Wednesday, 24 November 2021
Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, has formally approved the incorporation of St. Angela’s College into the Institute of Technology Sligo, and subsequently to become one of nine campuses of the new Atlantic Technological University designated in April 2022. Minister Harris says “It makes a lot of sense for the College to incorporate into the other higher education powerhouse emerging now in the West / North West in the form of the new TU which I granted TU status to only last month and which already has a strong Sligo presence in IT Sligo.“ When incorporated, St. Angela’s will become a campus of the Atlantic TU that is being established by the Connacht-Ulster Alliance (CUA) consortium of Institutes of Technology comprising of GMIT, LYIT and IT Sligo. St. Angela’s College has a strong reputation of third-level education in the North West and the welcome announcement of joining IT Sligo means that it becomes the second local campus in Sligo and ninth regional campus of the Atlantic TU in 2022. The College’s strong focus and expertise in the delivery of professionally accredited programmes through its Academic Schools of Nursing, Health Sciences and Disability Studies; Home Economics; and Education. Undergraduate degrees offer a range of disciplines, equipping graduates with the knowledge and skills for careers in Nursing (General and Intellectual Disability), Home Economics Teacher Education (including additional disciplines in Biology, Religious Education and Irish) as well as within industry settings (Food Business, Textiles and Fashion). Developing alternative pathways to these undergraduate degrees has allowed for a sense of inclusivity and equality in our prospective students and the College now accept applicants through a number of routes including the Access Programme, HEAR, DARE, the Access to Post-Primary Teaching Project, QQI Awards and Mature applications - all valuably contributing to a diversity on campus. The College also offer an array of postgraduate and part-time programmes delivered via blended/online learning. The Centre for Special Educational Needs, Inclusion and Diversity at St. Angela’s College provides a range of Pre-Undergraduate, Undergraduate and Postgraduate programmes as well as shorter professional development courses and stand-alone blended-learning modules. In June 2021 the Merici Institute was established as a research hub for religious students together with the retention of the chapel and the provision of a chaplaincy service will help to ensure the continuing legacy of the Ursuline Order in what will be a new and exciting education setting. Another milestone in 2021 was the launch of the National Centre of Excellence for Home Economics, paying tribute to the decades of home economics education and passion for this very important subject which transfers skills for life to all its graduates and their future students. Originally founded by the Ursuline Order, St. Angela’s College welcomed its first teacher education students back in 1952 in what is still considered to this day, a most idyllic and unique learning setting. Sr. Marianne O’Connor from the Sligo Ursulines expresses her thoughts on today’s announcement “As part of the Ursuline legacy in education, we want to continue our contribution to the development of third level education in Sligo particularly in the light of the development of a Technological University in the North West.” Acting President at St. Angela’s College, Dr Edel McSharry warmly welcomes Minister Harris’s news; “For seventy years, St. Angela’s has grown and developed beyond what was ever imagined, pioneering through challenges and embracing opportunities, and it’s through these opportunities that we can grow stronger and continue to deliver education at exceptional standards.” This incorporation will bring a wealth of benefits to students in terms of access to new facilities, greatly enhancing the overall student experience, and for staff this means a bright future in research, course development and career progression. President of IT Sligo, Dr Brendan McCormack said it was an historic day; “For decades our two institutes have collaborated on many levels and now we look forward to formally welcoming St. Angela's into the Institute of Technology Sligo. Through this incorporation, the higher education provision across the region will be enhanced and students and staff will benefit from sharing resources and knowledge across a campuses of the Atlantic TU. . In April 2022 we will join together with GMIT and LYIT to become part of Irelands newest Technological University with over 20,000 students across nine campuses.” Dr McCormack added; “This is an opportunity to revolutionise the educational landscape of the west and northwest region - Together attracting more students, research, innovation and investment to the region.” IT Sligo together with St. Angela’s College and the Ursuline Union signed a Memorandum of Understanding and a Data Sharing Protocol back in May to enable a financial and legal due diligence process to commence. Following discussions with NUI Galway, the Higher Education Authority and the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, St. Angela’s College are now proceeding to agree the process by which it will be incorporated into IT Sligo, in the first instance, and subsequently become one of nine campuses recognised under this new TU. Announcing the incorporation, Minister Harris said: “St. Angela’s College, Sligo has long been an important provider of initial teacher education and home economics, both in the West / North West and nationally. It provides higher education across a range of other disciplines, too, including Nursing, Health Science, Disability Studies, Food and Nutrition, Textiles, Fashion and Design, Science, Biology and Business. “As such, It makes a lot of sense for the College to incorporate into the other higher education powerhouse emerging now in the West / North West in the form of the new TU which I granted TU status to only last month and which already has a strong Sligo presence in IT Sligo. My officials are working closely with both higher education institutions to advise and ensure that relevant issues around the legislative and other processes required for incorporation are observed. Of course, ultimately, incorporation into the new TU will be a matter for the university’s governing body upon establishment”. Since the MOU was signed, both institutes have been meeting regularly to consider the business transfer arrangements and organisational structures. Dr McSharry concludes “We look forward to sharing our ideas and our vision and intensifying our collaborative efforts to progress this incorporation into the Sligo campuses of the Atlantic TU, together making Sligo Ireland’s next University Town.” Both institutions continue to work together to merge before the IT Sligo becomes the new Atlantic Technological University in April 2022. Pictured above: Dr. Edel McSharry, Acting President St. Angela's College and Dr. Brendan McCormack, President IT Sligo
Sunday, 21 November 2021
