Former Irish Ambassador appointed Chair of NUI Galway's Governing Authority

Former Irish Ambassador appointed Chair of NUI Galway's Governing Authority-image

Friday, 16 December 2005

Noel Dorr, former Irish Ambassador to London was appointed today as Chair of NUI Galway's Údarás na hOllscoile (Governing Authority). As one of the most outstanding civil servants in the history of this state, Noel Dorr has had a long and distinguished career in the Department of Foreign Affairs. He has held the following positions: Permanent Representative to UN, New York 1980; Irish Representative on UN Security Council 1981-1982 (and President of the Security Council in April 1981and August 1982); Ambassador of Ireland London 1983-1987, and Secretary General, Department of Foreign Affairs, Dublin, 1987 until his retirement in 1995. Noel Dorr was conferred with an honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws in NUI Galway in 2001. Speaking of the appointment, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said: "Noel Dorr is one of Ireland's most distinguished public servants. The esteem in which he was held throughout his career is reflected in the roles accorded to him - both at home and abroad – in negotiating the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1985; in the drafting of EU Treaties; and as Government representative on the Carlson committee on the reform of the United Nations. We are delighted and privileged that he will chair the University's Governing Authority at a time of immense change and development at NUI Galway". Noel Dorr's term of office extends to 2008.

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NUI Galway welcomes Government funding for new School of Engineering

NUI Galway welcomes Government funding for new School of Engineering-image

Monday, 12 December 2005

€60 million project gets green light for development The largest capital project to be undertaken to date at National University of Ireland Galway will commence immediately as a result of the Government's €1 billion investment programme for third-level institutions, announced yesterday (Sunday). It is expected that NUI Galway's new €60 million School of Engineering will be allocated at least the full €25 million earmarked for the project in the Kelly Report prepared for the Government on necessary infrastructural funding of the third-level sector. Additional significant funding has been contributed by private donors, while the balance will be covered from the University's own resources. NUI Galway's new School of Engineering, with an area of c. 14,000 square metres, will bring the University's five Departments of Civil, Electronic, Industrial, Engineering Hydrology and Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering, under the one roof in a state-of-the-art building, to be located on the north campus, adjacent to the new €16 million JE Cairnes Graduate School of Business & Public Policy, launched just last week. Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said: "This project is critically important for the economic and social development of the entire Western Region, and we welcome the recognition by the Government, in this decision, of the central role of the University in underpinning future development. This is a major milestone for NUI Galway and one of the key capital projects of our Strategic Plan (2005-2008). At a sectoral level, we also welcome the Government's recently announced investment programme for the third-level sector, which demonstrates an understanding and commitment to supporting the sector and its role in the creation and development of Ireland's knowledge-based economy." Almost 1,500 students are currently studying Engineering at NUI Galway, with demand for places in all disciplines remaining consistently high. Professor Pádraic O'Donoghue, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, said: "Engineers have been among the key drivers of the success of Ireland's economy. It is important that those who are at the cutting edge of technological developments and who design and implement major infrastructural projects, are trained to the highest standards with the best possible facilities. NUI Galway has a long and distinguished tradition of quality and excellence across all its Engineering disciplines and the new School of Engineering will underpin the professional education we provide." NUI Galway has engaged renowned architects RMJM to design the new School of Engineering. RMJM designed the award-winning Scottish Parliament Building in Edinburgh, the Chemistry Research Building at the University of Oxford and the Olympic Green Convention Centre for Beijing 2008. For the NUI Galway project, they will partner Taylor Architects from Castlebar, Co. Mayo. The School of Engineering will provide undergraduate and postgraduate student accommodation including engineering laboratories, project rooms, research facilities, workshops, computer suites, lecture theatres and classrooms, faculty office accommodation and departmental staff accommodation. Ends

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Statement by the Irish Universities Association

Statement  by the Irish Universities  Association-image

Wednesday, 7 December 2005

Ground-breaking Investment Package for Fourth Level Ireland welcomed The Irish Universities Association warmly welcomes today's ground-breaking Budget statement by the Minister for Finance on investment in "Fourth-level Ireland IUA President Ferdinand von Prondzynski said "Minister Cowen in his ringing endorsement of the pivotal contribution of higher education to the country's economic success and its fundamental strategic importance to future economic and social development had set a unique setting for a highly significant investment package for higher education" He added "the Budget statement heralds a vitally important development phase for higher education and research and is a strong signal of the Government's commitment to creating a highly competitive Irish university system of top international ranking" The University Heads are encouraged that the Minister recognises that the benchmarks for performance and investment at third and fourth levels are international. They see the strategic innovation fund as a bridge to further investment in the national research plan and the national development plan. The announcement of a strategic innovation fund, the commitment to a multi-annual rolling capital programme, the forthcoming national research plan and the priority to be given to higher education and research as a key strategy in the next national development plan, together provide a considerable boost for a comprehensive transformation of the university sector. The University Heads are particularly encouraged that the Government views these developments as a coherent package of strategic initiatives with a synergistic potential that must be exploited in order to maximise the contribution of universities to economic and social progress. They wish to assure the Government that they are fully committed to meeting the reform challenges identified by the Minister for Finance, to collaborating to develop critical mass in excellence, to maximising effectiveness across the higher education system and to working in partnership with Government to achieve national objectives. The IUA looks forward to a statement to be made by the Minister for Education and Science giving further details on the Government's initiatives End

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NUI Galway Unveils the JE Cairnes Graduate School of Business & Public Policy

