The University of Limerick has been named University of the Year 2019 in the Sunday Times Good University Guide.
Alastair McCall, Editor of The Sunday Times Good University Guide outlined that the University of the Year status is well deserved and marks its second success in five years in receiving the title.
“The University is at the economic heart of this Mid West city and the wider region, attracting brains and resources in equal measure. Its graduates are among the most employable in Ireland, prepared for work by practical courses and a work placement and internship programme second to none, which spans 1,600 employers at home and overseas,” he said.
UL’s leading position in graduate employability, its cooperative education and internship programmes, its research in partnership with industry and the opening of the €31million new Glucksman Library were among the many reasons for the award. UL previously claimed the title of Sunday Times Irish University of the Year in 2015.
“The University of Limerick’s excellent results in the annual Irish Survey of Student Engagement suggest its students appreciate their good fortune to be studying at an institution with both an excellent academic reputation and an eye firmly on the working world, for which it prepares its students so well,” he added.
Dr Des Fitzgerald, UL President said “We are delighted to have been named University of the Year 2019. This award reflects our commitment to graduate employability, our dedication to the student experience, our industry-relevant, award-winning research, our stunning campus and our deep commitment to community engagement. Our partnerships with world-leading universities like University College London and Delft University of Technology have added immensely to our research and postgraduate programmes. But it is our staff who are truly responsible for this accolade. They work every day to make UL a thriving centre of excellence.”
Dr Fitzgerald highlighted the continued demand for UL graduates by employers; “UL’s graduate employment rate for 2017 primary degree-holders is now 79%, 17% higher than the HEA’s most recently-available national average figure which is 62%. A further 18% go on to postgraduate studies”.
The new Glucksman Library at UL has doubled in size and capacity this year having added an extra 7,600 sq. metres to the original library building. The library now includes a range of world class innovations in book storage and retrieval, digital research, accessibility and ‘inspirational learning spaces’.
One stand-out feature is the ARC (Automated Reserve Collection) – a 10 meter high book vault and robotic crane, with the capacity to store 500,000 volumes in a space 1/9th of conventional shelving, which will see UL’s historic collections, currently housed off-site, returned to campus.
Meanwhile the accolade comes at a time when the University has just seen the highest ever attendance at its Open Days when last month 13,860 visitors came to campus over the course of two days.