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Provided by The Irish TimesUniversity: what you need to know

Third-level: The best days of your life ? Or three plus years of long days in the college library Over these pages, The Irish Times provides a comprehensive guide to all the main thirdlevel colleges in the State.


Dublin City University | NUI Galway | NUI Maynooth | Trinity College Dublin 
 University College Cork | University College Dublin | University of Limerick

We report on the key issues. What’s the craic like? And are there any decent entertainment facilities? On a more serious note, we also publish - for the first timeextracts from assessments made of the seven universities by groups of international experts. These are available from the Irish Universities Quality Board and on each university website. This guide was compiled by Gráinne Faller.

Dublin City University

Phone: 01-700 5000
Full-time undergraduates: 5,500
Full time academic staff: 440

Famous graduates:
Conor Lenihan, minister; Eithne Hand, head of RTE Radio; Paddy Christie, captain of Dublin football team and teacher; Sean Óg Ó hAilpín, captain Cork senior hurling team; Ardal O'Hanlon, actor/comedian; Caroline Morahan, RTE presenter; Matt Cooper, journalist and presenter.

Why choose DCU?
DCU is celebrating its 25th anniversary. It offers over 60 undergraduate programmes and encourages students to become involved in the over 100 clubs and societies. The Uaneen Module, set up in memory of Uaneen Fitzsimons, offers the opportunity to gain credits for involvement in extracurricular activities. Through its INTRA programme, DCU has developed a strong reputation with employers. Facilities include the library, the Helix, Student Centre and newest of all, sports facilities including sports pitches, a 50m swimming pool, state-of-the-art gym, and a team of staff to advise on healthy lifestyle options.

Anything new or exciting?
The BSc in Children’s and General (Integrated) Nursing in partnership with Temple Street hospital. The BSc in Physical Education is for students who wish to teach sport. The BSc in Quantitative Finance is a four year programme. The degree prepares students for employment in financial services and banking. Work placement is a key feature.

The Student View
Eoin Byrne, deputy president su

Best bits about DCU:
There are so many! Students get a well-rounded education here and a well-respected degree. But DCU isn’t all about the academics. Our campus has a local feel.

What are the drawbacks?
There are a few things that could be changed. Prices on campus are a little high. Some courses are very strenuous which could be seen as a drawback. However DCU is the only third level institution in the country that gives academic credits for extra curricular work with the Uaneen Module.

How is the academic side?
Being Ireland’s youngest university, DCU is very innovative and forward thinking. Paid work placements, opportunities to study abroad and state-of-the-art facilities enhance the academic experience. DCU is almost completely modularised, which means students can study more varied and individual courses, by picking modules from different courses across the university.

What’s the craic like?
The Helix Theatre is on campus, there are two bars and a music venue.A 100 or so clubs and societies cater for every interest. The best part of this is that you get rewarded academically for getting involved.

In five words: DCU – dare to be different.

What students write on the web (

Is DCU any fun?
The most common (and common sense) response is that college is what you make of it. If you want to go to DCU to party, you will find yourself partying. If anyone comes on asking again about DCU’s reputation for a lack of social life or for being boring, their thread will be deleted.

DCU is neither boring nor lacks social life. People are boring and lack social lives. DCU contains some of these people. Other colleges contain some of these people. Other colleges contain people who party hard. DCU contains people who party hard.

What the experts think
The most recently published evaluation by an international group of academics says DCU has a strong teaching and learning ethos. DCU surveys student opinion about teaching and learning quality at the levels of schools, and individual modules, as well as conducting student experience surveys. An Access programme is available for those who do not meet the normal admissions criteria due to various disadvantages. All of this is praised by the expert team.

There are certain areas in the teaching and learning that could be improved, say the reviewers. They found that many DCU students think that there is too much formal contact teaching. “The applied nature of many DCU programmes has traditionally required a heavy course load for students and relatively high numbers of contact hours compared to programmes offered in other universities.”

The report states that excellence in teaching and learning depends to a considerable extent on state-of-the-art infrastructure, including facilities, equipment and materials. The EUA noticed some shortcomings and deteriorations in some campus locations and emphasised that these must be addressed.

