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Dr. Vivienne Patterson

Dr. Vivienne Patterson graduated from University College Cork (UCC) in 1994 with a degree in zoology. She then undertook a taught MSc. in Biotechnology at DCU followed by a PhD in Genetic Engineering at DCU.

Vivienne started her career in the public sector in 2000 as a Senior Researcher at the newly created Skills Initiative Unit located in the Council of Directors of the Institutes of Technology. Here Vivienne became an expert at analysing education data trends and in the identification of education solutions to key skills needs areas of the economy. In 2004, Vivienne joined the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit, the research arm of the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs, as an Education Consultant. She published a number of significant education related reports and developed the education side of the National Skills Database during her time with the Unit.

In 2006 she joined the team at the Higher Education Authority as Head of Statistics. Vivienne led the Statistics Unit of the HEA for 10 years where she was responsible for transforming the communication of education data publishing a number of key reports including “What Do Graduates Do?”, “Key Facts and Figures”, “A Study of Non-Progression in Irish Higher Education” and “Higher Education System Performance: Institutional and Sectoral Profiles”. Vivienne played a significant part in the development and implementation of the National Student Engagement Survey and the National Employers Survey, two key actions arising from the publication of the National Strategy for Higher Education 2030.

Since becoming Head of Skills, Engagement and Statistics in 2016, her responsibilities include the management of both Springboard+, a national upskilling and reskilling programme, and the oversight of national apprenticeships in higher education. Her role in the HEA involves active strategic engagement with agencies such as EI, IDA, IBEC and AmCham to strengthen the relationship between higher education promotion and future employment and innovation. In 2018 she sat on the Steering Groups for the Review of Guidance in Education and the review of the National Training Fund. Vivienne will also develop, implement and manage the new Human Capital Initiative announced in Budget 2019.

Vivienne is a member of the CAO Board of Directors, the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs, the Apprenticeship Council, the National Training Fund Advisory Group and the Technology Skills 2022 High Level Steering Group.