Saturday 19 October 2019

Education history in the making as local college joins NUIG

Educational history will be made on Friday next, when St. Angelas College, Sligo signs a formal agreement making it a College of the National University of Ireland, Galway.

This is the first time ever that an independent educational institution has become a College of a Constituent University of the National University of Ireland.

Minister for Agriculture and Food Ms Mary Couglan T.D. will attend a special ceremony at St. Angela’s scenic Lough Gill campus to mark the occasion. Former president of St. Angela’s, Sr Marianne O’Connor, will be conferred with an honorary Doctor of Laws on the day in recognition of her contribution to developing a strategic partnership between the two institutions.

St. Angela’s College was founded in 1952 by the Irish Ursuline Union as a training college for teachers of Home Economics. In 2003 it was designated the sole national centre for Home Economics teacher training.

Over the past decade the college has expanded significantly, and now offers a diverse range of programmes at Diploma, Degree, Higher Diploma and Masters level in a range of subject areas including nursing, education and arts. St. Angela’s has developed a particularly strong reputation in the area of special educational needs and learning support.

The College also delivers an Access course in conjunction with NUI Galway, facilitating progression to third level by students from non-traditional backgrounds.

Existing governance structures will remain in place under the Agreement, and a joint body has been established to oversee the implementation of the Agreement, which includes reciprocal use of library, technology and other facilities at both institutions.

Originally from Sligo, Sr Marianne O’Connor, OSU, was President of St. Angela’s College from 1983 to 2001

Recognising the need for diversification within the college, Sr. Marianne expanded the range of courses being delivered at St. Angela’s from the B ED Degree in Home Economics to include attitional elective subjects in Biology and Religious Education, undergraduate programmes in Arts and Nursing, postgraduate programmes in education, and a wide range of lifelong learning and continuing professional development programmes designed to meet the educational needs of the north west region.

A long time supporter of St. Angela’s association with NUI Galway and keenl yaware of the potential benefits of closer co-operation in terms of expanding educational provision and contributing to social and economic development, both nationally and regionally, combating rural disadvantage, enhancing life-long learning opportunities and providing access to education for those marginalized from the mainstream, Sr. Marianne was a strong advocate of deepening the relationship between the two institutions

In 2000, she took a lead role in initiating discussions on strengthening the linkage between NUI Galway and St. Angela’s

This led to a new agreement for institutional linkage which was legally approved in 2005 and came into effect on January 1st, 2006.

St Angela’s College is now a College of the National University of Ireland, Galway, and this new link ensures a much closer strategic and working relationship between the College and the University

Sr Marianne is currently serving as Congregational Leader of the Irish Ursuline Union. Her remit includes Ireland, Wales and Kenya and she has continued to develop and expand the Ursuline Union’s educational and social mission through pre-school, primary, secondary and tertiary education, social work, parish and Diocesan Ministry

The Honorary Conferring and official signing ceremony takes place at St. Angela’s College, Lough Gill, Sligo on Friday March 31st at 3pm.