NUI Galway Seminar Highlights Role of Higher Education in Sustainable Economic & Social Development

Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, today chaired a seminar at NUI Galway highlighting the role of the higher education sector in both shaping and implementing government policies, as well as its pivotal and enabling role in delivering societal wellbeing and change. Minister Mitchell O’Connor is pictured with NUI Galway President, Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh and Clare Austick, President of NUI Galway Student Union. Photo by Aengus McMahon.
Jan 13 2020 Posted: 12:54 GMT

As part of NUI Galway’s 175th anniversary celebrations, Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, today chaired a special seminar highlighting the important role of the higher education sector in both shaping and implementing government policies, as well as its pivotal and enabling role in delivering societal wellbeing and change.

NUI Galway last week launched its new strategy, titled “Shared Vision, Shaped by Values” which places the shared values of respect, excellence, openness and sustainability as the guiding light for the future direction of the University.  It will see NUI Galway focus on its continued contribution to enhancing policy and society, while sustaining our planet and people. 

Speaking today, President of NUI Galway Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “The higher education sector in Ireland is vital to our society and the knowledge economy.  We are here for our students and society, and through our research and teaching aim to provide major social, economic and cultural impact.   Our new strategy is focused on living our values of respect, excellence, openness and sustainability, and today highlights our emphasis on cooperation, meitheal, with educators, policy makers and regional partners to support the sustainable development of our region.”

Speaking at the event, Minister O’Connor said: “Our society and economy depend on the higher education sector to develop quality research and deliver excellence in teaching and learning for our students.  The sector plays a pivotal role in sustainable development by supporting students to develop the relevant knowledge, skills and values to become informed active citizens, and I welcome the collaborative approach of NUI Galway to shape policy with a shared focus on societal wellbeing.” 

The event included a series of panels and contributions on government policy, driving innovation, the impact of culture and creativity and collaboration to maximize regional impact.  Joining staff and students of NUI Galway were representatives from:

  • Department of Education and Skills,
  • Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Galway Arts Festival
  • Land Development Agency
  • Galway City Council

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