Celebrating the Contribution of Nursing and Midwifery in Contemporary Irish Society The School of Nursing, Health Sciences and Disability Studies at St. Angela's College are delighted to collaborate with the Irish Universities Association, brining together a series of webinars to raise awareness on the contribution that nursing and midwifery, are making across the provision of health care in Ireland. In particular, the seminars will focus on clinical practice, education, research, as well as specialist and advanced practice. They will also explore the role that nurses and midwives, have been playing in the supporting the national effort during the COVID-19 pandemic. Working with colleagues from Trinity College Dublin and Dublin City University, the title of this November webinar is 'Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in Nursing and Midwifery Education'. What do we mean by Diversity and Inclusion? Diversity – in the US, diversity seems to have a meaning related to culture, ethnicity and race. In the UK diversity seems to be included in equality narratives and has a broader meaning, with relevance to any underrepresented social groups. Inclusion – is often spoken about in terms of frameworks; how to identify and measure it and what steps to take to ensure it – individually (our mind sets), collectively (our culture) and systemically (our institutions). The obligation of the Nursing Profession to contribute to a just society “The study findings challenged the profession to embrace the possibilities of increasing its diversity and inclusiveness, with the ultimate goal of building a better, stronger, more just profession and a better, stronger, more just society” (Berry, 2010) Excellence in the profession and the educational institutions that prepare members cannot be achieved without diversity and inclusion being embedded in their mission. “An organizational culture that values diversity and inclusion is essential for the achievement of high-quality nursing education” (Cary et al, 2020) “…academic environments only become excellent when an inclusive climate is reached.” (Bleich, McWilliams and Schmidt, 2015) “…a lack of tolerance for difference within the profession, but not simply in relation to cultural or physical difference. They described a lack of acceptance within the profession of different ways of thinking and being—referred to in the study as diversity of thought. They reported that the profession expected and reinforced conformist thinking and tended to support the status quo.” (Berry, 2010) The requirement for public services to be representative of the societies they serve. If we look at the demographics of the nursing profession (and our national student body) and see whether our general population make-up is represented all the way through the profession. In the general population - 50.36% are women, 13.5% are disabled, 5-7% identify as LGBTQI 17.8 are non white-irish and 0.7% are members of the Traveller community. Are these proportions replicated in the profession? “Societies in the developed world are becoming increasingly diverse….. Society’s institutions, including the health care system and its professional groups, are increasingly challenged to enhance their understanding of and respect for such societal diversity in providing services, and to work to reflect this diversity in the makeup of their membership” (Berry, 2010) “…the nursing profession currently expected its members to represent the norm-- white middle class females.” (Berry, 2010) “…demographics of the health professions workforce, including nursing, have been slow to change.” (Relf, 2016) What can we do about it? Mainstreaming, which has the aim of improving equality for marginalised groups, seeks to ensure that the target social group is visible, empowered and participating in every sphere of public and private life (adapted from the UN Gender Mainstreaming Policy) may have something to teach us here. What do we want to achieve in the Seminar? Identify the need for a change in our thinking? Create an opportunity to think about the value of diversity and the importance of inclusion? Propose a framework for change? Join us on Monday 29th November 2021, 12-1pm. Register HERE
Tuesday, 23 November 2021
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Monday, 13 September 2021
Final year BNSc Nursing Interns throughout the country had an experience like no other in 2020 and again in 2021, and those studying General Nursing and Intellectual Disability Nursing at St. Angela’s College, Sligo were no different. As part of their fourth and final year, they embarked on their 36-week internship in various clinical and healthcare settings which would mark the completion of their degree. Of course, no one predicted that the COVID-19 pandemic would see these interns join other healthcare professionals as vital front-line workers as the fight against the virus continues 18-months on. “While being aware of the risks that interns faced this year, our BNSc students were dedicated to not only continue on their academic course but they also joined a workforce that performed above and beyond in a time of such uncertainty” explains Dr Edel McSharry, College President (Acting). “We’re extremely proud of all our BNSc graduates over the years and know that they too are contributing hugely to the profession, a profession they chose out of compassion and a desire to help others, this is what it truly means to be a practising nurse”. During their final year the Nursing Interns were official employees of the HSE in addition to being third level students so they had a dual role with employee responsibilities while learning in practice and being supported by their educators. The BNSc General and BNSc Intellectual Disability students have just recently completed both practical and theoretical elements of their course and are currently applying for registration as a nurse with the Nursing Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI). They will also be conferred and become graduates of the National University of Ireland. First year BNSc students at the College are pre-registered with the NMBI as a candidate Nurse with full registration on successful of the four-year course. For more, visit our School of Nursing, Health Sciences and Disability Studies Applications for our BNSc courses are through the CAO www.cao.ie
Friday, 27 August 2021
Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science; Mr Simon Harris, TD paid a visit to the North West on Wednesday the 25th of August, meeting staff and students at Sligo’s two third level institutions; St. Angela’s College and IT Sligo, as well as the Sligo branch of the Education and Training Board (MSLETB). The Minister visited with the educational institutes to discuss an array of issues and meet with staff before the re-opening of campuses to students next month. Speaking during his visit to Sligo, the Minister said: “I’m delighted to visit Sligo today, and I’m only sorry that the pandemic prevented it until now. Sligo has fantastic further and higher education options that are available to everyone, regardless of age or anything else, and I was very happy to hear that directly from students and staff here. Making sure that people can learn and work in their own area, that they don’t have to leave to succeed, is so important to me and my Department, and I look forward to the new Technological University become a reality in the near future. Getting students and staff safely back on campus this autumn is a priority for me, and I am glad to see that plans are proceeding well in Sligo to achieve this.” Minister Harris visited St. Angela’s College where he met the College Management Team, students and staff. Following a brief presentation, Minister Harris was invited on a campus tour led by Acting President, Dr Edel McSharry. ‘Hosting Minister Harris for this visit was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the College and the standard of teaching we offer’ explains Dr McSharry ‘Our campus is truly unique with its strong focus and expertise in the delivery of professionally accredited programmes of home economics, teacher education and nursing. We’re now at a pivotal point to further develop our facilities to enhance our students’ experience’. St. Angela’s College have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with