NUI Galway

Phone: 00 353 (0)91 524411
Full-time undergraduates: 9,795
Full-time postgraduates, 2,929
Full time academic staff: 618

Famous graduates:
Pat Rabbitte, TD; Grainne Seoige, broadcaster; Colm Murray, RTE; Mick Lally, actor

Why choose NUI Galway?
It has a long-established reputation of teaching and research excellence in each of its seven faculties – arts, science, commerce, engineering, Celtic studies, medicine and health science, and law. Courses provide students with opportunities for personal and academic development, as well as equipping them with the skills and knowledge necessary to embark on successful careers. NUI Galway prioritises the needs of its students, so in addition to the provision of top-class facilities for teaching and research, it has excellent extracurricular activities – and all in the heart of one of Ireland’s most attractive cities.

Anything new or exciting?
Sporting facilities will soon be further enhanced with the addition of a ¤40 million building. Students can also join the ALIVE (A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience) programme which seeks to support the contribution that students make by volunteering. The university is hosting its first students from Sri Lanka and South Africa under its International Scholarship Programme for students from developing countries.

Careers Connect links undergraduate students with mentors from the alumni body to assist them in their career choices. NUI Galway recently launched Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, dedicated to pioneering third-level education through the medium of Irish.

The Student View
Damien Corridan, su president Best bits about your college: The college is in the centre of a vibrant, multi-cultural, artistic city with a significant student population. It is easy to feel at home. There is a fantastic student life with loads of people to meet and things to do. There is so much more to NUI, Galway than getting a degree.

What are the drawbacks?
Same as any institution. Mixed quality academics. Rail access is not great but plenty of bus services make up for it. It can be a bit of a four-day campus as many people go home for the weekend. Though once you are settled in you get to know the people who are around all the time!

How is the academic side?
NUIG is known for its approachable academic staff. More specific and varied courses are introduced every year. Study space has increased. Some courses can be quite challenging. Academic support to students is improving across the board every year with improved academic and peer mentoring programmes as well as faculty advisors and tutors.

What’s the craic like?
Craic is brilliant! Students get full access to all the amenities of the city as it is only minutes. Clubs and societies are strong and have large levels of participation. There isa large focus on participation and involvement in societies. Student accommodation is of good quality and it’s known for its fun atmosphere.

In five words: an unmissable lifechanging experience.

What students write on the web
On amore serious note: I’ve been in the library every day for the past couple of weeks and it’s driving me insane the way some people act. There’s one girl who always sits across from me and she comes in first thing in the morning and everyday she keeps five spaces for her friends who proceed to saunter in at about 1pm to start studying. Now those seats have supposedly been ‘occupied’ for four hours or more when others could have used them but because they thought there was someone in them, they didn’t bother moving the stuff.

Then yesterday, she hadn’t kept enough seats and her friends arrived at about 2pm and took up their places. Because they were one seat short, they just moved the stuff of another girl who had just gone to the toilet (and had left a note) and they refused to give her back her seat when she returned. … I know that technically you could move their books because there’s no note but would you really do that?

From NUIG SIN Forums – this goes on in every third level institution. The NUIG student just expressed it particularly well.

What the experts think
The most recent published assessment of Galway by the experts noted the sense of pride among students.
NUI Galway attracts a larger proportion of students from the whole of Ireland than other universities. It also noted that the retention rate of students is among the highest in Ireland. The team approved of Galway’s Quality Assurance System of academic activities, which gives regular feedback to the departments, academics and the faculty deans on academic activities.

The review team also acknowledged the services of the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT). CELT started in 2003 and so far the services offered to academics of the institution have been successful in obtaining the objectives.

The experts said resources are a problem: there are too few course books and computers in the library. They saw a need for more space and longer opening hours. The team believed students are in need of tutorials due to the heavy reliance on often crowded lectures during first and second year. Numbers can mean that putting a question to a lecturer is near impossible.

NUI Maynooth

Phone: 01-708 3822
Full-time undergraduates: 4,298
Full time academic staff: 258

Famous graduates:
John Hume; Craig Doyle; Eimear Quinn, singer; Marc O Se , Kerry footballer; Derek Hardiman , Galway hurler

Why choose Maynooth?
It is a student-friendly university set in Ireland’s only university town. It combines a tradition of more than 200 years of education and academic excellence with modern facilities and cuttingedge research. Close to Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Westmeath, it is well served by rail and bus. The university is known for its arts, science and engineering. Popular degrees include media studies, psychology, sociology and finance. Modern sports facilities are provided along with a range of student societies. It is Ireland’s fastest growing university, with some 6,500 students on campus.

Anything new or exciting?
This year will see the introduction of scholarships in swimming, golf and rugby. New courses include a biomedical option in the Biological Sciences degree, which is proving popular with students thinking of a medical career among other outlets. Further courses are planned for 2007 in multimedia, anthropology, product design, equine business, business and management and politics.

