Education


5
Jun 14

Start Your Own Business; Who can Help you Get up and Running

Forbes named Ireland as the best country in the world to do business last yearDURING the recent elections, people would have heard some criticism levelled at the performance of Government over the past three years. However, when it comes to starting your own business, Ireland is now recognised as one of the best countries in the world for government support.

In January, ‘Forbes’ magazine highlighted that Ireland was the best country in the world to do business, while previously the World Bank said it was the seventh easiest place to start an enterprise. Many European reports have stated how people in Ireland are very positive towards the idea of entrepreneurship.

Last month the new Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) were formally launched by the Government. The new LEOs have replaced the former County and City Enterprise Boards and now have a wider remit, combining the expertise of the enterprise boards with the broad reach of the local authorities, supported by Enterprise Ireland.

The Local Enterprise Office is the ‘First Stop Shop’ for anyone seeking information and support on starting or growing a business in Ireland. With 31 dedicated teams across Ireland, LEOs offer a wide range of experience, skills and services.

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10
Dec 13

University of Limerick to Create 1,000 Jobs in Five Years

A thousand jobs are expected to be created over the next five years under a new development plan at the University of Limerick.

The European Investment Bank is providing a €100m loan to the €224m plan which will see 12 new construction projects on the north and south campus.

The scheme includes a new clinical research building at University Hospital Limerick; a new city centre campus including student residences and an academic building; a new library and a dedicated training centre for the Munster Rugby Team.

The positions will include 290 full time jobs and 710 construction jobs.

The plan will run from 2014-2018 and UL says funding for the remainder of the project will be secured from a number of sources, including philanthropic donors, state grants and commercial activities.

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17
Nov 13

Trinity Announces New €70 Million Business School and Innovation Hub

trinity1Opening in 2017, the School will offer a full range of business-related programmes all levels.

Trinity College revealed plans for a new €70 million School of Business, which will be co-located with an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub. The development will be situated in the technology sector of campus along Pearse Street, Dublin.

Work is expected to begin in Summer 2014, with completion anticipated in 2017. The project aims to support the increasingly entrepreneurial culture among Trinity’s students and faculties, drive job creation across campus and in the city centre, and establish Dublin as a global hub for innovation and start-up enterprises.

Dr. Patrick Prendergast, the Provost of Trinity, made the announcement at the Trinity Global Graduate Forum, which hosted over 100 of the university’s most successful alumni in Dublin this weekend. The forum is the first time a university has invited its global graduates back to discuss various issues, with representatives from sixteen countries and nineteen professions in attendance.

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18
Oct 13

€52m Project will Create 220 Jobs

ULA €52m research and teaching project at the University of Limerick has been described as one of the most significant investments in science and engineering ever in Ireland.

More than 220 new jobs in teaching and construction will be created by the Bernal Project which is designed to give Ireland the edge in research in the pharmaceutical, biomedical and energy sciences.

The project was officially launched by Taoiseach Enda Kenny yesterday.

“Today is an exceptional day not for Limerick and the mid-west but for the entire country,” Mr Kenny said.

“This project is exactly the kind of development Ireland needs as we continue to enhance our attractiveness as a location for inward investment and jobs in research and development,” he added.

SKILLED

Some 75 long-term research and teaching jobs will be created and an estimated 150 construction jobs.

The Bernal Project involves the recruitment of 10 leading professors, from some of the top 100 ranked universities in the world.

According to Dr Mary Shire, UL vice president of research, the project will have a major impact in promoting Ireland as a location for investment.

Meanwhile, there was further good news on the jobs front as more than 100 new highly skilled positions are to be created with the opening of a €10m expansion at Alltech.

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16
Jul 13

€3.5 million R&D Campus for Kilkenny.

JJ WorrallPlans for a €3.5 million “innovation hub” redevelopment of a section of the Smithwick’s St Francis Abbey Brewery site in Kilkenny were unanimously approved at a joint meeting of Kilkenny County and Borough Councils yesterday evening.

Kilkenny County and Borough Councils are proposing the transformation of the site’s brewhouse and maturation buildings as part of the project, with the local authorities having purchased 12 acres of the facility from Diageo for €2.1 million last year.