plans to be incorporated into IT Sligo as they progress towards becoming a Technological University in early 2022, ensuring Sligo becomes a strong University town to attract students from across the region and a diverse range of national and international students. Minister Harris shared his strong support for the proposed IT Sligo incorporation, acknowledging the benefits for all involved and what it would bring to the North West region. St. Angela’s College have been pro-active in completing work with IT Sligo, work required in order to meet their timeframe for TU application. It was clear to see that both institutions welcome this merger and will work tirelessly to ensure it comes to fruition. Minister Harris then visited IT Sligo where he met staff, researchers and representatives from the Students Union. The Minister also inspected plans for the €30 million capital development on the campus with construction work commencing in the coming weeks. The Minister also officially launched the €10 million SCORE project, funded under Horizon 2020 with a consortium of EU partners led by IT Sligo that aims to increase climate resilience in European coastal cities. SCORE (Smart Control of the Climate Resilience in European Coastal Cities), outlines a comprehensive strategy, developed via a network of 10 coastal city ‘living labs’, to rapidly, equitably and sustainably enhance coastal city climate resilience though an Ecosystem-Based Approach (EBA) supported by sophisticated digital technologies. This was followed by a meeting between the Minister and senior management of IT Sligo including the President, Dr Brendan McCormack, Chair, Mr Niall O’Donnellan, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Registrar, Dr Michele Glacken, and the President of IT Sligo Students’ Union, Dáire Martin, to discuss the safe return of students to on-campus learning this September and the process leading to Technological University designation in early 2022. Speaking after the meeting Dr McCormack, thanked the Minister for his visit; “We had an excellent meeting with the Minister discussing the many major developments happening at IT Sligo in the coming year. The safe return of our students to on-site learning is our immediate priority and we share the Minister’s ambitions to get as many students back on campus as we can safely achieve. Our second priority for the next few months is to plan the amalgamation with our Connaught Ulster Alliance partners, GMIT and LYIT as we become a Technological University in early 2022.” The Minister met with researchers and apprentices before visiting the Sligo branch of the Education and Training Board.
Friday, 4 June 2021
The School of Home Economics here at St. Angela’s College is well established as a provider of quality Higher Education programmes with a 70-year legacy that has gone from strength to strength in an ever-changing landscape. A new and innovative Structured PhD (Home Economics) is now on offered through the recently launched National Centre of Excellence in Home Economics at the College, from September 2021 for those who wish to progress to doctoral level study (Level 10 NFQ). The exciting new programme will attract Irish and international Home Economists who want to take the next step in developing their expertise and strengthening the research base upon which Home Economics is built, as well as welcoming candidates from aligned and cognate disciplines. The Structured PhD (Home Economics) is offered on a full-time or part-time basis and candidates will work under the responsive supervision and mentoring of an expert academic faculty member availing of many research skills supports. Academic staff in the Centre are leading international experts in Home Economics with several staff holding positions on government advisory groups, Chair positions on internationally recognised committees and memberships of international research teams. From this available expertise, PhD candidates will gain valuable insights and acquire transferrable skills enabling them to conduct research at the highest level in a reflective and critical way and to complete their selected research project making a unique and original contribution to the field of Home Economics / aligned research areas. Helen Maguire, Head of School of Home Economics explains ‘applications for the new Structured PhD are now open for studies in areas aligned to the research priorities of the School and full bursaries are available through the Kappeler Bursary. Frau Kappeler was a Swiss Home Economist, passionate about the development of the discipline, who bequeathed in her will a philanthropic donation to St. Angela’s College designated for the advancement of the field’. Ms Maguire continues, ‘this PhD will allow graduates to unlock future career opportunities at a high level in a broad range of public and private sector roles’. For further details / to discuss a potential PhD research study please contact Helen Maguire, Head of School of Home economics at firstname.lastname@example.org Full details of the new Structured PhD (Home Economics) and Kappeler Bursary information can be found
Tuesday, 1 June 2021
This will be the 10th year of the annual Lilly Lolly Craftfest and not to be outdone by the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic it has as exciting a line up as ever. The legacy of sisters Elizabeth and Susan Yeats (Lilly and Lolly) inspired Sligo Craftworkers to organise this craft festival for the first time in 2011. As usual it aligns with the Birthday of WB Yeats and the Yeats’ Day celebrations and runs from the 13th to the 17th of June. St. Angela’s College in association with the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland have specially commissioned several online video demonstrations of textile crafts for this year’s festival. The festival starts with the ‘Meditations in time of Civil War’ exhibition of 125 invited guest artists’ work on the 13th of June which runs in the Hamilton Gallery until August 28th. This promises to be a great overview of a variety nationally based artists’ interpretation of the civil war. St. Angela's Textiles, Fashion and Design lecturer, Michelle O'Leary, will be giving a video demonstration with interesting and sustainable textile craftwork in this year's festival. And one of our guest lecturers, local fashion and knitwear designer Rebecca Marsden also features in the line-up. Michelle's ‘Make Your Own Beeswax Wraps’ video demonstration will show you how to transform those old cotton clothes into handy beeswax wraps. These wraps can be used to cover and wrap food as a reusable alternative to single use plastic. This activity is suitable for all ages (adult supervision required for children). Video will be released on the Lily Lolly Craftfest Facebook page on Monday 14th June at 12.00pm. Rebecca will demonstrate ‘Felted Pin Cushions’ where you combine felting techniques with embroidery to create unique pin cushions for your crafting projects. This activity is suitable for all ages and abilities. Video demonstration to be released on the Lily Lolly Craftfest Facebook page on Tuesday 15th of June at 3.00pm. On June 16th the ‘Take a Walk for Me’ project based on The Sligo Way - Union Wood to Lough Lumman walk publication of Karen Webster’s ‘Path Notes’ online launch will take place at 1pm. Fashion industry guru Eddie Shannahan will give a free Zoom workshop titled Makers and the Market Now. The workshop will address the new challenges and opportunities for craft makers as they reopen and re-build their enterprises. Thursday 17th 11am and 8pm. For booking email email@example.com This is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to hear Eddie’s excellent advice.