NUI Galway Unveils the JE Cairnes Graduate School of Business & Public Policy-image

Wednesday, 7 December 2005

€16million Graduate School to pioneer Ireland's first Finance and Gerontology Centres Officially launched by international business leader, Niall FitzGerald The National University of Ireland, Galway will unveil its new JE Cairnes Graduate School of Business & Public Policy today. The €16 million Graduate School, which will be officially launched by the Chairman of Reuters, Niall FitzGerald KBE, is the first of its type in Ireland focussing on the linkages between public policy, innovation and business success - both nationally and in the BMW region. In all, the Cairnes Graduate School will house four centres of research excellence: Ireland's first Finance Centre, following a new senior appointment from the US Federal Reserve Board, will specialise in international financial economics. The centre will focus on developing new financial instruments and techniques for the development of the global financial services industry and will also produce information on exchange rates and house prices in industrial markets. A new €3.5 million centre for Social Gerontology, which will examine economics of an aging population, will also be housed at the school. €1.5 million for this initiative has been committed by Atlantic Philanthropies. The Centre for Innovation & Structural Change (CISC), which examines the science, technology and innovation processes central to the development of the knowledge-based economy, has attracted over €4 million in competitive funding. One of its tasks is to establish a National Innovation Index, which will measure Ireland's progress in the development of a knowledge based economy on a quarterly basis. Finally, the Centre for Development of Rural Economic Space (CEDRES) has been established with European Union funding of €2 million and conducts internationally recognised research on rural and regional development. In welcoming the new School, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said, "The JE Cairnes Graduate School of Business & Public Policy underpins the University's position as a research centre of excellence - amongst the best in Europe. In addition to greatly enhancing our expanding and changing campus, we look forward to the positive impact the Cairnes Graduate School will bring to our business graduates of the future, and to creating Ireland's next wave of entrepreneurs and business leaders. Our vision for this School is to drive change and innovation in Ireland's knowledge-based economy, particularly within the BMW region, with its highly skilled and creative young people, and globally competitive technology clusters." Mr Niall FitzGerald KBE added, "I am a very strong believer in the role business education must play in bringing Ireland to the next phase of its economic development. It is increasingly understood that Ireland's future success will depend to a great degree on the calibre of its managers and leaders. The Cairnes Graduate School will build on a very fine tradition at NUI Galway of high quality teaching and research, now going further to link the roles of public policy, business innovation and the development of management capabilities. I look forward to witnessing the positive impact that this School will have, not just on the region but also on the entire country's future development." The JE Cairnes Graduate School of Business & Public Policy is named after John Elliot Cairnes (1823-1875), the most distinguished economist Ireland has produced. During the 1860s, Cairnes was Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Economy at NUI Galway (then Queen's College Galway). The 4,500 square metre facility was designed by leading Irish architects RKD. Funding has been secured from a combination of public and private sources, including substantial contributions from Atlantic Philanthropies and Galway based entrepreneur Joe Higgins. Ends

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Lack of Jobs could jeopardise Government's PhD targets

Lack of Jobs could jeopardise Government's PhD targets-image

Friday, 2 December 2005

Issued on behalf of IBEC and the Irish Universities Association (IUA) Strong partnerships between industry and academia needed Leaders from business and universities met today to plan for a huge increase in the number of research scientists and engineers coming on stream in Ireland over the next seven years arising from the Government's Science Technology and Innovation strategic plan. In order to cater for this influx of PhD research graduates, industry and universities must work together to create an unprecedented number of sustainable research jobs. The Government aims to double the number of science and engineering PhDs working in Ireland and to raise PhD numbers from 450 to 900 per annum. This increase is vital if companies are to seriously consider Ireland as a base for major R&D projects. Without the necessary expertise, companies will look elsewhere and our economic success will falter. At the joint conference held today, IBEC and the Irish Universities Association (IUA) addressed the key issues of creating the required number and calibre of PhD graduates and strengthening industry academic partnership to ensure appropriate jobs for PhDs in Ireland. Speaking at the conference, Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, President of IUA said "the availability of skilled researchers is a key component of the knowledge economy. The onus is equally on government, industry and academia to ensure that Ireland can employ these skilled personnel on graduation. We must not have a situation where PhDs fail to find a suitable job, or where students choose not to embark on a PhD due to the lack of a robust career opportunities." Industry investment in R&D crossed the €1bn threshold in 2003, the last year for which figures are available. This trend seems set to continue, with major R&D investment announcements from a number of high profiled companies: IBM (€22m), HP (€21.4m), Bell Labs (employ 120 researchers), Pfizer (€20m), Bristol Myers Squibb (€9.6m). Commenting on private R&D investment, Turlough O'Sullivan, Director General IBEC, said "Recent investment bodes well for the future. Increased private sector investment in R&D will play a significant part in securing sustainable careers for PhDs." Commenting on the €8million secured by companies from the EU's Marie Curie Programme with IUA support, Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski said "Universities have been very active collaborators with industry in accessing research investment and we are keen to see this success continue." The two key priorities at the conference were: 1. To ensure researchers have the necessary skills and calibre to be attractive to industry. 2. To develop strong partnerships between academia and industry so that PhDs can transfer from employment in academia to industry and visa versa. Speaking at the conference, Brendan Cremen, Xilinx Ireland said, "Skilled people are the differentiating factor between competing economies. Business decisions on the location of global R&D activities are determined by the calibre of researchers and the quality of their output." ends

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