Home Limerick People Importance of 3rd level academic institutions to Limerick region cannot be underestimated

Importance of 3rd level academic institutions to Limerick region cannot be underestimated

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It is easy to forget the role our third level academic institutions play in the day to day life of our city and county. I had the pleasure of attending one of the graduation celebrations at the University of Limerick last week. It was heartening to see the pride on the faces of every graduate, each of whom is specialising in a wide range of academic disciplines.
Reading the graduation booklet it was amazing to read a section which highlighted many of the university’s success stories over the past four years.
This year the University of Limerick saw 1831 graduates with 74 PhDs conferred this year alone. In his formal address, the President of the University of Limerick, Don Barry highlighted  the demand for UL graduates by employers in recent years as well as the fact that the University was named as ‘University of the Year 2015’ by the Sunday Times recently.
The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, based at the University, is celebrating its 20th anniversary and is a success story that deserves recognition. Coming from humble beginnings the academy has now evolved into an internationally recognised institution that welcomes students from far and wide each year. The academy is home to musicians, dancers, composers, singers and choreographers all of whom collaborate to create work that benefits not only the university but cultural life in our city and county.
UL prides itself on a 70% graduate employment rate as seen in 2013, a fact that positions the university 19% higher than the average for all seven universities in the country. UL have branded this factor ‘the UL edge’ and is an important selling point for the university and something all of us in Limerick can be proud of.
What was also very clear at the graduation ceremony was the wide range of overseas graduates being conferred on the day. The University of Limerick prides itself the quality of life it offers to visiting students. In fact UL has been voted by international students throughout seven Irish universities as number 1 for providing the best student experience and support as well as the warmest welcome.
The University of Limerick welcomed the largest cohort of International Students in its history in 2014  with 2,500 students representing over 100 countries attending the University, who are estimated to contribute in the region of €19 million to the mid west region. The importance of this aspect of the university to the overall economic and social life of our city cannot be underestimated.
As the Limerick continues to evolve positively we can be confident that the University of Limerick will play a vital part in our city’s future. Students from UL, LIT, Mary Immaculate and Limerick College of Further Education  bring a tangible energy, vibrancy and wide range of academic skill-sets  to our city. We all have a role to play to ensure the experience students have during their time in Limerick is one they will never forget.
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One Comment

  1. Social Practitioner

    30th January 2015 at 4:40 pm

    Ah Nigel there is so much more – in 2014 UL students contributed over 25,000 voluntary hours to city and county community projects. On weekly basis their economic contribution to the has yet to be recognised. Most importantly the city has yet to br promoted as a student friendly city. 11th April 2015 @ 2pm City Centre watch out!

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