Regional Development

NUI Galway is the only university within the Border, Midland and Western (BMW) Region and therefore plays a key role in regional development and its interface with wider national and international development.

An Rúnaí, University Secretary is a member of the University Management Team and oversees a number of collaborations and alliances with other educational establishments such as GMIT, St. Angela’s College Sligo, and the University of Limerick. He is a member of the Board of Directors of St. Angela's College.

Tomás Ó Síocháin, External Engagement Programme Manager, is the lead on Regional Engagement, policy engagement, and managing NUI Galway’s commitments to regional consolidation. He represents the University on the Regional Skills Forum, the Action Plan for Jobs, the Atlantic Economic Corridor and leads the integration of Shannon College of Hotel Management and St. Angela’s College Sligo into the University.

Claire Hurley, West Regional Skills Forum Manager, is one of nine Forum Managers nationally, funded by the Department of Education and Skills, who are focussed on building and sustaining effective communication channels between industry and education to ensure that regional skills needs are met.

NUI Galway is a multi-campus university, with sites from Clare to Donegal across the west and north-west of Ireland. The University has five medical academies, three Ionaid Ghaeltachta (Gaeltacht Centres) and three research centres at locations beyond Galway city. In 2015, the Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan TD marked the integration of Shannon College of Hotel Management into NUI Galway. It is expected that St. Angela’s College Sligo will integrate with NUI Galway in 2019.

The highly dispersed student population of the West of Ireland presents a challenge for education providers in this region. NUI Galway, working with partners in the West/North West Regional Cluster, has set out to address this demographic challenge by providing for a dispersed student population through multi-campus delivery. This emerging multi-site University provides for cohesion in meeting the region’s needs; a multi-site University addresses the reality of our dispersed student population.

Regional Development

NUI Galway is ranked among the top 1% of universities globally and makes a significant contribution to the regional and national economy (1). The University has an annual income of €218.1 million and a capital spend of circa €18 million (2). The University is the second largest employer in Galway city, employing 2,666 staff, who with over 18,065 students, make up the university community. More than 2,886 students come from other countries, making NUI Galway the most international university in Ireland. The student body is drawn from across Ireland, both from the west, northwest and beyond.

Vision 2020, NUI Galway’s Strategic Plan to 2020, articulates an ambitious vision delivering learning and knowledge efficiently across the region, in a way that meets regional needs, but that is dynamic to make the best use of existing institutional resources and offers a coherent, cohesive face to the region and the world.

NUI Galway believes that, as the leading educational institution in the west and north-west region, it must play a central part in the development of the region. A strongly engaged university can act to rebalance challenging regional demographics by encouraging Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), the development of indigenous companies and economic activity in the region. NUI Galway's strategy is to be an engaged university, working at the heart of an ecosystem made up of industry, employers and educators, all working together to develop an effective cluster.

NUI Galway has set clear strategic goals under its strategic plan, Vision 2020. The University is committed to becoming a global top 200 university by 2020. The region has a mixed economy, but huge strengths in Med-Tech, IT, the Creative Industries, Tourism, Aquaculture and Fishing. The key regional entrepreneurial strengths in Med-Tech and ICT are reflected in the flagship BioInnovate (3programme and the more recently established TechInnovate (4programmes at NUI Galway that identify and then seek to address unmet industry needs, nurturing innovation entrepreneurship in multi-disciplinary teams. The University has mirrored the dynamism of these regional strengths, responding to industry needs with intensive programme for companies seeking to scale up to the next level.

In both cases, the existing industry base in Med-Tech and ICT has fostered a growing enterprise ecosystem. The University is now targeting a third pillar; the creative economy, to sustain and develop the west coast’s internationally acknowledged creative vigour. Galway city is the European Capital of Culture in 2020 and has longstanding and on-going collaboration with the Galway International Arts Festival and Druid Theatre Company.

NUI Galway has continued to collaborate closely and strengthen its relationship with industry as evidenced by its investment in strategic research leaders linked to industry clusters, the range of programmes developed to provide graduates for industry and the incubation services provided that support the commercialisation of innovation. The integration of Shannon College of Hotel Management and St Angela’s College, Sligo into NUI Galway will create new and further opportunities for engagement – with the food sector, SME business support services and community care sectors.

This engagement across government, industry, academia and civil society is the palpable energy at the core of NUI Galway and the University’s role as one of the key drivers of economic growth and entrepreneurial capacity in the region.

For any queries relating to Regional Development, please contact Oifig an Rúnaí at 091 492150

1) NUI Galway Rankings 
2) Report of the President 2016/2017  
3) Bioinnovate Ireland 
4) Techinnovate