Who are we?

Conversation a few days ago with a visitor, who had stopped at a DCU campus map and looked lost.

Me: ‘Can I help you?’
Visitor: ‘Pardon me, is this Dublin College?’
Me: ‘I don’t think there is an institution called Dublin College. This is Dublin City University. Do you know who you are looking for, or what event you are going to?’ 
Visitor: ‘I have a meeting with the Senior Lecturer, Dublin College’.
Me: ‘That sounds like Trinity College – shall I give you directions?’
Visitor: ‘No, I’ve been there already. I was told to come here.’
Me: ‘Oh? Where did they tell you to go?’
Visitor: ‘Dublin College, North Dublin. I told the taxi driver. He said there is one very good college in North Dublin, I’ll take you there.’ 
Me: ‘I’m afraid we’re not called Dublin College – maybe you mean University College Dublin?’
Visitor: ‘Is that in North Dublin?’ 
Me: ‘No, South Dublin. What is your meeting about? Do you have a name for the “Senior Lecturer”?’
Visitor: ‘I asked for the meeting. It’s about helping Dublin College become a world class institution.’ 

He then gave me a name for the ‘Senior Lecturer’ and I knew where he needed to go. And what conclusion do I draw? Time to brand ourselves better internationally! And I won’t tell you what institution I directed him to…

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13 Comments on “Who are we?”

  1. cianginty Says:

    It gets worse, the other name Trinity College Dublin holds is ‘University of Dublin’.

    Outside of students, past students, and those within the education sector, there seems to be a notable amount of confusion between DCU and UCD. I’ve had to explain DCU as “the one on the northside” a few times.

    It’s something that could be easlly dismissed as not a problem. As with your recent post on acronyms, people who are close to the issue can be blind to the problem. They likely will not even accept that there is a possibility of a problem (which it self can be problematic when it comes to trying to change).

    For example if you use or have used the acronyms daily, it’s no longer jargon, you get so use to it you hardly every use the long form. But put somebody who is not used to the two acronyms in a taxi or at a bus stop in the city centre and try to get them to tell the two apart.

  2. Vincent Says:

    I had never really thought about having to visit all three. God help the poor fellow, I suspect he was near to tears. And that was the Universities only. Lord alone knows how many Colleges have Dublin japanned to their title.

  3. Aoife Citizen Says:

    Of course it will really get complicated when it is decided to admit DIT is a university and a name needs to be found for it that reflects its technical remit while distinguishing it from the ITs: Dublin University of Technology?

    Of course, if people were thinking, DIT would leave behind an IT on one of its existing sites, when it moves, Dublin City needs an IT but then that would have to be Dublin City IT giving us TCD/UD, UCD, DCU, DUT and DCIT along with DIAS, NCI, RCSI, NCAD, DLIAT, BIT, ITT and then the private colleges, DBS, GCD, Dorset College, Independent College, the American College Dublin and the mysterious Free Univsersity. It’s all good of course, the future of Dublin lies with education, but yes, the names are a mess.

    So come on, where is Dublin College?


  4. One of the private ones?

    Though ‘world class institution’ sounds very much like a snide reference to the reforms TCD has been undergoing…

  5. TheChrisD Says:

    I can’t guess… Where did you end up sending him to?

  6. Jilly Says:

    We’re agog…give us a hint!


    • A hint? Well, when he said the name of the person I knew at once, but afterwards it occurred to me that I should have been able to work it out anyway from the information provided here…

      • Aoife Citizen Says:

        Well only one Dublin third level institution has a Senior Lecturer, rather than lots of people who are senior lecturers.

  7. Vincent Says:

    It surely was not the Milltown Institute. Naw, can’t have been, given who who owns and runs the place. The idea they need help, Well, I do not know what came over me.

  8. John G Says:

    At least when DCU was NIHE, there was less confusion. I have a colleague who visited Dublin recently and asked me which universities to visit during his trip. I recommended he visit TCD, DCU and UCD. When he returned he could not tell me which places he had visited. He did tell me that he visited two universities and both informed him that the 3rd place was ‘a small college’ and not worth visiting …

    • Limey Says:

      Perhaps this gives a clue as to the recent banding together of TCD and UCD with the apparent motive of trumping DCU’s excellent funding track record.

      It mightn’t be worth visiting, but it’s PRTLI funding may have stirred pangs of jealousy.


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