AnMAin Media (radio and TV production) is launching. A Music Technology degree has also been introduced. New sports facilities include a floodlit pitch.

The Student View
Amanda O’Hara, SU president Best bits about your college: Its personal and friendly atmosphere. We have state-of-the-art facilities, for example, a swimming pool, gym and clubs and societies. There is also a newly renovated student bar.

What are the drawbacks?
Every student encounters problems from time to time especially those new to college. NUI Maynooth has friendly approachable staff and an active students union that are there to help and advise.

How is the academic side?
We offer a wide range of courses from arts, science, engineering, theology and media, and so on. There is a careers office and an academic advisor also.

What’s the craic like?
Freshers Fortnight is just the start of the fun that continues throughout the year. The students union bar is always a hub of activity with a constant stream of events organised by clubs and societies each night.

Your college in five words: It is Ireland’s friendliest college!

NUIM students on the web Maynooth is brilliant, the various pubs and clubs were mentioned above and one or two of them are consistently packed and good craic. I only know one person who was disappointed by Maynooth, but he came around by the end of the year. Maynooth ROX! Was a bit sceptical of Maynooth when I came into it, but now two years on it’s the best craic ever, B2 and The Roost are very cool nightclubs as is fizz, personally it’s B2 all the way for me!!

What the experts think
The assessment says Maynooth has a very good atmosphere. “It is obvious that people know each other, enjoy being on the Maynooth campus, are positive about their university and its future.” The academics complimented the rapid expansion in facilities and buildings and the fact that the first phase of growth appears to have been achieved faster than many expected. In talking to students they found them to be proud of their university and satisfied with academic programmes and other activities.

The number of Irish students selecting NUI Maynooth as their first preference has increased by almost 80 per cent since 1997.

The team believed that the academic structure will have to be addressed. Many departments are too small, in terms of student and staff numbers as well as in breadth of discipline, to be successful in addressing the challenges which the university will face during the next years. They believed that internal institutional research capacity in Maynooth should be enhanced.

Trinity College Dublin

Phone: 01-896 1000
Full-time undergraduates: 10,783
Full-time academic staff: 695
Research staff: 363

Famous graduates:
Edmund Burke, philosopher; Samuel Beckett, Nobel Laureate in Literature, Ernest Walton, Nobel Laureate in Physics, William Lecky, historian; Douglas Hyde, Irish scholar and first President of Ireland; Mary Robinson, former president; Eleanor McEvoy, singer songwriter; Fiach MacConghail, director of the Abbey Theatre; David McWilliams, broadcaster and economist

Why choose Trinity College?
Trinity College is the only Irish university ranked in the top 150 world universities and the only Irish university ranked in the top 50 European universities. Undergraduates have over 400 programmes to choose from as well as opportunities to study outside their primary specialisation through the Broad Curriculum initiative. The Trinity experience is enhanced by the international mix of its students combined with opportunities to study abroad.

State-of-the-art libraries, laboratories and IT facilities stand alongside historic buildings on a compact city-centre campus. There is extensive off-campus accommodation available for new entrants in its new development at Trinity Hall. With 50 sports clubs and 100 societies, there is more to the Trinity experience than lectures and the library.

Anything new or exciting?
The university has a Strategic Plan for Student Services to develop the delivery of student services such as careers, counselling, disability and health and to enhance the Trinity experience for all new entrants. A new sports centre is due to open next January. Also coming on stream is the new Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN) building, which will include world-class science laboratories as well as an innovative public venue, Science Gallery.

New options that can be taken as part of a science degree include biochemistry and cell biology, physics and astrophysics. The College also recently launched the Long Room Hub, which is set to transform international research in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

The Student View
David Quinn; student union president Best bits about your college: Trinity is over 400 years old. It has a great history, a fantastic campus and an unbeatable atmosphere.

What are the drawbacks?
None really, being in the city centre means that it is hard to find space for new development. We are currently working on plans for a new student centre.

How is the academic side?
As it is such a prestigious university, standards are quite high. As long as you do a bit of work you can keep your head above water pretty easily, and there is always time left for some great nights out.

What’s the craic like?
Being in the city centre is great. There is always a great vibe on campus. With well over 100 clubs and societies, there’s always so much going on. Trinity is great for the free wine receptions. Sum up your college in five words: prestigious, vibrant, picturesque, historic and unique. TCD students writing on the web.

