26 October 2006: Following a competitive process administered by the Higher Education Authority, the Minister for Education and Science has announced the award of 14 projects, across the third-level sector, to a total value of over €42m. NUI Galway has been awarded one of the largest individual amounts, a significant €7.3m, and is an active partner in eight of the other successful projects. Minister Hanafin's announcement is part of the Government's new €300m Strategic Innovation Fund aimed at supporting restructuring and reform in the Irish Third Level Sector in order to enhance the quality of higher education teaching and research.
The funds awarded to NUI Galway are earmarked to enhance the quality of teaching and learning in the University; to enhance the infrastructure underlying post-graduate education and research; to support the restructuring of academic units underway in the University; to enhance the successful access programmes; and to further develop innovative service learning and student volunteering activities.
Speaking following the announcement by the Minister, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway, said, "I am delighted to welcome the announcement by Minister Mary Hanafin. NUI Galway's success in this competition reflects well, and indeed vindicates, the approach this University has taken to reform and restructuring at both third level and fourth level. Our ability to work effectively as a team inside the University and to develop strong, enduring and effective collaborations with partner institutions in the University and Institute of Technology sectors has been rewarded with our success in this programme. In particular, we welcome the success of our partnership with the Institutes of Technology in the BMW region, which will greatly expand our already successful and innovative access programme."