Sligo IT has the formula for our scientists of the future
A STATE-of-the-art €17m third-level science building, boasting some of the most advanced teaching facilities in the country will be opened by the Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
The opening of the facility at IT Sligo on Tuesday next week completes a five-year €35m redevelopment at the campus.
There has been a huge surge in popularity for science at third-level - with last week's CAO first-round offers showing a significant jump in points for science and technology courses.
IT Sligo was one of the third-level institutions with the largest amount of rises in CAO points in the country. It also has the only CSI-style forensic science and investigation course in the country accredited to the UK's Forensic Science Society.
Points for the BSc (Hons) Forensic Investigation and Analysis rose by 25 last week - with some of the interest in the course put down to television programmes such as CSI and The Big Bang Theory.
The 50,000 students who received course offers last Monday have until 5.15pm today to decide whether to accept or reject the offers that have been made.
Around €60m has been spent on developing the IT Sligo campus and the School of Science itself has undergone massive expansion over the past 10 years.
The new 4,300sqm building offers state-of-the-art facilities, including an 80-station first-year laboratory, seven other teaching laboratories and four research labs.
The laboratories have been kitted out with industry standard technologies that are used by Irish-based multi-nationals working in analytical chemistry, pharma and biotechnology.
Some of Sligo's biggest employers are in the science field - including Abbvie, Abbotts, BM Braun and Stiefel GSK.
IT Sligo President Professor Terri Scott said: "This wonderful new facility will enable IT Sligo to increase undergraduate and research postgraduate places, to further develop bespoke industry training and to introduce new programmes where needs arise."
The school has 1,100 full-time science students and more than 500 online science students from countries as far away as Australia, the US, Canada and Oman.