RIAM Facade

RIAM 175 Strategy

The RIAM 175 Strategic Plan was launched in early 2021 and will run until 2025. In the middle of this strategic cycle is the 175th anniversary of the RIAM, in 2023. This important anniversary year is the inspiration for the planning cycle and its ambitious objectives. 

 The 4 strategic goals that the RIAM has identified in the RIAM 175 strategy are: 

  1. Invest in Access and Inclusion for a modern RIAM
  2. Embed reflective practice in RIAM’s six learner groups
  3. Leverage the benefits of the new Campus
  4. Design a new organisational model 

The first goal, devoted to access and inclusion, takes as its inspiration the speech of President Michael D. Higgins at his inauguration in 2018. ‘The next seven years will offer opportunities to do things in new ways; including everybody. That requires identifying and facing exclusions, and more than just eliminating barriers, it means the exercising of new invitations. A real republic is a Republic of equality, of shared vulnerabilities and of collective capacities.’ 

As a sector, music conservatoires’ demographic and social backgrounds, traditions, training, and perspectives influence the decisions we make about artistic standards, student admissions, staff recruitment and how we teach, that profoundly affects others.

We exercise power, and potentially dis-empower, based on a range of daily decisions and assumptions that are calling out to be examined. At their extreme, such power abuses include discrimination, segregation, racism, bullying and violence. Working purposefully towards overcoming conscious or unconscious power inequities will, we believe, foster greater social inclusion, creating a healthy and sustainable community of learning at RIAM. 

The second goal focuses on our six learner groups and seeks to draw on research and trends in music performance and reception to shape our programmes according to their musical goals, giving them a sense of autonomy in their own learning pathway. We also approach assessment in all learning groups in a synthesised way, combining assessment of learning (our grade exams and assessments) with assessment as learning (through guided self-reflection) and assessment for learning (with the tutor). 

The third goal focuses on the unique opportunity RIAM has in during the lifetime of this Plan – the major re-development of our premises on Westland Row. This building project offers the RIAM nothing less than a revolution in the number and diversity of the learners we can welcome on site. It offers us the opportunity to use technology to maximum effect and makes it possible to add a new income streams to support RIAM activities. 

The fourth goal responds to the three preceding goals, emphasizing the importance of an organisational model to drive change.

Our faculty and staff are our most important asset. In a time of great change and opportunity, with the need to implement an access and inclusivity agenda in refreshed programmes and in a new campus, we need to communicate clearly with our staff, to be sure that we all are engaged, and that we all understand our roles in the evolving RIAM. Added to this, we must develop processes that support this organisational model including ICT and results-focused performance reviews.