Professor Tom Collins is currently Chair of the Governing Body of DIT , of IT Blanchardstown and of IT Tallaght. All three institutions have agreed to merge to form Ireland’s first Technological university. On merger, the new institution – the Technological University for Dublin- will have in excess of 30,000 students, making it Ireland’s largest higher education institution.
Professor Collins is the former Head of Education at Maynooth University (2006-2011); Dean of Teaching and Learning there between 2008 and 2011 and interim President there 2010-2011. Between 2011 and 2013, he was President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, Medical University of Bahrain. In 2016 he led the development on a national framework of student engagement in Irish higher education institutions on behalf of the Higher Education Authority. Over the past two years he has been active in establishing a new representative body for the 14 institutes of technology in Ireland-The Technological Higher Education Association . This
new body was officially launched in April, 2017.
Professor Collins has been an active player in the evolution on Irish education policy-at all levels –for the past two decades. He was special government advisor in the development and publication of Ireland’s only White Paper on lifelong learning – Learning For Life- in 2000. Between 2006 and 2012, he was Chair of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) , the statutory advisory body on all curriculum matters in Ireland from birth to eighteen. His scholarship, publications and other professional work throughout his career has focused on the links between educational under-achievement and background disadvantage and he has led multiple initiatives in enhancing educational access and participation Ireland. In this context, he is a former board member both of Pobail and , prior to this , the Combat Poverty Agency and was chair of the Cherry Orchard Regeneration initiative between 2005 and 2009.