Monday, 24 May 2021
Third Year Student Nurses, Deborah Fitzpatrick (Belturbet, Co Cavan), Kiera Wasson (Collooney, Co Sligo), Dearbhla Carty (Ballygawley, Co Sligo), Jessica Cunningham (Ballinasloe, Co Galway) and Orla Briggs (Ballinasloe, Co Galway) enjoyed a practice placement with a difference this year as they joined a pilot project with Nurture Africa allowing them to deliver live streamed and interactive workshops to audiences within Nurture Africa’s Ugandan health centres, reaching out to healthcare staff, volunteers, parents and community workers. The School of Nursing, Health Sciences and Disability Studies at St. Angela’s College were asked to participate in the project based on the valuable BNSc course content and the students’ knowledge which aligned perfectly to the services running with the Ugandan health centres. ‘This international collaboration gave our students a sense of global unity at a time when geographical distances seemed greater than ever. Working together, we identified the learning needs of the Nurture Africa healthcare professionals, volunteers, service users/patients and their families’ explains Ursula Gilrane, Year 3 Programme Leader, St. Angela’s College. Students worked in pairs or individually to deliver educational interventions on topics including: Infection Control, Down Syndrome and Autism - further enhancing the various primary healthcare supports already in place by Nurture Africa. Students also ran successful fundraising campaigns which will contribute to work on the ground in Uganda. The entire learning experience will go towards the students overall nursing practice assessment and their final end-of-year results. Student Nurse Kiera Wasson describes ‘It has been a great experience meeting the healthcare team and community members, even if it is virtually. We are sharing information about our lived experiences and it has been so informative and eye opening. I would love to travel to Uganda someday to see for myself the great work Nurture Africa does and help out in any way that I could’. Acting College President, Dr Edel McSharry envisages future international projects ‘it’s wonderful to associate with reputable agencies who make a difference to those in developing communities around the world and St. Angela’s College students are ideally positioned for such initiatives given their innovative learning and practical skills across all our courses. We look forward to exploring overseas placements which will further complement our students learning as well as offering them important life-experiences’. Dr McSharry concludes ‘I want to acknowledge the work from our students and staff within the Academic School, particularly Ursula Gilrane and Siobhan Healy-McGowan who co-ordinated this pilot project’. Student Nurses and Staff from St. Angela’s College join Nurture Africa and representatives in Uganda for a live streamed workshop.
Tuesday, 18 May 2021
New Western Institute for Studies in Education (WISE) / Institúid SAOI will enhance the research, teaching and community and school engagement of the three major teacher education providers in Galway, Mayo and Sligo NUI Galway, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology and St. Angela’s College Sligo are delighted to announce the foundation of the Western Institute for Studies in Education (WISE)/ Institúid SAOI, which will support collaboration among the three institutions to enhance and promote teacher education in the Western Region. WISE will enable the three institutions, leaders nationally and internationally in teacher education, to bring together their diverse but complementary expertise, and further develop their teaching and research in teacher education. WISE will significantly help to consolidate and raise the profile of teacher education in the region. WISE will include the development of an innovative virtual platform to support collaboration and nurture engagement with a range of stakeholders involved in teacher education in the region. WISE will be formally launched in September 2021. Minister for Education Norma Foley TD said: “I am delighted to welcome the launch of WISE, strengthening the existing links and close collaboration across these three proud institutions. As a teacher I understand the importance of initial teacher education programmes as they provide the foundation for our future educators’ careers, nurturing learning and shaping the education experiences of their students. This new institute is a very welcome development that will consolidate this centre of excellence for initial teacher education in the West/North-West region.” Minister Harris said:This is a really exciting partnership between three of our colleges. WISE aims to create a Centre of Excellence that will serve to strengthen the collective expertise of three teacher education providers in the National University of Ireland Galway, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) and St. Angela’s College Sligo. The establishment of the Institute will aim to future proof teacher education provision, including in the context of the potential emergence of a technological university in the West/ North West such as is proposed by the Connacht Ulster Alliance of GMIT, IT Sligo and Letterkenny IT, by bringing together the teacher education providers in the region. I want to offer my congratulations to all involved. Founding Director of WISE and Head of the School of Education, NUI Galway, Professor Gerry Mac Ruairc: “We are delighted to