University of Galway

Our prestigious history spans almost two centuries. Our spectacular location boasts the unique landscape and culture of the west of Ireland. Our global network connects us to partners around the world. Our researchers are shaping the future. Our students are shaping their own.

Leading Research Globally

The purpose of our research and innovation is to advance the public good. Our people are creative in their thinking and collaborative in their approach. Our place is a distinct and vibrant region deeply connected internationally and open to the world. Read more.


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27 March 2023

Irish rugby star and Barretstown Ambassador Mack Hansen celebrates University students on 20 years of volunteering

At a special ceremony celebrating 20 years of student volunteering and community engagement at University of Galway, Irish rugby player and Barretstown Ambassador Mack Hansen joined students to share experiences of volunteering.   At the event more than 500 student volunteers were recognised for their efforts with an ALIVE Certificate for Volunteering, joining the 15,000 plus students who, over the last 20 years, have given their time and energy to build and strengthen communities.    The students were acknowledged by University of Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh for their volunteering commitments with national non-profit organisations such as Barretstown and campus student initiatives.    The ALIVE Student Volunteering Programme aims to connect students with volunteering projects that not only make an impact for the individual student’s personal and professional development but also creates social change through community solidarity.   Mack Hansen said: “As an ambassador for Barretstown I see firsthand the impact of volunteering and just how much volunteers get from their experience too. I was delighted to join the team from Barretstown and University of Galway for this special event to recognise the fantastic students who have given up their time to volunteer for organisations across Ireland.”    Lorraine Tansey, ALIVE Student Volunteer Programme Coordinator, said: “Since the pandemic we have now seen a resurgence of volunteering projects and a dramatic increase in volunteer recruitment campaigns from nonprofits, community groups and NGOs. As a result, University of Galway students have taken up the call to action and been volunteering with charity shops, fundraisers, health organisations and environmental campaigns to mention a few.”    May Queen Tugap, student of the College of Business, Public Policy and Law, said: “By giving my time and energy to support cultural events like the Baboro Festival and Music for Galway, I believe I am making a valuable contribution to the community and helping to create a more vibrant and inclusive society, where people of all ages and backgrounds can enjoy and engage with the arts.”    As part of its commitment to civic engagement, University of Galway recently launched the first Civic Engagement Scholarship in an Irish higher education institution. The aim of the scholarship is to contribute to building global citizenship skills among students by enabling them to take on community action at Ireland’s leading campus for civic engagement.     Directed at new entry undergraduate students and valued at €1,500 per academic year for the duration of their degree programme, the scholarship provides training and hands-on skills development workshops, access to specialised conferences and networking, internship experience with the ALIVE Volunteering programme, and insight across a wide range of non-profit, humanitarian and social justice programmes.   Ends 

