NUI Galway President appointed President of Universities Ireland Council

NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh (right) with Universities Ireland Council’s outgoing President, Professor Ian Greer. Credit - Kenneth O'Halloran Photography
Jul 07 2022 Posted: 09:54 IST

President of NUI Galway Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh has been announced as the new President of Universities Ireland Council.

Universities Ireland was founded in 2003 by the nine university presidents on the island of Ireland to promote and develop cooperation between their institutions on a cross-border basis. The council brings together, at the highest level, the academic and administrative leaders of all the universities in Ireland, identifying the need for an all-island structure through which they can cooperate on issues of higher education policy and act together to influence change such as supporting peace and reconciliation.  

Professor Ó hÓgartaigh said: “Co-operation is central to the future of universities and their continued potential to make a difference to society and our economy, for the public good. Creating communities of scholars and students contributes to a greater understanding of each other’s challenges and a greater impetus to grasp together the opportunities that face us all. As we navigate a set of relationships in transition, we recognise that the issues we face are increasingly complex, cross-disciplinary and inter-generational. 

“Research and teaching – universities on the island of Ireland – have a particular role to play in helping us to navigate social and economic change. These are better addressed together than apart. We are a small island on the edge of Europe but at the centre of things, between continents. Valuing each other’s traditions, we look forward to working together - thegither – le chéile – with all our stakeholders, North and South, East and West, in further strengthening the ties that bind us and the future that we shape and share together.”

Professor Ó hÓgartaigh’s appointment was confirmed at a meeting of the Universities Ireland Council in the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin yesterday. He takes on the role at a crucial time for the populations in both jurisdictions on the island of Ireland, with continued challenges and opportunities which have shared solutions on the island of Ireland in areas such as health, housing and the environment. 

Universities Ireland will act as a catalyst for all-island collaboration between universities to accelerate the recovery, and to strengthen positive North-South relations and East-West relations at a time of transition politically and economically.

As a network, it provides a unique structure within which the universities can liaise at the highest level and through which there can be North-South cooperation that adds value to the education systems on both sides of the border. Through Universities Ireland the institutions cooperate on a wide range of issues related to higher education policy as well as to act jointly. 


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