and to advise on major University initiatives. We will build leadership capacity within the organisation to meet the needs of our University and aspire to be an attractive destination for higher education leaders with an ambitious, flexible and innovative mindset.

We will empower those in leadership roles across the University and enable staff to embrace responsibility and leadership within their individual roles. We will deliver an enhanced flexible programme of personal, professional and leadership development opportunities for our staff in support of individual and collective objectives.

Working in partnership, together

As our University community grows, we will find new ways of maintaining these connections and ‘the Maynooth Experience’ that we value, working collaboratively to achieve our common goals and openly sharing information, progress and achievements across the University community. We endeavour to live our values through our actions and behaviour.

We will significantly enhance and adapt our HR infrastructure to support our growing and changing needs in a digital-first environment. We endeavour to support the different life-circumstances of our staff, facilitating diverse working arrangements to meet the needs of our University community and our strategic objectives.

We will support the development of our staff and our University through open and inclusive engagement and partnership with staff and with staff representative bodies. We will enhance our communication with staff across the University and assess staff satisfaction through periodic staff surveys. We will build on the consultation process for this Strategic Plan and regularly use staff engagement forums such as workshops and facilitated dialogue to build relationships across the University community and provide opportunities for collaboration.

Enabling small steps of innovation and creativity

Small innovations can have big impacts. We will empower our staff to innovate and think creatively about how we work and live sustainably in our campus community, supporting innovation across the University. Our ‘Small Steps’ fund will provide seed funding for initiatives that support a ‘next practice’ approach to enhancing quality, excellence and agility across all our activities, and developing staff engagement and wellbeing.

Our Strategic Objectives

Enhance staff career development and performance through the establishment of a Career Planning and Development Framework, supported by a performance and contribution review

Develop further flexible personal, professional and leadership development opportunities for staff

Work in partnership to develop our University, improve our communication, and adapt our HR structures to accommodate our future people needs

Enhance belonging and connection in an inclusive campus environment and reimagined campus life

Support staff innovation and develop new practices across our activities through a Small Steps Fund

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

Maynooth University sees it as vital that we respond through positive actions to the objective of greater inclusion. We have a reputation for authentic, strengths-based access initiatives, supporting participation, engagement, and progression for all students. We will build on this legacy and on our commitment to social justice to ensure that every member of our University community has the opportunity to thrive, regardless of who they are and where they come from.

Demonstrating leadership in inclusion in higher education through a Centre of Excellence

To build on our existing research, expertise and good practice in widening participation in higher education, we will establish a National Centre of Excellence for Inclusive Higher Education. The Centre of Excellence will engage in research-informed practice to influence institutional and national policies on access to higher education, and bolster our national and international reputation. Bringing together expertise from across the University, the Centre will advance knowledge, innovation and practice in inclusion, diversity, equality and access, and will promote equality outcomes in education, employment, research, and wider engagement in higher education.

Enhancing our EDI policy and practice

We will continue to embrace an evidence-based approach to improving our EDI policy and practice. We will coordinate data collection, analysis, monitoring, and reporting for staff and students to enable evidence-based policy and practice in relation to EDI. We will develop accessible Data Dashboards for institutional, departmental, and faculty visualisation, providing a user-friendly interface to engage with and utilise data. To document our progress, we will publish regular reports on progress, in line with Public Sector Duty requirements.

Creating a more inclusive environment

Empowering staff to embrace a culture of EDI in a constantly changing context is one way in which we will demonstrate our commitment to creating a more inclusive environment for work and study. We will provide supports to raise awareness of EDI and empower staff to develop international and culturally diverse curricula and learning processes. We will integrate gender, race and intersectional dimensions in research and teaching content and ensure equality is addressed more broadly, while utilising a Practice Partner Model with academic departments to provide tailored supports and opportunities for students with complex needs.

Attaining an Institutional Athena SWAN Silver Award

Our ambition to achieve an Athena SWAN Silver Award signifies our commitment to promoting gender equality and diversity across our University community. We will publish and implement the Gender Equality Action Plan (GEP) 2023- 2026, allocating dedicated resources to ensure effective implementation and impact as we prepare for the Athena SWAN Silver application in 2026. We will embed understanding of intersectionality in our approach to equality and develop a new Race Equality Action Plan, in addition to providing support for other protected grounds as we strive for a more inclusive learning and working environment.

Our Strategic Objectives

Consolidate and increase our existing reputation and leadership in widening participation through the establishment of a National Centre of Excellence for Inclusive Higher Education

Provide a data-informed, strengths-based education model for ensuring progress across our EDI objectives

Develop a culture in which consideration of EDI is embedded across all University activities, supported by EDI professional development supports, including a Practice Partner Model approach

Attain an Institutional Athena Swan Silver award by 2026

Infrastructure and Sustainability

A unique feature of our University is our community-based campus landscape, rooted in the history and modern-day life of the town of Maynooth and our region, as well as the natural beauty of our campus and its historic architecture. We feel a responsibility as an environmentally conscious institution to be leaders in the green transition. As we enhance our physical and digital infrastructure, sustainability will be our guiding principle.