The 5,000 square-metre brewhouse and 1,000 square-metre maturation buildings will undergo the first stages of their redevelopment early next year at a combined cost of €600,000.

Kilkenny county and city manager, Joe Crockett told The Irish Times that the brewery site – parts of which are over 300 years old – occupies a “prime block of land”, with the €3.5 million set to help “transform” the “fine industrial buildings” into the new R&D centre.

Crockett said the facilities will also be open to “major Irish technology companies” and act as “a foreign direct investment location” to boot.

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24
Jun 13

Animated Language Learning to create 100 jobs

ALL Parents OnlineIrish start-up to establish centre for language development in Co Westmeath;

A centre of excellence for language development is to be established in Co Westmeath as part of a €100,000 investment by Animated Language Learning (ALL) and will see 100 new jobs created over the next five years.

The centre, which will feature state of the art audio visual technology and software, will be located at the headquarters of Irish Autism Action in Multyfarnham, according to ALL chief executive Enda Dodd. He said the 100 jobs will consist of software development, graphic design and support roles.

Developed by Mr Dodd, ALL is an internet-based software programme specially developed for children with autism and moderate to severe language learning difficulties. He created the programme following numerous failed interventions with his twin sons, Conor and Eoin, both of which have autism.

The internet delivered language learning works by building on the visual learning skills autistic children have, using repetition to reinforce the concepts of characters, action words, and socio-emotions. It uses clips from popular Disney Pixar movies like Toy Story to help autistic kids learn how to speak.

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5
Jun 13

Entrepreneurs can be ‘made’ through education??

It is broadly agreed that the economic growth of this country is heavily dependent upon our ability to encourage more people to start up businesses.

We are particularly in need of more indigenous enterprises capable of selling innovative products and services internationally.

However, many myths persist about the concept of entrepreneurship. Some of these were evident in a recent Irish Examiner article entitled, ‘We should encourage a culture of risk-taking’.

The article, by Joe Gill, used a range of emotive expressions to build an argument that “entrepreneurship classes are not the answer” as he suggested that “so-called business schools internationally have hijacked” entrepreneurship and that the skills relating to it “are not the property of the silver spoon classes”.

He also indicated that the “skills needed to be an entrepreneur rarely lie in study courses”.

These arguments are built on perception rather than fact and serve only to fuel some of the myths surrounding entrepreneurship.

The notion entrepreneurs are born and not made is false, as statistically more people who are considered ‘push entrepreneurs’ (people who would not see themselves as natural entrepreneurs) will start a business rather than ‘pull entrepreneurs’ (natural entrepreneurs). The number of ‘push entrepreneurs’ is even greater in today’s economic environment as many people who have become redundant turn to starting their own business in the hope of generating an income for themselves.

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25
Sep 12

Ireland’s President on the country’s diaspora, the importance of its youth and new thinking

“Take charge of change”, a message firmly driven home by the President of Ireland at last weekend’s Being Young and Irish northern workshop, the penultimate seminar in a series of four that encourages Ireland’s youth to become proactive in securing their vision of the country’s future.

One hundred young people from various parts of Ulster assembled in Monaghan and listened attentively as the Irish President, Michael D. Higgins, delivered an impassioned speech, iterating the values he places on Ireland’s youth, and Irish youth abroad, and the important role they can play in shaping Ireland’s future.

President Higgins speaking at the #youngandirish regional workshop in Monaghan

President Higgins speaking at the #youngandirish regional workshop in Monaghan

In a short question and answer session after the President’s address, he spoke of the importance of technology in helping prevent disconnect between Ireland’s recent emigrant population and their families at home.

Ireland’s new diaspora

IrishCentral’s Paddy Duffy asked the President if he thought there was a difference in yearning or tone between the Irish at home and the country’s new diaspora, and perhaps if the attitudes of the two towards their country’s future varied as a result of this disposition?

“If you take the people that have most recently went abroad, I think that they are not sufficiently long gone to have established significant differences between themselves and people at home.

“Another difference that is arising is of course how the technology has changed. My own nephews in Australia are talking to their brothers on Skype. They haven’t disconnected.

