IT Sligo has witnessed a 20% increase in the number of international students enrolling this year.
Some 150 students from France, USA, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic and Oman joined the group of almost 1,300 first years who registered at the Institute this week.
The Mayor of Sligo, Cllr David Cawley, hosted a Civic Reception for the international students at City Hall.
Mayor Cawley praised the Institute for its ‘impressive’ and ‘ambitious’ international strategy.
“There is also an important civic dimension to this agenda,” he said. “Sligo Borough Council and IT Sligo have worked together on a number of programmes, and we share your ambition to promote and showcase Sligo to an international audience.”
During their first week in Sligo, the students were provided with a full induction by the Institute’s International Office, which included tours of local attractions like Knocknarea Mountain and Glencar Waterfall.
The President of IT Sligo, Professor Terri Scott extended a warm welcome to the students on behalf of the IT Sligo community; “The students bring an energy and vibrancy to Sligo and we’re delighted to welcome them back in even bigger number this year,” said Professor Terri Scott, President of IT Sligo. “The increase we’re experiencing in our full-time and international students at the start of this academic year is a result of a concerted effort to build on our student numbers and to further enhance the reach of the Institute.”
“We extend a particularly warm welcome to our international students. In line with the national prioritization on internationalisation in higher education, we aim to increase our international students to 250 by 2014, or 6.3 per cent of our student numbers,” she said.
“In the last 40 years, IT Sligo has grown from a small RTC to the modern 70-acre campus it is today -providing courses in Science, Engineering, Design, Business and Social Sciences – and we have ambitious plans for its future. Together with our counterparts in GMIT and LYIT, we are collaborating in a strategic partnership called the Connacht-Ulster Alliance. Together the 3 institutes of technology have a stated ambition to be re-designated as a Technological University. Gaining this re-designation is critical for the West and North West because it will impact considerable on the economic future of this part of the country.”
Re-designation with Technological University status will only be facilitated if higher education institutions meet rigorous criteria laid out by Government, explained Professor Scott, but the ambition of the Connacht-Ulster Alliance is to meet that criterion and to maintain an equality of access to higher education in the Connacht-Ulster region. The anticipated timeframe for the process as set out by Government in the National Strategy for Higher Education is up to five years.
Next week lectures resume at the Institute with almost 4,000 full-time students coming to Sligo to continue their studies.
Image Caption Top Right: Pictured at City Hall are some of the 150 international students who registered at the Institute this week, along with Cllr David Cawley, Mayor of Sligo; President of IT Sligo, Professor Terri Scott; Head of Development and Operations at IT Sligo, Gordon Ryan; and Patrick Lynch, Commercial and International Sales Manager.