Nostalgia: I want to go back badly! I wish it was the first day of first year again! What a day! Well actually it wasn’t as good as the day you register and meet people from your course. And I was 17 for the first four weeks of college, total ’mare (I don’t really say mare but it really was such a nightmare)

On a certain breed of male student: they’ll oft be found pretending to be lost in a book of Lord Byron’s finest works and smoking rollies … under some unsuspecting noble oak, hoping desperately that someone, ANYONE will notice their surely superior intellect, fashion and general worldliness!

What the experts think
According to the EUA team, students are proud of being students in Trinity College and they are well aware of the added value of having a certificate, diploma or degree from the college. They approved of the Centre for Academic Practice and Student Learning which was established in October 2003 to assist in developing a strong and integrated framework for supporting best academic practice and the highest quality of study learning. The Review Team acknowledged that Trinity College has an extensive quality assurance system of academic activities, which gives regular feedback to the departments, academics and the faculty dean.

The EUA team found that students are in need of tutorials due to the large lectures, in which the number of students makes it impossible to put questions to the lecturer. Students reported that such lectures turn out to be “spoonfeeding” exercises rather than creative intellectual challenges for them.

It is therefore important that small group teaching be provided, particularly where there are large lecture groups. Students also had complaints about the number of course books available for them in the Library. They need access to more Library hours as well, and they believe there should be more library staff to support them.

Evaluation is not mandatory and the EUA recommended that systematic evaluations should be introduced immediately and students should be informed of improvements being made as a result of these evaluations.

University College Cork

Phone: 021 4903000
Full-time undergraduates: 12,840
Academic staff: permanent: 554
temporary/contract: 83

Famous graduates:
Micheál Martin, TD; Ronan O’Gara, rugby international; Joe Deane, Cork hurler; Fiona Shaw, actress; Seán O Riada, composer; Des Bishop, comedian

Why choose UCC?
UCC is Ireland’s leading research university, is currently Ireland’s ‘University of the Year’, and was also Ireland’s ‘University of the Year’ two years ago. UCC has almost 16,000 students including 3,000 postgraduate students. Over 2,000 international students, representing 75 countries and five continents, have chosen to study at UCC. Teaching and research is delivered in UCC across 60 academic departments. The university’s beautiful campus, with award-winning buildings, is in the vibrant city of Cork.

UCC is committed to: delivering excellence in teaching and learning; producing world class research; providing a rich and rewarding experience for UCC students; contributing to cultural, academic, and business life in Cork, the Munster region, and nationally.

Anything new or exciting?
Academic developments: BSc in Architecture commencing October 2006 offered in partnership between UCC and CIT. New BEd in Sports Studies commencing October 2006 which is a teaching qualification. Chinese Studies available through CK101 (Arts).

Physical developments:
The ¤45 million Brookfield Health Sciences complex incorporates a Nursing School, Medical School, Therapies School and Creche facilities. The new PRTLI funded Environmental Research Institute located on the Lee Road brings together the elements of UCC’s Environmental research. The new ¤22.3m Cavanagh building on the western side of the main campus includes the Pharmacy School and the Analytical and Biosciences Chemistry Research facility (ABCRF). The Crawford Observatory re-opened following conservation and renovation.

The Student View
Peter Lynch, UCC Students Union Communications Best bits about your college: UCC is a hugely progressive and dynamic university. It is also Ireland’s leading research institute. The provision of free printing for all students is of a vast advantage. A highly active student union (affiliated to USI) has allowed for great student representation. We are considered a very vibrant and cultured institution!

What are the drawbacks?
The availability of decent private housing surrounding the university isn’t great, but there has been a considerable increase in student apartments in recent years. UCC is always expanding but because of its proximity to the city centre, access to new property and land is limited.

How is the academic side?
With over 120 degree and professional programmes, UCC has always had a high student intake. A new state-of-the-art Health Sciences building, a class representative council and a vast range of dynamic courses are just a few of our academic benefits.

What’s the craic like?
Student life in UCC is one of the most remarkable in Ireland if not Europe. With over 110 clubs and societies on offer and for the first time ever, automatic gym/pool membership to the Mardyke. Your college in five words: Best university award in 2005/06

What UCC students write on

Is student activism dead?
Go with the small victories, we had a good congress and there were a lot of first years there and not just from UCC, although we did have more than most. Think about it this way: if UCC can do it then why can’t other colleges?

