US scholars bound for new Dingle campus

Pictured at a memorandum of understanding signed in Dingle which will see the west Kerry town become a university campus for students studying in the Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut USA were American students, Sarah Griglun and Nee Lab Hussaini

By Majella O'Sullivan

THE first students from a US university to spend a semester at its Irish campus are expected to arrive in the autumn.

But the students from Sacred Heart University (SHU) in Fairfield, Connecticut, are not headed for Dublin.

Instead, they're going to Dingle where the university expects to have its campus operational after summer.

The west Kerry fishing port will become the first Irish town in which a US university has a campus in a new educational venture between SHU, Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and the Institute of Technology Tralee (ITT).

A memorandum of understanding was signed in Dingle yesterday by SHU Provost Laura Niesen de Abruna and representatives of the other colleges.

SHU is in the process of closing the sale of the former Christian Brothers School and is about to begin a €1m refurbishment to house its campus.

Ms Niesen de Abruna said she hopes to increase the numbers of students studying abroad from the present 10pc to up to 50pc.

More than 6,000 students are enrolled at SHU, and they will have the opportunity to study part of their courses in nursing, marine science and the performing arts in Dingle.

The university plans to develop a coastal research and learning centre in partnership with Dingle's Oceanworld Aquarium. The venture will significantly boost the local economy.