announce the launch of WISE, which represents the culmination of several years of partnership and collaboration between the three main providers of teacher education in the West and Northwest: St. Angela’s College, Sligo; Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology; and NUI Galway. Each of the three institutions has established reputations, nationally and internationally, in teacher education; and WISE will facilitate a cooperative strategic alignment to promote and enhance our research, our teaching, and our engagement with the community, and our partner schools”. Amanda McCloat, President of St Angela’s College, in welcoming the establishment of WISE, noted “this Institute builds on the excellent national and international reputation and close working relationship of NUIG, St. Angela’s College and GMIT and collectively will serve to enhance teacher education provision and research”. Dr Orla Flynn, President of GMIT, in a strong endorsement of this new alliance said: “WISE will greatly facilitate all three institutions in enhancing teacher education provision and research and in responding collectively and innovatively to the specific educational needs of young people in our region.” In the last decade, two major reviews of the structure of teacher education in Ireland were undertaken, authored by the leading Finnish educationist, Professor Pasi Sahlberg. This new WISE development reinvigorates and consolidates the Sahlberg policy recommendations (2012, 2018) by recognising formally the commitment of each of the three partners to come together under the platform of WISE on the basis of equality and reciprocity. WISE is underpinned by a strong commitment to become a collaborative, complimentary and creative force in teacher education regionally, nationally and internationally. Noting the significance of WISE for teacher education, President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “I am delighted to see the Sahlberg Reforms implemented in this exciting new initiative for the coordination and enhancement of teacher education West of the Shannon. My congratulations to Professor Gerry Mac Ruairc and the School of Education team at NUI Galway; Ms Amanda McCloat and colleagues at St. Angela’s College Sligo; Dr Orla Flynn, Dr Paddy Tobin and Dr Dermot O Donovan and the School of Design and Creative Arts, GMIT in implementing these important policy recommendations for higher education, and specifically the future of teacher education in our region and in Ireland. It respects our values of openness to new ideas and to partnerships in excellence, sustaining the future of research-led teacher education which itself sustains our future as a society. I wish the new WISE Institute well as it grows and develops in the coming years”. The individual and joint achievements, and capacity for enhanced collaborative expertise, of the three WISE partners were recognized explicitly by the review team in the Sahlberg teacher education reform (2018). In this regard the quality of the relationship underpinning the collaborative efforts was clearly identified as a firm foundation for future developments. WISE will now coordinate and build on these acknowledged successes.
Friday, 7 May 2021
St. Angela’s College, Sligo is currently exploring the option of becoming a campus of the future Technological University (TU) of the West/North West that is being established by the Connacht-Ulster Alliance (CUA) consortium of Institutes of Technology. The CUA comprises GMIT, LYIT and IT Sligo. IT Sligo together with St. Angela’s College and the Ursuline Union have signed a Memorandum of Understanding and a Data Sharing Protocol to enable a financial and legal due diligence process to commence. Following discussions with NUI Galway, the Higher Education Authority and the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, St. Angela’s College are now proceeding to consider the process by which it would be incorporated into IT Sligo, in the first instance, and subsequently become one of nine campuses recognised under this new TU. In welcoming the signing of the MoU, the President of St. Angela’s College, Amanda McCloat, noted that ‘this is an important milestone in the history of the College, bringing together the two highly reputable higher education institutions in Sligo, which will serve to further enhance the provision of higher education across the region’. President of IT Sligo, Brendan McCormack, adds ‘this is a significant development for both institutions as IT Sligo progresses it’s plans to become part of the new Technological University, allowing Sligo to become a strong University town’. St. Angela’s College was established by the Ursuline Order in the early 1950’s, laying the foundation of a legacy that continues almost seventy years on. Sr. Marianne O'Connor, member of the Board of Directors (St. Angela's College) notes ‘the Ursulines are supportive of the incorporation of St. Angela’s College into IT Sligo in the context of the College not only contributing to the Technological University but strengthening future developments between both institutions’. Following the due diligence process, and subject to the approval by the Minister and appropriate IR negotiations, the next stage of the incorporation process will be to consider the business transfer arrangements. Both institutions continue to work together as they strive for this common goal to make Sligo an attractive student destination and research hub in the North West.
