The University of Limerick (UL) was established in 1972 as the National Institute for Higher Education, Limerick and became a university by statute in 1989. The university was the first university established since the foundation of the State in 1922.
The six colleges (i.e. faculties) of the university are:
- Kemmy Business School
- College of Education
- College of Engineering
- College of Humanities
- College of Informatics and Electronics
- College of Science
The one linked college of the university is:
The university is located on a 200 acre (0.8 km²) site in the 600 acre (2.4 km²) National Technological Park at Plassey three miles from Limerick City. The university has currently in excess of 9,000 full-time students and 1,000 part-time students. There are also over 800 research postgraduates and 1,300 taught postgraduate students at the college. Each year over 2,000 students are allocated work placement, the Cooperative Education programme, one of the first such programmes in the State.
The university, and previously as an institution, is unique in Ireland in that it has synthesized many American ideas in education and introduced them into Ireland; for instance the university introduced a cooperative education programme and grade point average marking, whilst the presidential style of its founding director and previous president until 1998, Dr Edward M Walsh, is somewhat legendary and greatly assisted its raising to university status.
The College of Education was created in 1991 from Thomond College of Education, which itself evolved from the National College of Physical Education established in 1973. Thomond College of Education, which now forms the Department of Educational and Professional Studies focuses on secondary education programmes. Mary Immaculate College, Limerick currently functions under the College of Education and focuses on primary education programmes.
Over the past decade or more, the campus has expanded greatly. The Foundation Building, including the University Concert Hall (now home to the Irish Chamber Orchestra) and the Glucksman Library & Information Services Building were built in the late 1990s. The years 2000–2004 saw the addition of the Computer Science & Information Services (CSIS) Building, Dromroe Student Village (pop. 500), Materials & Surface Science Institute (MSSI) building, Students Union Building, a large sports arena and, alongside that, the first national 50 meter swimming pool.
The university is constantly expanding, an Engineering Research Building is due to be opened in early 2005. Another student village, Thomond Village, partly opened for the 2004 autumn semester, this time on the north bank of the River Shannon, in County Clare. The "University Bridge", officially opened in late 2004, provides road and pedestrian access to what is planned as a complete second "North Bank" campus. A Health Sciences Building is nearing completion in this location also, and a second bridge, this one pedestrian only, is planned between the building and the south bank near the Foundation building. Yet another student village, and a building for the Irish World Music Centre (currently located in the Foundation Building basement) are planned for the north bank. Eventually it is hoped to expand the north bank campus to the size of the original south bank campus, indeed the University owns more land on the north bank of the Shannon.
Much of this work is due to the contributions of the UL Foundation - a group of corporate, graduate and individual patrons to the university. The remaining funds are usually from the Irish Government or the European Union.
UL has a Students' Union representing the student body. Many societies and sporting clubs exist for social activities and inter-varsity competition.
Clubs and Societies
Last updated: 08-19-2005 19:38:53