We will create a vibrant and inclusive campus environment where people enjoy working, studying, visiting and connecting.

Focusing on sustainability, carbon reduction and energy efficiency

We believe in the power of the individual and collective actions that we can take as a community to preserve and protect our planet, and build a more sustainable campus. We will develop our campus as a Green Living Lab for our students’ learning, staff wellbeing and research. We will live our green campus ethos through the way we run our everyday activities. Sustainability is everyone’s responsibility.

We will continue to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions through improved energy efficiency, including the replacement of fossil fuel heating systems with heat pumps. We will develop minimum design standards for all new building projects to ensure they are fossil fuel free, have (near) zero emissions, and use renewable energy and sustainable technologies to the maximum extent possible.

Beyond this, we will develop further initiatives to support carbon reduction and a sustainable campus, including a collaborative, evidence-informed green campus approach to campus management and green procurement practices. We will review use of spaces to improve carbon efficiency, and train staff and students on measures they can employ to make a difference.

As an external validation of our progress, we will pursue recognition for our achievements by applying for international sustainability credentialing and green campus awards.

Digitally transforming our campus

Developing the appropriate technical skills and capacity across the University will allow us to innovate, to address the evolving needs of the University and to respond to the changing technical landscape. Developed in tandem with a review and redesign of technology-led business processes to meet our growing needs, renewed investment in this technical infrastructure will be key to supporting the delivery of the University’s strategic priorities.

We will make significant investments in IT systems and infrastructure to facilitate intuitive, efficient and controlled business processes. We will review these processes and key enterprise systems, to ensure they are future-proofed, agile and fit for purpose for the next 10-15 years.

All University staff will have the opportunity to benefit from continuous professional development in new technology-enabled business processes, technology and digital tools. This will enhance our working environment and capacity to deliver our strategy, particularly in light of the rapid developments in artificial intelligence and threats to cyber-security.

Creating a vibrant and inclusive campus environment

We will create a vibrant and inclusive campus environment where people enjoy working, studying, visiting and connecting.

We will refresh our Campus Master Plan to ensure that it aligns with future strategic priorities over the next five to ten years, foregrounding a sustainable campus and embedding flexibility to anticipate future changes in working and learning practices. We will determine the future campus footprint of Maynooth University to accommodate growth and new developments. We will also establish guidelines for flexible use of space to accommodate hybrid working and blended teaching.

We will prioritise investment in high-priority areas relating to students, education, research and the campus environment, developing flexible and fit-for-purpose student facilities, including a student building, to accommodate our diverse student population and future needs. With enhanced provision of technology-rich teaching and learning facilities, we will better support modern ways of teaching and learning. We will develop our facilities for students to include new models of accommodation that cater for the needs of our students, a ‘One-Stop Shop’ for student academic and personal supports, and multi-use facilities for social, arts, cultural, recreational, collaboration and sports activities.


Placing our campus at the heart of the community

Maynooth University is inextricably linked to the communities of Maynooth, Kildare, Dublin, Meath, and beyond. This provides us with a unique opportunity to create a truly ‘open campus,’ where local and regional communities are welcomed and where two-way flow between students, staff and the public is encouraged.

As part of campus planning and the University’s external engagement function, we will create a series of activities, initiatives and events to connect with external communities. Through academic, research, sports and cultural activities, we will connect with schools, colleges and local communities for our shared benefit, founded on the belief that by partnering with our local communities we create a better environment and future for all.

Our Strategic Objectives

Develop our campus as a ‘Green Living Lab’ for sustainable research, teaching, working and living

Review our Campus Masterplan to develop a sustainable, open and inclusive campus to meet our future needs and strategic objectives and to connect with our region

Digitally transform our campus to enhance and future-proof our learning and working environment through significant investment in our IT systems and infrastructure

Governance, Quality and Operational Excellence

The foundations of our University are underpinned by strategic, accountable and robust governance processes that align with best practice and ensure that our mandate for public good is expeditiously exercised. Excellent and integrated professional services and operations are essential for enabling the effective delivery of our core research and teaching goals. Facing into a future where greater agility will be required and our needs will continue to evolve constantly, we will develop a flexible operational infrastructure that enables us to continue to deliver on our commitment to quality and operational excellence, in a people-centred and digital-first service environment.


We are committed to a culture of continuous improvement and quality enhancement across all University activities and operations.