Monday, 12 April 2021
The College recently hosted the Food Product Innovation Day for the B.Applied Science (Nutrition, Food and Business Management) course. Final year student Caitlin Clauson won the Best Overall New Food Product and Presentation for her ‘Hi Fi’ potato waffles. Caitlin wanted to develop a food product that was tasty, satisfying, high in fibre yet quick and easy to prepare and so, Caitlin created a high fibre potato waffle that is high in folic acid, vitamin B12 and low in fat. Caitlin’s waffles are also gluten free, vegan and vegetarian friendly. Teresa Daly, Global Business Development Manager at Glanbia, was judging on the day alongside Stephen Walshe, Sligo Local Enterprise Office and virtually presented Caitlin with the Certificate for Best Food Product Innovation and Presentation 2021 and her prize. The Food Innovation and New Product Development module studied in year 4 of the B.Applied Science (Nutrition, Food and Business Management) degree focusses on developing innovative, healthy, value added food products over a 10 week period in the food laboratories in St. Angela’s College. Roisin Lydon, lecturer on the B.Applied Science (Nutrition, Food and Business Management) comments, “Innovation is important now more than ever to meet the ever growing demands of today’s health conscious consumer.” The students conduct sensory trials, market research and also develop a marketing plan for the product. At the end of the 10 weeks the students present their final products including packaging, labelling, costings and their marketing plans. Breda O’Mahony, lecturer on the Food Innovation and New Product Development module comments, “This module develops students’ autonomous ability to think creatively, reflect and carry out evidence-based research in order to design and develop innovative, healthy food products.” Want to learn more about this exciting course? Click
Wednesday, 10 March 2021
St. Angela’s College, Sligo is leading research in sustainable food practices and healthy eating. Amanda McCloat and Helen Maguire, Project Leads, were recently awarded funding of €298,998 under the Erasmus + Programme Call for proposals 2020 for a collaborative project in this area. The School of Home Economics, St Angela’s are working along with three other EU partner institutions, in this innovative project which will run over three years. The project entitled ‘Food for Thought’ is aimed at equipping future food industry and hospitality employees with a sound knowledge of local food systems and sustainable food practices. In conjunction with South West College (Enniskillen), Workforce Development Trust (UK) and Alexandre Dumas College (France) the project will see learners develop their knowledge in local food systems and sustainable food practices. Helen Maguire, Head of School of Home Economics, explains “Food for Thought will bring a new understanding of sustainable food production and cuisine practices by supporting the uptake of innovative learning approaches & use of innovative digital technologies via animations, vlogs & social media.” She explains “the innovative learning platforms developed through this collaborative project will promote education & behaviour change as demanded by the EU labour market and strengthen participants future employability prospects in the sector”. Learners will have access to online toolkits and activities and the focus is very much on interactive and participatory technology-led teaching and learning mediums to attract younger learners (15-18-year olds). Amanda McCloat, College President, explains “food practices have and are continuing to evolve, and we should be looking to the future with a more sustainable and environmentally acceptable attitude”. She continues “the outcome of this project will not only encompass this ethos but also support our learners future employability prospects in the sector, whilst meeting contemporary sector requirements for the next generation of “green chefs” in the catering and hospitality industry. For more on the Food for Thought project, see www.foodforthoughteu.com
Friday, 19 March 2021
The new National Centre of Excellence for Home Economics is built on a strong and solid foundation of Higher Education in Home Economics at St Angela’s College, which spans 69 years. Today in 2021, there are over 650 students of the discipline Home Economics at Honours Bachelor’s degree and Masters level – an increase of 130% in students studying Home Economics at the College since 2012, and a long way from the 12 original students who commenced study in Home Economics in 1952. These students are part of a total student population of 1,600 students including other programmes delivered across the School of Education and the School of Nursing, Health Sciences and Disability. Speaking at the recent launch of the Centre Amanda McCloat, College President, explained “This National Centre of Excellence will provide a key platform and foundation for the future growth and development of the academic discipline Home Economics and acknowledges the historical importance and existing prominence of the discipline at St Angela’s as the College moves towards full incorporation within an ever changing higher education landscape”. With the launch of the new Centre St. Angelas College, as the sole provider of Home Economics in Higher Education in Ireland, is building on its legacy in delivering valuable life skills to students, developing quality, collaborative research and innovation projects and continuing to focus on local, regional and national community engagement initiatives. Helen Maguire, Head of School of Home Economics acknowledged “We are the only Higher Education institution in Ireland to have a significant critical mass and expertise in the discipline Home Economics, indeed we have the largest School of Home Economics in Europe with 30 academic staff involved in teaching and specialist research. It is a privilege to work with such committed and capable academics who are passionate about the capacity of Home Economics to improve the quality of life for all”. The launch of the National Centre of Excellence coincided with World Home Economics Day 2021 (21st March 2021) with this year’s focus being on home as an environment for healthy ageing. The President of the International Federation for Home Economics, Professor Gwendolyn Hustvedt took the opportunity, in her launch speech, to convey the exciting news that, following a lengthy proposal process, St. Angela’s College has won the bid to host the 25th IFHE World Congress in 2024. This is the largest, most prestigious event for Home Economics in the world and the international conference attracts up to 1500 international delegates. Planning for the event will commence imminently and the event will be support by Fáilte Ireland. The National Centre of Excellence for Home Economics was launched virtually on Friday 19th March by Minister Frank Feighan (Minister of State responsible for Public Health, Wellbeing and National Drugs Strategy), with Amanda McCloat (President, St. Angela’s College) and Helen Maguire (Head of School of Home Economics) in attendance. The College were honoured to have a number of prestigious international guest speakers from the field contribute virtually. Speaking at the launch Minister Feighan noted ‘the Colleges excellent standing in the delivery of Home Economics education is recognised nationally and internationally. Minister Feighan also recognised that ‘ one of the recommendations of the Report on tackling childhood obesity published by the Joint Committee on Children and Youth affairs is to consider making Home economics a compulsory Post Primary subject and I look forward to working alongside you to achieve this’. For details of Guest Speakers and a link to the recorded event, click
Wednesday, 10 March 2021
Dr John O’Callaghan, School of Education, recently participated in a round-table discussion hosted by History Ireland with fellow historians and well-known personalities. On the night of 6/7 March 1921 the Mayor of Limerick, George Clancy, and his immediate predecessor, Michael O’Callaghan, were brutally shot dead in their homes. Dubbed the ‘Curfew Murders’ because Limerick was under military curfew, they shocked the country and made headlines around the world. The British authorities blamed the IRA but we now know that the killings were committed by Crown forces. Image Courtesy Limerick Museum: the funeral of George Clancy and Michael O’Callaghan, March 1921 Interested to learn more? Listen the podcast HERE Through his research and publications, one of John's keen areas of interest is the Irish Revolution of the early twentieth century, and its impact on individuals and communities. John is also Programme Director for the Diploma in Arts (Folklore and Heritage of the North West) offered at St. Angela's College again in September 2021.
