A warm welcome to all of our new and returning students to University of Limerick and, indeed, to our visitors, colleagues and alumni.
First, let me say, that we as a community, a nation and a global society, have come through unprecedented times. A lot was asked of us recently and our people faced challenges never seen before.
However, together we stood strong and we continue to do so.
We will continue to face challenges, both locally and on a global scale, but through togetherness and support we can overcome.
I am reminded of the university moto from the heraldic crest given to us at the formation of this institution.
“Eagna Chun Gnímh” - wisdom through action.
Earlier this year, a global crisis was foisted upon us and, while it remains in part or, at least, with scars of its severity, we were forced to learn a new way of doing things. We had to act, adapt and be responsive to the changing environments. We will continue to hold that true to all that we do at UL.
For our students, many are about to start a journey at UL, while more are returning to continue with the strides made in furthering their education and learning experience.
I encourage you to take time to discover all that is happening at UL and, for those of you coming back to campus, to find out what is new this year.
University of Limerick is a diverse and inclusive community of students and exceptional academic and professional staff who will engage and challenge you throughout your time here.
For many, their time at UL will be much more than just learning in the classroom or teaching through innovation – it will also involve being part of a community, work experience, volunteering and personal development for staff and student.
At UL, students have the opportunity to become experts in their chosen field, while they will also learn how to tackle problems, work with other students and with other professionals during time spent in the cooperative education programme.
Equally so, our academics and researchers will continue to hone their skills, explore new fields of emergence and advance teaching and learning.
This is what makes up the experience of university learning and the experience of UL.
As University President, I am committed to helping our entire community stay healthy and to tackle the societal issues on campus that negatively influence the lives of students, friends and their families. We are here to assist you and we will continue to make sure that this is paramount in all our support and welfare structures.
For our student population, we are mindful that third-level education can be daunting and we have in place an impressive calendar of events through the ‘First Seven Weeks Programme’. The first of its kind in Ireland, its aim is to ensure that the university experience for all gets off to a great start.
UL is truly an international institution with almost 3,500 international students from over 100 countries, making this a cosmopolitan campus community.
UL ranked World No. 1 for international student happiness and last year we secured the Sunday Times Irish University of the year award along with retaining the Best Student Campus award at the Irish Education Awards for the second year running.
We rank third in Europe for gender balance and UL strongly promotes Diversity and Equality, having recently launched a new five-year strategy in support of this.
UL ranked within the top 75 universities in Europe for “Excellence in Teaching and Learning” and we also have the best Library in Ireland, according to the 2020 ISB rankings.
Our cooperative education programme – one of the largest in Europe - works with local, national and international partners to provide work experiences that will lay a foundation for future employment.
UL has participated in the ERASMUS+ study abroad programme since 1988 and has the largest outgoing ERASMUS+ programme in Ireland.
The University’s links with almost 300 partner institutions across more than two-dozen EU countries ensuring that students can choose from a wide range of possibilities and, each year, over 400 UL students make that choice.
The UL community is exceptional in its contribution to voluntary services here in the Mid-West and overseas. The President’s Volunteer Awards recognises this and gives credit to students who volunteer and help NGOs, public bodies and others in delivering support to many worthy causes.
It is hoped that during the journey of a UL student, they may make lifelong friends and ultimately join the ranks of our alumni who achieve great things in academia, the arts, business, healthcare, politics, teaching – indeed, in every profession, they are helping shape the future of Ireland and beyond.
Having recently launched our new five-year strategy, we were reminded of our history. In our UL@50, we noted that our predecessors created a university where none existed before because they had vision, ambition and the support of their community. UL today has those same qualities and that same commitment from the people of the Mid-West region. We will use them over the coming years to create a world-class university fit for the 21st century.
To achieve this mission, UL will become a global leader in a continually evolving and growing third-level sector. Our core objective is to build UL’s academic reputation by building a university that is led by research and focused on solving difficult challenges that have real-world impacts.
To our partners in academia, in industry and in the community, I reiterate those commitments and I would like to welcome you to University of Limerick and encourage that you continue your virtual tour of this webpage and indeed, to explore all that UL has to offer.