University of Limerick launches new strategy as Industry Research Partnerships exceed €130m

The Chancellor of the University of Limerick, the Hon. Mr Justice John L Murray, the President of the University of Limerick, Professor Don Barry, and Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan, TD today (25th September 2015) launched Broadening Horizons'. the University’s new Strategic Plan for 2015 to 2019.

The University of Limerick also announced significant funding achievements through industry research partnerships exceeding €130 million with research awards this year alone reaching €50million. Building on this research funding success the new strategy commits to establishing new international research networks and doubling research income from EU funding sources over the next five years.

The Strategy is built around three distinct aims, ‘building on achievements’, ‘accentuating distinctiveness’ and ‘raising international profile’ that will guide the University of Limerick in achieving ambitious five year targets including:

  • Postgraduate and doctoral students to represent 30% of student body by 2019.
  • UL’s €224 million Capital Development Plan to be fully realised including Phase 2 of the Glucksman Library and plans for an enhanced Limerick City Centre presence.
  • 60% increase in international full-degree students, 12% increase in US study abroad students and a 30% increase in outward student mobility with over 20% of UL students spending at least one semester abroad. 
  • Major increases in the quality and quantity of research outputs with a 50% increase in citation impact of publications.

The plan commits to forging new ways of teaching and learning for students as well as seeking innovations in research that will attract resources while advancing the economic, educational and social development of the Shannon Region and the country.  The university intends to build in its international relations and extend its global outreach which currently involves partnerships with over 400 third level institutions in 38 countries.

Speaking about the new Strategy, Professor Barry said: “Broadening Horizons is designed to help UL make a significant impact on the educational and particularly the research landscape at a global level.  The growth in International research funding opportunities, particularly the EU’s Horizon 2020, means that we must look outward and position ourselves as a university of the world. And we have also ensured that our plans are in line with Government policies as set out in the National Strategy for Higher Education and the emerging Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation 2015-2020.”

Speaking from the launch of ‘Broadening Horizons’ Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan TD said, “the University of Limerick is already making a significant global contribution to research and development as well as to national R&D priorities.  UL has recently been ranked inside the top 6% of universities worldwide and that has been achieved an a very short 43 years. The sense of ambition to push further and constantly improve its international standing is very evident each time I visit the campus and I have no doubt that the ambitious goals laid out in this new strategy will be achieved.”

UL Chancellor, the Hon. Mr Justice John L Murray said “As we look to the future of higher education institutions, we must understand that international borders are no more and students now think more globally about their third level education. By 2020, eight million students, representing 4% of the global student population will be international students. Broadening our Horizons also means reaching further with our research. The future of research lies in collaboration, including collaboration with international Universities and industry.”