One thing that really came to light for me this week is how much better UCC is in terms of how committed its students are, albeit a small minority, yet in comparison to other colleges we’re flying. We have a great SU who really do work for the student and not for their CVs. but anyway considering I’m tired and hence rambling on and on and on, I’ll stop now...look on the bright side it could be worse.

What the experts think
The most recently published assessment by international experts says UCC students enjoy their college life - and would recommend it to their peers. Students, they say, seemed to appreciate the close relations they have with the UCC staff and leadership, and were full of praise for the campus.

At a time when the overall numbers of new students entering universities in Ireland are stagnating, the percentage of students expressing first preferences to study at UCC increased in 2004 by 10 per cent. The university has started a very ambitious capital development and buildings programme over the last five years, with many improvements to the campus.

The assessment team expressed concern that the current departmental structure of UCC no longer appears to offer a suitable framework for responding to the new demands of higher education. They said that the university must change in order to guarantee its continued success and relevance in the years to come. The current structures do not encourage such change or allow sufficient flexibility in responding to new patterns of higher education. The reviewers expressed concern that although modularisation has been introduced, it appears to have been implemented in a variety of ways across the university.

University College Dublin

Phone: 01-716 1554
Full-time undergraduate students: 13,000
Full time academic staff: 1,440

Famous graduates:
Tony O’Reilly; Denis O’Brien; Dr Garret Fitzgerald; Charles Haughey; James Joyce; Neil Jordan; Brian O’Driscoll; Derval O’Rourke, athlete

Why choose UCD?
UCD is Ireland’s leading and largest university, offering the widest range of programmes in the most exciting of environments. With UCD Horizons, its newly introduced modularised, semesterised and credit-based curriculum, students have more choice than ever before.

At UCD, students pursue their degree programmes under the guidance of academics who are leading authorities in their field; academics who work to find the answers to the most important questions of our time – ranging from Ireland’s political future in an enlarged European community to the possibility of a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. The UCD library has extensive computing and e-Learning facilities as well as highly valued student support services at UCD include student health, welfare and counselling services.

Anything new or exciting?
UCD Horizons introduces a new approach of modularisation to university teaching in Ireland. It is the approach taken by most leading international universities and UCD is the first university in Ireland to adopt the system fully. UCD has been selected by the Chinese government to be the base for one of only 100 Confucius Institutes that will be established around the world. The institutes will promote Chinese culture and language and facilitate international research and economic links.

A new campus development plan is underway at UCD. It aims to develop a sustainable and living campus - a campus bustling with life 24/7. New student accommodation will bring the total number of students living on campus to near 5,000.

The Student View
Dave Curran; deputy president of UCD Students’ Union Best bits about your college UCD has good sports facilities, and huge variety of sports clubs. It has over 100 active societies, on interests such as debating, films, juggling and everything in between and a vibrant social scene around all of these. In UCD there is so much to do apart from study. Make sure you leave some time for that too though!

What are the drawbacks?
Because it’s such a huge university it can be very daunting when you start out, and so many people can feel a bit isolated at first. There’s a million different things to do but because of the sheer size and scope of activities you have to make the effort to get out there and get involved.

How is the academic side?
UCD has changed radically recently as part of the restructuring which aims to make the university fully modularised and semesterized. With the new UCD Horizons, the idea is that students can design their own degree, picking and choosing subjects from across different disciplines. UCD is an acclaimed university which attracts the very best academic talent both nationally and internationally.

What’s the craic like?
It’s mighty, as they say. Two bars on campus, two and a half thousand students living in on-campus residences, A choice of events every single night and more fun than you can shake a keg at. Sum up your college in five words: Big, bad and beautiful, baby!

UCD students on the web (

On the famed UCD sports facilities: Has someone been nicking goalposts? Own up. If not, services must have taken them away for storage? Repainting? Where have they gone? There are two soccer posts on the GAA pitch, alas they are turned together so cannot be used, my friends and I were looking for a game last night and we didn’t want to move them in case services got p***ed off. Anyone know who I could ask? They’ve been available every other summer since I can remember and it’s very unfair to take them away now just because the hurlers, and so on, have gone home. I don’t know about you but I’m starting to think the fairies are involved in this.

What the experts say
The most recent published evaluation from a group of international academics on UCD says student services appeared to be well organised and administered. They were pleased to note that student issues and opinions are considered seriously, resulting in the recent establishment of a new position of vice-president for Students. They commended the approach taken by the Centre for Teaching and Learning, which offers an integrated range of services aimed at helping staff improve their teaching The team also complimented the way that UCD maintains extensive relations with employers and other external stakeholders, including a number of professional organisations which monitor the teaching and learning process in certain fields.