“The technology is keeping people in touch.”

Hello social media

I asked the President of the importance that technology and social media brought to the Being Young and Irish initiative?

“In the organisation of the consultation there was a very deliberate attempt to use all of the different new inlets [social media]. As people are discussing the different regional conferences they’ve been doing that on the new technology and it’s very, very welcome”.

Why Ireland’s youth are so important

From listening to any of the President’s recent speeches it’s clear that he places a lot of trust and belief in young people. I asked to President to elaborate on this; why are young people so important in shaping Ireland’s future? He quipped, “they’re going to be longer around!”

The President then spoke of the recession and failed practices of old. He stated that old, failed teachings were no longer relevant and that the institutional thinking had to change,

“How can you teach the old thing that had failed?

“The institutions can’t speak to this generation in a way they may have spoken to others.

“The institutional thinking has to change and the language has to change. That’s why I picked young people”.

Intergenerational equality

Continuing on the theme of youth and why the President is focussing on this demographic, the President praised young people’s ability to inherently “think intergenerationally”.

“I was never asked by a young person in the campaign [Presidential campaign] or since I became President for anything that was at the cost of an older person. They just wanted a better Ireland for everybody and that’s the vision that young people have.”

Next steps

The fourth and final Being Young and Irish workshop will take place this weekend in Galway. A research team from the Dublin Institute of Technology will then collate all the findings from both the regional workshops and the submissions made online into a research report, which the President will take to various government departments in November.

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23
Apr 12

Irish long tradition of valuing education attracts students from far corners of Europe

Ireland is known for its high quality education that dates back to nearly 1,500 years when Europe had fallen into the dark ages. However, Irish monasteries preserved the West’s inheritance of civilization and attracted students from far corners of Europe to study at its centers of learning.

This tradition continued through the centuries as Irish teachers traveled to the farthest and poorest corners of the world. In modern times, education and research have played a vital role in transforming Irish society, making it the most globalized nation on earth (according to the 2011 Ernst and Young annual survey), the world’s second largest software exporter and a base for the world’s leading pharmaceutical, science, ICT and financial services companies.

US President Barack Obama has called the Irish system world class and has called Irish-educated graduates among the best in the world.

Eight Irish higher institutions of learning are ranked in the top 5 percent of institutions globally. Ireland’s technological institutes are known as industry-focused and responsive to enterprise needs. Specialist institutions in the medical field also have global reputations. Ireland is also a leader in the development of national and European qualifications frameworks and has a highly regarded, government-backed quality assurance agency, which recognizes some Irish private colleges.

Moreover, it is the No. 1 country in the European Union in terms of participation in higher education. IMD, one of the world’s leading business schools, rates Ireland as first in the world for the availability of skilled labor and as one of top countries whose education system meets the needs of a competitive economy. Employers in particular value the skills of Irish-educated graduates with Ireland finishing 1st out of 28 European countries in terms of enterprise perception of graduate quality (ECOFIN, 2009).

Ireland’s high quality of education is bolstered by satisfied and grateful students.

Following one’s dream

Sarah Nagadi dreams of becoming a doctor after receiving a government scholarship at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) which has a good medical reputation. In Dublin, she did an EAP (English for Academic Purposes) course for three months. One thing, which made her comfortable in Ireland was the Irish attitude.

“I have been to many countries but I have never seen people as friendly and as kind as the Irish. I think that I had made the right decision to come to Ireland,” she said.

From Dublin, she moved southwestward. This is because RCSI’s medical course includes a foundation year called the Medical Commencement Program (MCP) which takes place at the Institute of Technology Tralee (ITT) in County Kerry. One of the annual events at ITT is the International Day where each country has its own stand. “It was one of the best days I have had in Tralee. People and students from other countries learned much about Saudi culture, food, traditional dance and music. We prepared for it with love and enthusiasm…I got to know more about other countries like Kuwait, the UAE, Oman, Germany, Italy, Spain,” she said. She is excited to make the most of her last semester in Tralee. She wants to visit the Ring of Kerry, Dingle, Banna Beach and other places before May. “I’d like to take pictures of this experience so when I look back insha’Allah five or six years from now, I will remember the great time I had and the kind people I met in Tralee.”

