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University of Limerick named Sunday Times University of the Year

Posted by Francis O' Toole on September 30, 2014

University of Limerick named Sunday Times University of the Year – The University of Limerick has been named ‘University of the Year 2015 in the Sunday Times Good University Guide.  UL’s  leading position in graduate employability, strong research commercialisation, the €52million Bernal Project in science and engineering  and a rising academic performance were among the reasons for the Award.

Alastair McCall, Editor of The Sunday Times Good University Guide, said: “Limerick is one of the country’s youngest universities, and also one of the most nimble. The vision presented by the Bernal Project is a bold one; when it comes to fruition it will put Limerick on the map globally in research terms.  Our award acknowledges that vision but also recognises the outstanding deal it offers students many of whom go on to play a critical role in the region around the university and the wider country beyond. Limerick’s work placement programme makes a compelling case to prospective students in an uncertain global economy.”

Speaking about the announcement made by the Sunday Times today, Professor Don Barry, UL President said: “we are very pleased to have been named University of the Year 2015.  This award reflects our commitment to graduate employability, our dedication to the student experience, our industry-relevant, award-winning research and our deep community engagement.  Our staff and students and external partners are responsible for this accolade and work every day to make UL special.”

UL’s 70% graduate employment rate for 2013 primary degree-holders is now 18% higher than the HEA’s most recently-available national average figure which is 52% for 2012.

A recent survey of UL’s 2013 graduates showed 95% are either employed or pursuing further study.  The ‘First Destinations’ survey compiled by UL’s Cooperative Education and Careers Division also found that the number of UL graduates seeking employment is now at 5% down from 8% in 2012, a figure which is considerably lower than the official labour market unemployment figure ( currently in excess of 11%).

70% of graduates went directly into employment, 49% in Ireland and 21% overseas. This is a 7% increase in employment levels on 2012. Some 23% enrolled in postgraduate studies.   It is down 1% on last year’s figure, notwithstanding the discontinuation of the postgraduate student grant. More than 93% of those who completed a Postgraduate Diploma in 2013 found employment or proceeded to further study. 2% of those surveyed opted for a year out to travel.

UL’s Research programmes have secured extensive industry funding and support from national and international scientific bodies. The €52 million Bernal Project at the University of Limerick (UL) is a landmark initiative for Irish science and engineering. With an emphasis on pharmaceutical science and engineering, energy and sustainable environment, and modern and biomedical materials and engineering, the investment is bringing ten of the world’s leading scientists in their respective fields to Limerick.
The University of Limerick is home to the national pharmaceutical research centre – Synthesis & Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre – a €40 million investment which will position Ireland as a global hub for the pharmaceutical industry. The SSPC is dedicated to supporting the pharmaceutical industry in Ireland which is responsible for over 60,000 Irish jobs and exports over €50 billion annually.

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