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90% of graduates get jobs after leaving GMIT

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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The Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) has jumped five places, making the biggest improvement in the ranks of a national university ranking table.

Yesterday staff and students of GMIT celebrated their new ranking in the Sunday Times University Guide 2015 … and the award of ‘IT of the Year’ from the newspaper.

The college climbed five places in the league table to stand at 12th this year off the back of a strong academic performance. No third-level institution has moved further in this year’s rankings.

GMIT ranks joint ninth nationally in terms of graduate employment, with just 8% of students looking for a job nine months after leaving, a marked improvement on last year’s 18%.

The work placement element of GMIT programmes contributed to their graduate employment rate – the Institute had more than 1,200 students on work placement last year.

Around 65% of students achieved a first grade or 2:1 qualification, compared with 48% the previous year. This puts GMIT at the top of the IT sector in this respect, and joint 4th nationally.

Work to retain students is paying off, with the completion rate improved by five percentage points on the previous year to stand at 85%, ranking GMIT joint second on this measure.

GMIT President Michael Carmody said: “I am very pleased with the awarding of the Sunday Times Institute of Technology of the Year accolade to GMIT this year.

“This positive development recognises the contribution of staff across the Institute in enhancing our teaching, research and student services activities.

“The award builds upon the very successful CAO campaign this year with over 2,000 net acceptances to GMIT.

“These outcomes are a result of the continuing achievement of the objectives of the Institute Strategic Plan 2010-2016, particularly in the areas of new programme development; research and innovation; and enhancing teaching and learning and student support services.

“This achievement is a further step in achieving our objective to be designated a Technological University with our partners in the region in due course,” adds Mr Carmody.

Now in its 13th year, the Sunday Times Good University Guide saw NUI Galway in fourth place in the overall league table, the same as last year. It came in at number four in the ‘Best for Jobs’ category and fifth in most money spent on research (almost €87,000 research income per academic).

NUI Galway came in at number 6 for Highest Entry Points (422 being the average) and fourth in the Staying the Course table with 84% completing their degrees.

CITY TRIBUNE

Residents call in the clampers to sort problem parking

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Residents in a Salthill estate have become tired of illegal parking outside their homes – and hired private clampers as a deterrent.

People living in Seamount off Threadneedle Road near Blackrock said they have been plagued by extra traffic and vehicles parking outside their homes, blocking access, during the latest Covid lockdown.

They said that since Galway City Council closed off the Prom to car parking, and closed the two public carparks, the cars have just migrated to Threadneedle Road and their estate.

Seamount is a private estate and the road has not been taken in charge by the Council. The residents have clubbed together and hired a clamping company, which will erect signs in the coming days and begin clamping illegally parked cars from next week.

Residents said they are also concerned that cars parked on Threadneedle Road are making it more difficult for buses to pass, and cause congestion.

A residents’ spokesperson said: “Since the lockdown, they closed off the Prom and closed off Salthill car park but people are still using the Prom and swimming off Blackrock. I have huge admiration for the swimmers, I do it myself when it’s warmer. But what’s happening is they park on both sides of Threadneedle Road, because there’re no yellow lines on either side of it and it’s not wide enough for cars to be parked either side of it, so buses are getting stuck.”
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

NUIG President’s upset at Covid breaches on campus

Enda Cunningham

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – “I work in the hospital and we have had a really awful six weeks. We have nowhere to sit down and have our breaks. We are exhausted and would long to see family and friends. To see public health guidelines [being flouted] on NUIG property is a kick in the teeth.”

These are the words of an angry and frustrated healthcare worker at University Hospital Galway in a message sent to the head of NUIG.

President Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh told students and staff at the university this week that he found it “deeply frustrating” that some students were flouting public health guidelines.

The HSE has confirmed that there were at least 441 cases of Covid in the city’s 18-24 age group – which has affected 224 households – in the past three weeks.

“Our neighbours contacted me expressing their upset at what they see as activities by our students that do not respect the health and safety of the community at large. People who work in the health service, people who have lost friends and relations to Covid-19. I share their upset.

“I was struck, for example, by one particularly heartfelt message from a local healthcare worker and campus user who shared their frustration with me last week on seeing groups congregating and socialising on campus grounds and which they agreed we could share,” Prof Ó hÓgartaigh said.

The head of the university shared the message in an email to students and staff this week, adding that students had expressed frustration that study spaces were not open on campus and at the challenges posed by the constricted spaces in which they study.

NUIG confirmed to the Galway City Tribune this week that it had imposed sanctions on a number of students in relation to Covid breaches, while there have been none at GMIT.
This is a brief preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Principals band together for safer cycling infrastructure

Denise McNamara

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A total of 28 Galway City school principals have signed an open letter to the Minister for Transport and local councillors highlighting the need for safer cycling infrastructure around schools, to encourage students and staff to switch to bikes.

The push by Government to cycle or walk where possible during the pandemic has its limitations in a city where cycle lanes are rare and parents are too afraid to let their children cycle on narrow roads often choked with traffic.

A group of cycling enthusiasts in city schools has been campaigning to encourage the school community to engage with Galway City Council’s public consultation process for the next development plan which will have a key role in deciding whether cycling lanes or off-road cycle routes become a reality.

The first stage of the initial consultation process for the ‘City Development Plan 2023-2029, Your City, Your Future’ closes today (Friday). But the process will continue for two more years with more consultation encouraged once the draft plan is published.

This week a letter from 28 principals sent to councillors called for support for the provision of better cycle infrastructure in and around all schools. It has also been sent to Transport Minister Eamon Ryan and Galway West TD and Minister of State at Cabinet, Hildegarde Naughton.

“It is our view that existing road infrastructure around schools can be unsafe for children, teachers, and families who wish to cycle to school and we would like to encourage the development safe cycling routes in the future,” the letter states.

Principal of Coláiste na Coiribe, Eoghan Ó Ceallaigh, said it was important for the school community to get involved with the public consultation.

(Photo: Last year, the Council introduced a ‘School Streets’ pilot scheme at Scoil Iognáid, which bans cans during certain times, encouraging parents and children to walk or cycle. Schools now want proper cycling infrastructure put in place).
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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