Friday, 22 January 2021
Donegal student, Megan Callaghan is in her second year at St. Angela’s College, studying Home Economics and Gaeilge Teacher Education. Her grá for Gaeilge was obvious throughout all of secondary school but living with a visual impairment meant that learning was always a challenge, often not being able to see her classroom board. But this didn’t stop her from pursuing a teaching career, something she feels privileged to do, educating and inspiring future generations. It was when she began her College journey that Megan learned about the Gerard Byrne Bursary Award, an award offered by the National Council for the Blind Ireland to only a few students each year who went through school with a visual impairment and who have overcome significant challenges. Megan explains ‘I first heard about the bursary when the Disability and Learning Support Officer, Ms Vivienne Ryan, sent me the details and encouraged me to apply’. As part of the application, Megan also submitted a 1,500-word essay outlining the challenges she encountered as well as her career aspirations. Successful candidates at this stage were then invited to interview by a panel from the NCBI. ‘This was my first ever interview and I was nervous but a week later I got the news that I was to receive the award - I burst into tears as I had never won a thing in my life, never mind something I got because of my poor sight. It felt as if everything had come full circle and all those challenging times throughout secondary school got me to this point. Mar a deireann an seanfhocal: ‘An áit a mbíonn an dólás bíonn an sólás ina aice’ agus nuair a fuair mé an glaoch gutháin sin, thuig mé brí an tseanfhocail áirithe sin láithreach’. Dr. Mairéad Conneely, one of Megan’s Gaeilge lecturers, is delighted and proud of Megan’s achievement and award. ‘Is duine díograiseach, tuisceanach agus paiseanta í Megan, agus tá mé cinnte go mbeidh sí ina heiseamláir iontach amuigh sna seomraí ranga agus sna seomraí foirne chomh maith’. As a future teacher, Megan will continue to advocate for students living with visual impairments within the Irish education system and has already formulated her strategies to achieve equality for all learners. The awards were streamed live on 3rd December 2020 and speaking at the event, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Mr Simon Harris mentioned ‘ensuring equity of access to education is a priority for the Department, and the Gerard Byrne Bursary is especially critical given the low numbers of students with visual impairment and blindness studying in higher education’. The award consists of two annual grants to the value of €1,500 per year and continues for the duration of the undergraduate programme.
Thursday, 7 January 2021
St. Angela’s College together with the Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS) at Queens University Belfast, collaborated in a survey earlier this year when many countries were under some form of lockdown and used a sample of 2,360 adults across four regions - the island of Ireland; Great Britain; USA; and New Zealand. The main findings have now been published in the Nutrients journal titled “Changes in Consumers’ Food Practices during the COVID-19 Lockdown, Implications for Diet Quality and the Food System: A Cross-Continental Comparison” This specific type of research is believed to be the first published across multiple continents on changing food practices due to COVID-19. How we shop for food, cook and eat has changed significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic. And positive changes such as an increase in home-cooking and cooking from scratch with fresh ingredients were recorded. However, there were also negative trends, such as a reported increase in saturated-fat intake. A spike in bulk buying - which causes pressure on already-stressed food systems and can lead to shortages, triggering further panic-buying - was also observed during the study. Overall, there were fewer changes in food behaviours in the USA compared to the other three regions and the most marked differences between regions occurred between the USA and elsewhere. For example, an increase in vegetable intake was evidenced across all regions except the USA. There was also an upturn in home-cooking and home-baking frequency in all regions except the USA. Parents cooking (and baking) with children was also found to increase in all samples except the USA (interestingly, parents who included their children in the preparation of family meals more frequently had a higher diet quality).Conversely, though, an increase in saturated-fat intake was seen everywhere except the USA. Overall, there was a decrease in the consumption of takeaway food and a rise in ‘organisational food practices’ (planning ahead, shopping with a grocery list, etc). When it came to ‘management food practices’ (preparing in advance, batch cooking, etc), however, there were no changes apparent for Ireland or New Zealand. This may be connected to the fact that Irish and NZ restrictions were stricter than in other areas, so there may have been less of a need to prepare food in advance. Amanda McCloat, St. Angela’s College President and Dr Elaine Mooney, Lecturer in the School of Home Economics at the College, provided valuable insight and a wealth of knowledge and experience as contributors to the research. “In such exceptional times it is important to focus on our own continued health and wellbeing in the face of a global pandemic and this begins at home with the fundamentals of healthy eating and a balanced diet” explains Amanda McCloat. “The evidence is clear that changes in food consumer practices and trends varied between regions which indicates a cultural shift in attitudes towards eating habits. With the likelihood of more people working from home this year we would hope to see a continuation of children being encouraged and involved more in home-cooking and home-baking”. Lead researcher on the project, Dr Fiona Lavelle from IGFS said: “These findings not only provide crucial data for how our food behaviours and systems have adapted to the pandemic but they have important implications for public health as we continue to try to manage COVID-19 with ongoing lockdowns and restrictions. “We wanted to find out what impact the pandemic and lockdowns were having on people’s health but we also wanted to try to find a way of measuring the effect on global food systems.” The full Research Project can be downloaded HERE
Monday, 14 December 2020
Dr Mary Shanahan, Director of Religious Education here at the College, recently recorded a podcast with The Religious Education Podcast. The title of her podcast is, 'The One with a Catholic' and it can be accessed here https://www.therepodcast.co.uk/post/episode-11-the-one-with-a-catholic. These podcasts are aimed at R.E. teachers and their students, which makes them perfect Christmas listening for all budding R.E. teachers at St. Angela's College and beyond!
