NUI Galway is the only university within the Border, Midland and Western Region and therefore plays a key role in regional development and its interface with wider national and international development.
An Rúnaí works with national and regional development agencies and coordinates a number of collaborations and alliances with other educational establishments such as Galway and Mayo Institute of Technology, St. Angela’s College in Sligo and the University of Limerick. An Rúnaí 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, in terms of policy formation and managing NUI Galway’s commitments to regional consolidation, the integration of Shannon College of Hotel Management and St. Angela’s College Sligo.
Claire Hurley, West Regional Skills Forum Manager, is one of nine Forum Manager’s 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. St. Angela’s College Sligo is to integrate with the university in September 2017.
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.
These geographical locations combine with independently acknowledged excellence on a global stage; ranked among the top 250 universities globally by both the Times Higher and QS rankings, 20 subject areas listed by QS; Earth and Ocean Sciences, Geography and Medicine among the top 200, English Language and Literature among the top 150 and Nursing among the top 100 globally.
NUI Galway makes a significant contribution to the regional and national economy. The university has an annual income of €215 million and a capital spend of circa €40 million.(1) The university is the second largest employer in Galway city, employing 2,509 staff, who with over 17,542 students, make up the university community. More than 2,500 students come from other countries, making NUI Galway the most international university in Ireland. The student body as set out below 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 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 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(2) programme and the more recently established TechInnovate(3) programmes 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 the twin pillars of 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 will be the European Capital of Culture in 2020 on on-going collaboration with the Galway International Arts Festival and Druid Theatre Company.
NUI Galway has continued to collaborate closely and strengthen our relationship with industry as evidenced by our 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 the quadruple helix of 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.
1) Report of the President 2014/2015 http://www.nuigalway.ie/president/documents/nui_galway_presidents_report_201415.pdf
2) Bioinnovate Ireland http://www.bioinnovate.ie/
3) Techinnovate http://www.techinnovate.org/