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27 March 2023

University of Galway research reveals Ireland’s digital education gap

University of Galway research has highlighted significant gaps in Ireland’s education system which are holding back digital teaching and learning for young people.   The report, commissioned with the support of Google, identified how Ireland is experiencing a significant shortage of teachers, with Maths, Engineering and new STEM subjects such as Computer Science among the hardest vacancies to fill.    The new research - Capacity for, Access to, and Participation in Computer Science Education in Ireland - was led by the School of Education at University of Galway and looked at what is holding back Ireland’s digital education, and what can be done to address the challenges.   A copy of the report is available via University of Galway's School of Education publications' webpage   It found that one of the main barriers to expanding Computer Science education in Ireland’s schools is a lack of qualified teachers.    :: As of August 2022, there were just 34 accredited Computer Science teachers.    :: Out of a total of 140 teachers involved with the Computer Science programme, the vast majority of those teaching it were doing so without Teaching Council accreditation for the subject.    :: In focus groups with school leaders and teachers, the research revealed that a lack of qualified teachers was the number one barrier to making Coding and Computer Science available at their school.   Dr Cornelia Connolly, lecturer in University of Galway’s School of Education and lead author of the report, said: “Although the Irish education system has embraced computing in the curriculum at post-primary - by introducing Coding as a Junior Cycle short course and Computer Science as a stand-alone Leaving Certificate subject - we are a long way off making this important 21st century subject available to all students.”   The research report noted that as Ireland is working to become a digital leader at the heart of European and global digital developments – the development of computing skills and a flourishing Computer Science education ecosystem are essential to this transformation.    It also highlights the necessity for Ireland’s education system to incorporate significantly more digital skill and computational development in schools if we are to ensure the ongoing digital transformation of the economy.    The researchers found a low level of understanding of the importance of the subject of Computer Science amongst students, teachers and the relevant stakeholders, with other courses such as Wellbeing pushing Coding and Computer Science off the timetable.   The report highlighted that in 2022:  Only 15.6% of schools offered Computer Science at Leaving Certificate -  114 out of 728 post-primary schools  117 out of 728 post-primary schools offered Junior Cycle Coding  34 accredited Computer Science teachers in Ireland  Of a total of 140 teachers involved with the Computer Science programme, the vast majority of those teaching the subject are doing so without Teaching Council accreditation for the subject A significant gender gap in participation in the subject is emerging: 60% of Junior Cycle Coding, and 70% of Leaving Certificate Computer Science students in 2022 were male  The report highlights a range of emergent challenges and recommendations for the effective integration of Computer Science skills and practices within formal education in Ireland across the primary and post-primary sector.    There is a necessity for all students attending primary and post-primary school to have equal opportunity to develop basic Computer Science understanding and skills, including computational thinking and coding.   Dr Connolly added: “We need to develop a shared understanding and strengthen the acceptance of Computer Science as a foundational competence for all, enabling young people to become active participants in a digital economy and society. While young people are often assumed to be ‘digital natives’ who can pick up computer skills with ease, the research indicated this is not the case. Young people have a high level of access to phones and smart technology, yet teachers report that their technical use and understanding of computers is much lower. To address this, the report recommends that computing education needs to be introduced at an earlier age.”    Ends

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21 March 2023

University of Galway and Grant Thornton celebrate five years of mentoring programme

University of Galway’s Access Centre and Grant Thornton have celebrated five years of their joint Professional Engagement Module, an experience-based module of learning for Access students.  Over an eight-week period, Access Students are assigned a mentor from Grant Thornton Galway and take part in a specifically designed module of structured, interactive learning. As a result of taking part in the programme, students gain exposure to the professional environment, develop career skills, and increase their career readiness.  The mentoring, time spent in the Grant Thornton offices and workshops run as part of the module combine to give the students self-belief around progression in education and in planning for their careers. Aengus Burns, Advisory Partner with Grant Thornton, said: “This is our fifth year of interaction with the University on this programme, we are delighted to support it. We believe it is very important to show students through the Access Programme what opportunities there are in this industry, how Grant Thornton interacts with its own staff and clients, and present opportunities to these students.”  Vice President for Engagement at University of Galway, Dr Paul Dodd, said: “This programme speaks to the importance of diverse learning experiences and collaborations with the wider community and industry. The benefits of this relationship between the Access Centre and Grant Thornton are very apparent in the way that the students speak about their mentors and the motivation it has given them to persist and strive for success within their chosen courses.” The Access Programmes are for those with the ability to benefit from and succeed in higher education but who, for a variety of socio-economic reasons, are under-represented at third level. Dr Mary Surlis, Senior Academic Manager in University of Galway’s Access Centre, said: “This year marks the fifth year of Professional Engagement Module and our much-valued relationship with Grant Thornton. The programme offers a very exciting opportunity to our students to engage in a professional setting, and to experience the support and encouragement of dedicated committed professionals, this will benefit our students enormously.” University of Galway Access student Nathan Martin said: “To visit the Grant Thornton offices and see how things operate in a real business setting, not just theorizing it, actually getting to see it in action, is hugely beneficial to us. It keeps our drive going. That for me fermented it in my own head that I really do want to do the course that I have chosen, and I believe for my fellow students it has given them the same passion and drive to keep going as well.”  Ends

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