Enhancing good governance practices

All of our University’s activities are underpinned by the continued embedding of a culture of good governance across the University and actively and proportionately managing risk in support of the delivery of our strategic objectives. We will undertake regular reviews of our governance functions to ensure that we are aligned with best practice and are undertaking our duties in an effective and impactful manner. We will develop members of our governance committees to be effective in their roles to ensure that we advance our objectives in the context of our strategic plan, our obligations as a public body, and our mission as an educational institution, while cognisant of the broader national and international higher education environments.

Assuring and enhancing quality

Quality is a key foundation on which Maynooth University is built. We are committed to a culture of continuous improvement and quality enhancement across all University activities and operations. We will review and refine our quality assurance frameworks, in line with best national and international practice, to embed assurance for quality enhancement in all of our activities. We will give increased recognition and visibility to enhancement-led initiatives across the University, and champion the use of quality enhancement and the sharing of best practice as instruments of change.

Coordinating and integrating data reporting and analysis

Achieving our strategic objectives will require alignment of operational developments with the academic and broader needs of the University, and coordinated and reciprocal data-sharing between professional and academic units. One of our key priorities over the lifetime of this strategic plan is to invest in and significantly increase our capacity for integrated and coordinated institutional data analysis and reporting functionality that will enable data-informed decision-making at all levels, support quality assurance and enhancement, and enhance our practice across our core activities and operations.

Renewing organisational infrastructure and business processes

We will take an outward-facing, forward-looking and proactive approach to our strategic development, reviewing and developing our supporting organisational infrastructure to ensure that it can support our expanding needs and respond quickly to emerging opportunities. We will introduce a business partner model across University operations to support the strategic imperatives of each department and unit, develop our project management capability, and refresh our structures supporting course portfolio development.

Building on our long-standing commitment to providing student-centred services and to supporting all staff and students across the University, we will review our operations and introduce operations assessment frameworks to enhance efficiency and effectiveness, focusing on developing technology-enabled and simplified business processes.

These foundations are an important springboard for our future as a university that is on a trajectory of strategic growth and further development.

Our Strategic Objectives

Increased capacity for institutional data analysis and reporting functionality to support decision-making and quality enhancement

Enhanced technology-enabled operations supported by Operations Assessment Frameworks

Quality Assurance cycle with focus on embedding assurance for quality enhancement

Review and enhance the organisational infrastructure to support the development of our growing University

Continue to embed a culture of good governance, by regular reviews and development of governance committee members in their roles

Financial Strength

Financial strength is essential for the long-term success and sustainability of any university. We will use a proactive, dynamic and responsive approach to strengthening our financial position and maintaining financial stability in order to provide a high-quality teaching, learning, research and campus experience for students and staff. We will plan our finances strategically and invest in areas that align with our strategic goals and values.

In the context of good financial accountability, we will use our resources wisely in order to maximise our potential to offer excellence in teaching, learning and research activities.


Creating capacity to invest strategically

Unlocking the strategic investment potential of our University requires leveraging our financial reserves. We will take a proactive, forward-focused approach to reserve-building that will enable the delivery of significant projects. To secure the future strategic development of our University, we will maximise our resource levels through careful financial planning and management.

We will establish year-on-year reserves for strategic investment by setting five-year goals to generate funds and maintain a minimum reserves position. We will leverage our finances to create a strategic fund for allocation to major strategic investments.

Diversifying our income sources

Acknowledging the ongoing financial challenges facing universities, it is crucial for us to exercise financial prudence and pursue sustainable growth by exploring new income sources and diversifying our revenue streams.

We will diversify our income sources by agreeing on targets for different student cohorts to enhance diversity, leveraging research overheads, sponsorship, and partnerships, diversifying commercial income, and investing in targeted philanthropic activity. This will strengthen the sustainability of our revenue streams.

Using our resources effectively

In the context of good financial accountability, we will use our resources wisely in order to maximise our potential to offer excellence in teaching, learning and research activities, as well as create a vibrant campus environment for our students, staff and broader community. We will create a sustainable resource allocation model for all units to ensure that we best support their goals and future success. Additionally, we will maintain value for money expenditure, including procurement, by assessing infrastructure and workforce expenditure against national and international benchmarks and defining targets for improving efficiency.

Empowering effective resource management

Effective resource management is a shared responsibility that involves all staff in our University community. We will enable staff at all levels to understand and undertake effective management of resources by implementing a resource allocation model, providing financial and resource management capability to all managers, and raising awareness of relevant policies and financial literacy across the University community. This will empower our staff to make informed decisions and optimise the use of resources at all levels.

Our Strategic Objectives

Advance major projects and strategic goals through the creation of a fund for strategic investment

Support academic goals and our future success by developing a fit-for-purpose resource allocation model for academic units

Build financial resilience by diversifying income sources

Maintain a minimum net asset position for greater financial sustainability

Provide professional development for staff at all levels to enable greater understanding and effective management of resources