University of Limerick President Professor Kerstin Mey has congratulated the latest batch of graduates for ‘excelling academically’ while facing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Professor Mey was speaking at the first in-person conferring ceremonies to take place at UL for two years.
Around 1,700 students are graduating from the faculties of Education and Health Sciences, Kemmy Business School, Science and Engineering and Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences in five ceremonies taking place this week.
Over 700 students are due to attend the live on-campus ceremonies, which have been carefully planned to minimise risk of possible infection.
Speaking on a “red letter day for University of Limerick and a day that we mark in celebration of your academic success”, Professor Mey offered the new UL graduates “the warmest of congratulations on completing this hugely important part of your life-long learning journey”.
“You have excelled academically and all while we faced some of the most challenging days in recent history. Your achievements cannot be underestimated as it shows tenacity, determination and strength of character for each and every one of you to be graduating here today.
“Be proud of your accomplishment. I am sure, your family, your friends, your tutors and your peers share in that pride,” she added.
Professor Mey said the graduates “emerge as our latest cohort of ambassadors” from UL.
“You are now armed with an award worthy of your efforts. An award from this institution comes marked with one of the highest graduate employability rates in the country.
“To that end, it is imperative that we continue to hone and support our strong employer relationships as they are vital too for shaping future facing academic programmes that are relevant for students, parents and guardians, and employers alike.
“We will continue to strive for UL to be known as a destination for excellence in education, research and innovation. We will both develop and attract the highest-calibre staff and the best students from all sections of society, both in Ireland and abroad, and ensure that Limerick and the Mid-West are recognised as great places to live, study and work.
“Our commitment to the region is steadfast. We are part of a local and international community –a community that we are committed to through our development plans for the UL City Centre Campus in the heart of Limerick and our ambitions to grow our campus and its environs.
“Our Higher Education Institutes protect the value of academic achievements proudly and fiercely by ensuring that our governance of your educational journey reaches the highest international standards. We stand firm against any dilution of educational standards to ensure that you can use your degree confidently and proudly in the knowledge that it is an unquestionable statement of ability, attainment and academic integrity,” she added.
Ceremonies are limited to graduands only, who have been requested to take an antigen test on the morning of their graduation, with advice that they should not attend the ceremony if they have any symptoms of COVID-19.
All graduands are required to show their Digital COVID Certificate as proof of full vaccination to gain entry to the University Concert Hall, which has been limited to one-third occupancy to allow for social distancing during the ceremonies.
Graduands and attending staff are also required to wear face coverings at all times.