Minister endorses major development for third level education in the North West

Friday, 31 March 2006

Minister for Agriculture and Food, Ms. Mary Coughlan T.D. has attended a special ceremony to mark the signing of a historic Agreement between NUI Galway and St. Angela s College, Sligo that sees the latter become the first independent educational institution to become a College of a Constituent University of the National University of Ireland.

Ms. Coughlan, who is a past pupil of the Ursuline Convent in Sligo, was the guest of honour at the College s campus on the shores of Lough Gill, on Friday, 31st March 2006, where the occasion was marked with the Honorary Conferring of a Doctor of Laws on former President of St Angela s Sr. Marianne O Connor.

Sr. Marianne presided over the College from 1983 – 2001, during which time she expanded the range of courses on offer to include additional elective subjects such as biology and religious education in the B.Ed degree in Home Economics. She also introduced undergraduate programmes in Nursing and Arts, postgraduate courses in Education and a wide range of Lifelong Learning and Continuing Professional Development programmes designed to meet the educational needs of the north west region.

President of NUI Galway, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh congratulated Sr. Marianne on her conferring on what he said was a momentous day for education in the north west. "By honouring Sr. Marianne O Connor on the day we sign this historic Agreement, we are recognising the tradition of service which the Ursuline order have brought to third-level education in Ireland, and in a special way at St. Angela s College.

"As we celebrate the long-standing partnership between NUI Galway and St Angela s over many years, we acknowledge that the Agreement we sign today will further strengthen this partnership and bring real educational and social benefits to the north-west and to the Border, Midlands & West region, as well as to the entire nation. "

St. Angela s College President Anne Taheny said: "The Agreement is a further strengthening of the longstanding relationship between St Angela's and NUI Galway and such inter-institutional collaboration will further enhance the provision of and access to university education and research on a regional, national and international basis. The linkage will promote learning and will support and contribute to both regional and national economic and social development. "

St. Angela s, which was founded in 1952 by the Irish Urusline Union as a training college for teachers of home economics, was designated in 2003 as the sole national centre for the training of Home Economics teachers. The College currently offers programmes at Bachelor, Master, Higher Diploma and Diploma levels in a range of courses from education to nursing. The College also provides an Access course for the socio-economically disadvantaged and co-operates in the delivery of NUI Galway s BA programme in Economic and Social Studies.

Students of St. Angela s College are registered as students of NUI Galway and their degrees and other qualifications are awarded by the University. The existing governance structures of the College will remain in place under the Agreement and a joint body has been established to oversee its implementation, including reciprocal use of library, technology and other facilities at both institutions.

Ends

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