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Minister Harris in Galway to unveil two major third-level schemes


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Minister Harris in Galway to unveil two major third-level schemes Minister Harris in Galway to unveil two major third-level schemes

The former GMIT is to be the location for what has been described as a future living laboratory – designed to offer students a cutting-edge education in the world of digital learning.

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris was in Galway last week to announce details of the project in the Atlantic Technological University under the Technological Sector Strategic Projects Fund.

The Minister made the announcement while visiting ATU’s Galway Campus where the project will be located.

This investment will provide for the addition of a living laboratory encompassing cross-disciplinary facilities focussed on sustainability and a digital technology suite, including classrooms to vastly increase capacity to design and deliver online/blended learning.

The proposed building is to be constructed near the Ballybane road entrance. It is planned to extend to approximately 4,100 square metres over three storeys.

“The funding will allow ATU Galway enhance the digitalisation capability especially in relation to more flexible offerings such as micro credentials, serving the needs of a dispersed learner population in the region they serve.

“It is through multi-million euro investments such as this that we will truly change the student experience for the better, by providing the highest quality of infrastructure.

“ATU is transforming education for its region. It is expanding its presence, growing its student numbers and making a significant impact here and abroad,” said the Minister.

President of ATU Dr Orla Flynn welcomed the announcement.

“We are delighted to hear that we can progress to the next stage of our proposed new Future Living Lab – this cross-disciplinary new facility will build on global themes of sustainability and digitalisation,” she said.

“It will also address significant space constraints on our Galway City campus, in relation to space and quality of infrastructure for teaching and learning,” she added.

Later in the day, Minister Harris officially opened Baile na Breacóige – Dunlin Village – the new student residences at University of Galway.

Dunlin was built at a cost of €95million and the construction is financed through University borrowing. It was completed in time to welcome students for the current academic year.

The project represents the second of two new purpose-built, on-campus student residences at University of Galway, following the opening of Baile an Chíorbhuí – Goldcrest Village in 2018.

Minister Harris congratulated President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh and UG on delivering what he called this significant development and supply of student accommodation at Dunlin Village.

“It is worth recognising that the University has delivered this flagship project at a time when the constraints on development are impacting supply across the country. This brings over 1,100 additional beds provided by the University in Galway since 2018,” he said.

Prof Ó hÓgartaigh described Dunlin Village as the second major student accommodation project that the University has completed in recent years.

“Deeply conscious of the stresses and pressures facing young people and their families when it comes to accommodation, this has been a purposefully significant undertaking and investment in the face of unprecedented demand for housing in our community,” he said.

UG now has 1,867 beds for on-campus student accommodation.

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