University of Limerick (UL) has been named the Sunday Times Good University Guide Irish University of the Year 2019.
The Sunday Times University of the Year is a prestigious annual award given to a university or other higher education institution by The Sunday Times.
This is the second time the University have won the award, having previously claimed the title in 2015.
UL’s President Des Fitzgerald said UL’s leading position in graduate employability, it’s 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.
“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,” he said.
UL’s President said it was staff and students who are “truly responsible” for the accolade.
“You work every day to make UL a thriving centre of excellence in scholarship, teaching and research and just a great place to be for students from Ireland and abroad” he said in an email to staff and students of the University.
UL graduates are among the most employable in Ireland with the university’s graduate employment rate for 2017 primary degree-holders 79%. UL students undertake a six to eight month work placement as part of their degree which spans 1,600 employers at home and overseas.
The University’s first-year students boast the fourth-highest average number of Leaving Certificate points (460) with about 9 in 10 students continuing on to their second year.
The University also has the highest proportion of students at any university on Susi (Student Universal Support Ireland) grants, with more than a quarter of admissions from non-manual, unskilled or semi-skilled socioeconomic groups.
Alastair McCall, Editor of The Sunday Times Good University Guide, said: “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.”
UL Student Life President Ciara Jo Hanlon told An Focal: “We have a wonderful University that continues to evolve and develop year on year because of the wonderful work of our campus community, I think that is fantastic that UL students and staff have been the recognition they truly deserve.”
UL is set to celebrate 30 years as a university next year.