She has also become involved in some societies and clubs and wants to experience new things like rock climbing and hill walking. “I am looking forward to starting my studies at the RCSI, but I know I will always look back fondly on my time in Tralee,” she said.

Climbing the ladder of success

Raja Al Dandan, a Saudi from the Eastern Province, also wanted to take up medicine and decided that the best medical school is the RCSI. She got a guaranteed acceptance from RCSI. However, she had to attend the Institute of Technology in Tralee (ITT) where she fared well due to her strong high school international background. “The subjects at ITT are taught well by professional teachers and lecturers. The classes have both international and Irish students. Such an environment enhances my English and introduced me to various cultures,” she said. She’s hoping that by the year’s end she’ll be able to pass all the science and language subjects with honors so “I can be a few steps away from achieving my dream, of becoming an RCSI doctor.”

Lessons on art, beauty and life

Michael Buble is another youngster who went to Ireland to take up medicine. But once there, he thought he’ll not only study medicine. He’ll also drink in the beauty of nature and taught lessons in life. He admits having some bad habits, such as lack of punctuality or acquiring books without reading them. Attempting to be a bookworm, he decided to finish a 62-page book by the time he reached Tralee. His accommodation in Tralee was arranged by one Nora while he was on the train. When he reached his accommodation, he was disappointed when he saw the old white brisk fence with the little red wooden door in the middle. He thought he was on the suburb of the town and that he would be living on a farm. He was guided upstairs by Nora who opened the door of his room. Seeing it, he expressed surprise. He loved it and interrupted Nora who was still explaining, “I like it. It is great!” Nora asked, “Are you sure? Take your time and do not be embarrassed to say ‘no’.” He said: “Everything was perfect about it and it was my piece of heaven compared to the one where I stayed in Britain so I replied ‘I am sure, thank you’.”

He spent the night rearranging and adding touches to the room. The second day, he went out exploring alone with neither a map nor sense of direction and he discovered how gorgeous Ireland was. “I realized why I came to Ireland. I am in love with art and beauty of nature surrounding me. Birds are flying high, sun in the skies, and breeze drifting by,” he said, adding: “It is time to do some soul searching and therefore as I explore Ireland I will also explore myself and get to know myself better. I can feel redemption calling and I can see the edge of my new beginning. It’s a new life for me and I am feeling good!”

Attaining a childhood dream

Another youngster who dreams to become a doctor and offered a place at the RCSI was spellbound by the beauty of Ireland and also impressed with Irish friendliness and hospitality. He said, “I booked my flight from the UK. The first interaction with Irish people was on the airplane. I immediately noticed how friendly they are. The Irish families are closely-knit, which was overwhelming as it reminded me of my own country.” He says that he has no regrets in his decision to study in Ireland, hopes to go to RCSI and graduate by the end of 2018.

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17
Apr 12

McManus among investors in €1m midwest seed fund

Start-up businesses were given a major boost yesterday at the launch of a new €1 million seed fund, set up for industries across the midwest.

The Enterprise Ladder Fund, provided by JP McManus and other private investors, has been set up through Limerick Institute of Technology.

The fund, announced by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, will allow qualifying companies to receive funding of between €10,000 and €25,000.

Investors hope to make a big return on their investment while benefiting from tax incentives.

“I want to congratulate LIT on developing this fund,” Mr Noonan said. “Start-up companies are key to our ongoing economic recovery and the ELF will provide critical support for qualifying companies at LIT and wider region as they seek to get their businesses up and running.”

The fund will provide much-needed early-stage financial equity for start-up companies already based at the institute’s Enterprise Acceleration Centre, and to start-up firms in the greater Limerick region.

The college has already secured €350,000 of the targeted €1 million through philanthropic contributions from donors around the region. It is hoped that the remaining two-thirds of the fund will be secured by the end of the year through similar tax-incentivised means.

“Accessing early-stage funding is a significant challenge for start-up companies and the ELF will bridge that gap for many start-ups at our centres in this region,” LIT president Dr Maria Hinfelaar said.

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