Thursday, 3 December 2020
We are delighted to be involved with this eight country Erasmus+ funded project. Research Instruments are currently going through final piloting phase and we look forward to implementing new and innovative participatory pedagogies in second-level schools soon. The Ireland team is led by Prof. Gerry MacRuairc, Dr. Manuela Heinz and Dr. Elaine Keane from the School of Education NUI Galway in collaboration with Dr. Mary Shanahan from St. Angela’s College Sligo. For those interested, enjoy reading the LIFE TWO Newsletter
Thursday, 26 November 2020
***UPDATE*** COVID-19 Laptop Scheme There are some laptops available from the Covid-19 Laptop Scheme. If you need a laptop for your studies, please see eligilibity criteria below: If your own or your family income is up to a limit of €60,000 gross per annuum, you may apply to be considered for a laptop loan (evidence must be uploaded). If your family income has been impacted by Covid 19 restrictions, and your family are in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, you may also apply for a laptop loan (evidence must be uploaded). Evidence of income for 2019 AND evidence of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (if applicable) must be supplied.Please note that if there are more applicants than there are laptops available, applications will be ranked in terms of disadvantage. For eligilility and applications, click
Thursday, 19 November 2020
We are both proud and delighted for BNSc student, Maria Isabella Shankey who has been awarded the Third Prize in National University The NUI Dr H H Stewart Medical Scholarships and Prizes are offered in a range of subject areas and disciplines across Medicine, Nursing and Midwifery, and Health Sciences. Competition is rigorous from other participating NUI institutions including UCD, UCC, NUI Galway and RCSI; also included are overseas campuses linked to NUI institutions, including RCSI and UCD Malaysia Campus, RCSI Bahrain and Perdana University (RCSI). The awards in Nursing and Health Sciences are based on the submission of students’ examination materials and nominations by the College Department. Congratulations Maria on this amazing acomplishment.
Tuesday, 3 November 2020
Cooking up a Chemical Storm with Kitchen Chemistry St. Angela's College students took part in the Virtual Sligo Science Festival 2020 on Sunday 8th November with a pre-recorded Kitchen Chemistry event titled “Cooking up a Chemical Storm”. Ellen Gilheaney and Ellen Fayer in third year BAPME (Home Economics and Biology) will blow your minds with their chemical wizardry just using a few ingredients from the kitchen cupboard! You can now view this event HERE Science Week Photography Competition We are delighted to host our Photography Competition again which is open to all our students. The theme for this year's Virtual Science Week and St. Angela's Science Week photography competition is 'Choosing our Future’ focusing on how science can improve our lives in the future, and in the present. The competition is open to all St Angela's students and to be in with a chance of winning please send your captioned entries (max 2 per/person) to firstname.lastname@example.org before 5pm Sunday 15th November 2020.This years winners will receive One4All vouchers which can be used in store or on-line in multiple stores. 1st prize: €60 voucher 2nd prize: €40 voucher 3rd prize: €15 voucher So get snapping or have a look through your photos to see if you already have a winner!Photos will be judged and winners announced the week after Science Week.(N.B. please ensure that all entries are your own work)
Tuesday, 15 September 2020
Financial aid for students is known as the Student Assistance Fund (SAF) and provides financial support to students who are experiencing short or long-term financial difficulties while attending higher education. The SAF is co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020. The Fund is intended to support students whose participation in higher education would otherwise be at risk as a direct result of financial difficulties. Applications are now open, for more click
Monday, 31 August 2020
Important Information for our College Community. The Campus will reopen on Tuesday 1st September 2020. Students and Staff will be informed by email of the national procedures and protocols that have been put in place to ensure the safety of everyone. Regular updates will be communicated as they become available. For more see
Thursday, 10 September 2020
A request to make fabric face masks to protect against COVID-19 and to raise funds for the North West Hospice was initiated by pharmacist Kay Curley from Higgins Pharmacy on Teeling Street, Sligo in March of 2020. The call was answered by many volunteers from St. Angela’s College and other sewing enthusiasts in Sligo and the surrounding area. What started out as a fundraiser hoping to raise €3,000 ended up raising €10,550 and is still growing. The initiative was advertised on Facebook, in text groups, emails and by word of mouth and customers from as far as Cork, Waterford and Galway all placed their orders. The masks went on sale in Higgins Pharmacy at €10 each with all the proceeds going to the North West Hospice. A dedicated team of sewing volunteers included BAPME Home Economics students and staff from St. Angela’s College, friends of the College and sewing enthusiasts in the locality made the individually designed cotton face masks. A cheque for €10,550 was presented to representatives of the North West Hospice in June on behalf of Higgins Pharmacy and the group of volunteers. Many thanks to all those who gave their time so willingly making the masks including students Lauren Cawley and Kimberly Austin from the BA PME Home Economics Programme, staff including Ursula O’Shea, Mary Clare Conneelly, Denise Kenna, Linda Kerlin and sewing enthusiasts Bernie Brooks, Kathleen Healy, Jo Mullen, Anna O’Brien, Darrie McCoy, Maree Cooney, Leanne Moran, Mary Walsh, Laura Byrne and Mary Dunbar.