New €16million Business School for NUI Galway

Thursday, 29 April 2004

The President of NUI Galway, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, today (29th April 2004) announced plans to develop a new €16 million School of Business on campus at the University. An Taoiseach, Mr Bertie Ahern, TD was present to officially turn the sod for the 4000 square metre facility which is due for completion by September 2005.

The development of a new business school at NUI Galway has been made possible through a combination of PRTLI, EU and private funding, led by a €4.5 million donation by Atlantic Philanthropies. Additional funding is anticipated through further donations and expansion of the overseas visiting student programme, with increased numbers of students from the US and Europe.

This new facility will be part of the Faculty of Commerce, which has grown rapidly in recent years to 1600 undergraduate and postgraduate students and over 50 full time staff.

The business school is an important development for the West of Ireland and will add much needed support to local industry to drive innovation and change in the entire BMW region. The school will provide world-class business education and the infrastructure necessary to accelerate the development of a knowledge-based economy in the West. The new Centre for Innovation & Structural Change (CISC), which will be located at the business school, is responsible for examining science, technology and innovation processes that are central to the development of this knowledge-based economy.

Commenting on the development of the new business school, the President of NUI Galway, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh said: "This new business school is the key to realising the vision for world-class business education and research in the West of Ireland. Through its innovative approach to learning and research, the business school will enhance competitiveness in the West of Ireland. Infrastructure projects like these are necessary to transform the local economy into a knowledge-based economy which will accelerate development and growth in this region.

Professor Roy Green, Dean of the Faculty of Commerce added, "The Faculty of Commerce at NUI Galway has long been recognised as one of the leading business faculties in the country, producing some of Ireland's leading business people and public administrators. We will work closely and collaborate with industry to provide programmes that will deliver the business leaders of the future, building on our well regarded Bachelor of Commerce, MBA, Masters in Technology Management and a range of other programmes. We also have an exciting programme of research that will consolidate NUI Galway's role as a centre of excellence in the understanding of innovation and the knowledge-based economy."

The new business school facility will accommodate up to 500 postgraduate students, 120 undergraduate students in a new Business Information Systems degree and 100 researchers, significantly increasing current capacity. In collaboration with local industry, it is also expected that existing programmes will be expanded to suit specific industry requirements. Programmes under consideration include an MBA in Healthcare Management, a Masters in European Business and Policy and executive programmes through global university alliances.

In a separate development at the University today, An Taoiseach also launched a new Webcasting service for communities throughout the West of Ireland and beyond. In line with the commitment of NUI Galway's strategic plan (2003-2008), the purpose of this service is to ensure that the University's programmes and events are available to individuals in geographically dispersed areas.

The public element of the Webcasting Service is being developed as a strand of the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI), which aims to promote greater civic engagement across the university and strengthen university-community links. NUI Galway is piloting the service with its CKI partner, IRD-Kiltimagh, Co. Mayo, now able to exploit their broadband connectivity to avail of guest lectures, specialist events and particular course materials from the University.

"The rural community will greatly benefit from this initiative. People will now be able to avail of a number of relevant academic programmes without leaving their own locality. Clearly this will help to keep people in their native area, thereby sustaining the social and economic fabric of these communities with a consequent impact on employment and improvement of the quality of life," said Joe Kelly, Chief Executive of IRD Kiltimagh Ltd.

"NUI Galway has a long tradition in community and regional development," said University President, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh. "We can now exploit the latest technology to deliver University programmes to remote areas and empower communities to equip themselves with the knowledge and expertise hitherto unavailable to them."

While in NUI Galway, An Taoiseach was also briefed on plans for a new School of Engineering, which will consolidate the University's four engineering departments under one roof. The €53 million project is designed to provide the most modern facilities for teaching and research which will be a significant resource for the west region.

The launch of web-casting facilities will be broadcast live on: http://www.nuigalway.ie/webcast

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