UCD is a big university but sciences and engineering account for only 18 per cent of the undergraduate students. The team thought that this was quite a low figure. Despite good student services, the team noted that the overall position of students at UCD appeared to be rather weak and passive.

They also noted that as in most traditional universities the size of UCD teaching and learning practices still need modernisation. Large lectures are still too often the norm in many fields, especially during the early undergraduate years. The evaluation by students of courses and course delivery would appear to vary widely between faculties.

University of Limerick

Phone: 061 202015
Full-time undergraduates: 8,106
Full-time academic staff: Faculty 453,
Support Staff 562,
Funded Staff 220

Famous graduates:
Ian Noctor - newsreader; Ruth Scott - RTÉ radio presenter; Rachel English -Broadcaster; Mary-Lou McDonald - MEP; Tony Ward, former Irish rugby player

Why choose University of Limerick?
The University of Limerick is an internationally recognised University serving the needs of over 11,000 students with a beautiful riverside campus at the heart of the National Technology Park. It offers 65 primary degree programmes and the campus is renowned for its academic and cultural life as well as its state of the art sports facilities. All first year undergraduate students are guaranteed accommodation in one of UL’s five on-campus student villages.

Anything new or exciting?
Academic developments New degrees being offered from September 2006 include, BSc Software Development and Social Change, Bachelor of Engineering Science, BSc Construction Management & Engineering, BA Psychology and Sociology, BSc Multimedia and Computer Games Development, BEng Medical Electronics, BEng Robotic Engineering, BSc Digital Media Design, BSc Music Media and Performance Technology.

Structural Developments
Construction of the pedestrian Living Bridge over the River Shannon has commenced with completion planned for January 2007. It will be the longest pedestrian bridge in Ireland. Completion of Cappavilla student village with 324 study bedrooms on the North Bank of the campus. This development will increase the on-campus accommodation to 2,250 study-bedrooms. Irish World Music Centre: A new building is being actively planned on the North Bank of the campus.

The Student View
St John Ó Donnabháin; President of the Student’s Union, ULSU. Best bits about your college The people – students are very friendly and open. It’s beautifully placed beside the river, and the campus is pretty nice. Clubs and Societies are brilliant, they do everything from drama to kayaking to whatever you’re having yourself! Sports facilities are excellent too.

What are the drawbacks?
We’re a bit removed from the city centre and all the events there, about 5km away – we’re in a bit of a bubble out here. Car parking is a big issue too. Lots of pressure on students and for resources too. How is the academic side? There is a good range of courses, and I certainly enjoyed my degree.

At the same time, there is an over-pressurised atmosphere, which I think isn’t helpful to getting the best out of the learning experience. Also, different departments make different demands on students, there’s a lack of consistency.

What’s the craic like?
It’s good, but seems to have gone a little flat. One of the pubs closed a while ago, but we hope to get part of it open again soon. That’s what we want to do for the next year – support the clubs and societies, get lots of cool events happening on campus.

Sum up your college in five words: active, interesting - lots more potential

UL students on the web

I think an annual ball would be a class addition to UL. We would need to have good security there cause the thing that makes Trinity ball is that it’s so private and everybody is properly dressed. No rugby tools swigging Bulmers and singing, “You shut uppppppp” rubbish. Also, I’m not sure the stables would be big enough for it. Actually, I’m certain it wouldn’t be. I like the idea of it being in the UL campus so we’ll need more pubs or something. In UL, we have a natural advantage of a large open campus.

If we spaced the ball out over a lot of the campus I think the atmosphere would be amazing with loads of people moving to and fro to a different stage, quite like Oxegen.

What the experts say
The most recent published assessment of UL by a team of international experts was impressed by the campus and the huge investment in recent years. The team noted that great efforts have been put into developing support schemes for teaching and learning, aimed at both students and staff. They took this as a sign that the university takes these activities seriously, and is committed to the improvement of quality in these fields.

They mentioned the Co-operative Education system at UL that provides a direct link for each student between the world of learning and the world of work, and gives the student better opportunities for making a successful transition once he or she has left the university.

There were complaints from students about the lack of space in the libraries. While this is a common gripe in universities, the international experts believed that it may have long-term implications at UL given the changing profile of the university and the changing nature of educational demand.

The team also noted that there is scope for improving communication across the whole university. This has been a goal of the senior leadership for several years already, and many initiatives have been started, but apparently the challenge is still there.

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