Dublin City University (DCU; http://www.dcu.ie) was founded in 1981 and is consistently ranked among the top young universities globally, appearing in the QS Top 50 under 50 in 2015. DCU is a research intensive university with a four modern campuses located in Glasnevin and Drumcondra (20-30 min from Dublin city center).DCU has recently completed a process of significant expansion; incorporating a number ofeducational organisations which have combined to create the DCU Institute of Education(http://www.dcu.ie/institute_of_education/index.shtml) one of the largest repositories of educationalexpertise in Europe, spanning the full education continuum from Early Childhood through Primary andSecond Level to Third and Fourth Level. With the development of the Institute of Education DCU hasbecome the most significant provider of research and education on the island of Ireland, withapproximately 16,000 students and 600 staff.

This proposed Erasmus + project is in line with DCU’s strategic plan “Transforming Lives and Societies”, specifically the role of education as a driver of social change and inclusion. The mission of DCU is to transform lives and societies through education, research and innovation. This is accomplished by discovering, analyzing, expanding, and disseminating knowledge, by developing creative and critical thinking and by fostering skills and learning. The current project will help achievethese goals by engaging in a critical analysis of the further application of the concept of polycentricinspection and networking developed as part of the initial E+project Polycentric Inspection ofNetworks of Schools (PINS)( see http://www.schoolinspections.eu/ ). This project has the potential tofurther transfer and develop the concept while at the same time allowing the creation of a furtherrange of contextually appropriate interventions into education systems in partner countries with a viewto enhancing the quality of educational provision within these countries and beyond.

Between 2010 and 2018, DCU’s expenditure on research exceeded €212 million. This included all four faculties at DCU (Science and Health, Engineering and Computing, Humanities and Social Sciences and Business School). Income from research projects was generated from both National (Higher Education Authority, Science Foundation Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Environmental Protection Agency, Health Research Board etc.) and International (EU, Wellcome Trust etc) fundingagencies as well as Industry bodies.

The Institute of Education in DCU is supported in the application and management phase of this project by Research and Innovation Support (RIS). This unit has two constituent parts which supportthe research and innovation activities of our academic and research staff and collaborative partners.

They are the Research Support Unit and Innovation Support Unit (Invent), which along with Financeand Human Resources, provide support in the management of grants and offer advice on theorganization, dissemination, negotiation, evaluation and monitoring of research activities. The Finance Office provides support on budgets, accounts for the receipts and payments of theUniversity and all its departments and subsidiaries, handles payroll matters, student fee processing, advises on University income and expenditure trends, co-ordinates procurement, manages financial audits.

Within the DCU IoE there are a number of expert staff in the areas of Educational Evaluation and Assessment, particularly within the Centre for Evaluation, Quality and Inspection (EQI; https://www.dcu.ie/ceqie/index.shtml). EQI has created an unrivaled research, publication and school support reputation over the last two decades. EQI is a multidisciplinary research group examining the impact of evaluation and inspection in education and related fields, and is a designated University Research Centre. Two components of EQI -the School Evaluation & Inspection research group and the Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment research group have particular relevance to this proposals. These groups are dedicated, individually and collectively, to engaging in research and evaluation of systems of assessment and inspection in educational contexts that are marked by particular cultural and ethnic diversity. EQI is currently engaged in a number of national level research projects exploring culture, assessment and inspection across the continuum of thee ducation system.

They are:

• Erasmus + Project DEAPS – Distributed Evaluation and Planning in Schools https://www.deaps.info/

• Erasmus +project ACRAS – Aiding Culturally Responsive Assessment in Schools http://bit.do/acras

• Erasmus +- E-Evalinto – Evaluation environment for fostering intercultural mentoring tools and

practices at school https://evalinto.eu/

1)Prof Joe O’Hara is the Inaugural Professor of Education and a member of the School of Policy andPractice in the DCU Institute of Education. He is Director of EQI- The Centre for Evaluation, Qualityand Inspection and a member of the Centre for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment atthe University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Joe O’Hara is a Past President of the EducationalStudies Association of Ireland was a member of the The Teaching Council of Ireland from 2012-2016. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Association for Personal Services Overseas(APSO) from 2002-2004 and represented Ireland on the Council of the European EducationalResearch Association from 2008 to 2013. Joe O’Hara was Head of the School of Education Studies,DCU from 2010 to 2016. He is a Director and Founding Member of the Irish Evaluation Network and is a member of the Board of the Centre for Talented Youth, Ireland. He has been part of a number ofEuropean projects on evaluation and assessment and has a particular interest in the role of cultureand cultural diversity as a driver for quality in education and as a system changer in evaluation andinspection systems.

2) Professor Gerry McNamara is Professor of Educational Evaluation and leads the Doctorate of Education in Leadership and Evaluation. He was formerly Head of the School of Education Studies, DCU. Gerry is a specialist in the evaluation of education and training programs, value for money audits, and quality assurance systems. He has led evaluations for a wide range of organizations in Ireland and abroad, including the National Centre for Guidance in Education, the Equality Authority of Ireland, the EU Commission and the United Nations Development Program. Gerry enjoys an international reputation in the field of Educational Evaluation and in particular on the evaluation and inspection of schools, teachers and educational innovations. Gerry is currently co-PrincipalInvestigator for the Irish portion of PINS ‘ Polycentric Inspection Network for Schools’ bringing together researchers and the school inspectorates in eight EU countries.

3) Dr Martin Brown Martin Brown is an Assistant Professor at the School of Policy and Practice andCo-Director of the Centre for Evaluation, Quality and Inspection (EQI) DCU Institute of Education.

He is a specialist in educational evaluation and assessment and has planned and led evaluations in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Europe and the Middle East; working for, among others, the Dept. of Education and Skills, the National Learning Network and the United Arab Emirates government. He is an external advisor to the Teaching Council of Ireland and the inaugural recipient of the John Coolahan SCOTENS award for research into Teacher Education, North and South.

Martin has a B.Sc and H.Ed from NUI Maynooth and an M.Sc and PhD from Dublin City University.

Research Interests

Research Interests include Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment, Comparative Education, School Inspection, School Self-Evaluation, Programme Evaluation, Policy Influences in Education, Inclusion in Education. Martin also has a research interest in teaching and learning in digital environments having designed and developed online Teacher CPD programmes for the PDST and PDST Technology in Education on priority government initiatives such as School Self Evaluation and e-Portfolios for Teaching, Learning and Assessment.