National University of Ireland: Wikis


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National University of Ireland
Ollscoil na hÉireann
The coat of arms of the university commonly used until 2006.
Latin: Universitas Hiberniae Nationalis
Motto Veritati Fir Fer
Motto in English Truth Strength Courage
Established 1908
Chancellor Dr Maurice Manning
Registrar Dr Attracta Halpin
Location Dublin, Ireland
Affiliations EUA
NUI 2006.PNG

The National University of Ireland (NUI), (Irish: Ollscoil na hÉireann), is a federal university system of constituent universities, previously called constituent colleges, and recognised colleges set up under the Irish Universities Act, 1908, and significantly amended by the Universities Act, 1997.

The constituent universities are for all essential purposes independent universities, except that the degrees and diplomas are those of the National University of Ireland with its seat in Dublin.


Associated institutions of the University

The constituent universities are:

The recognised colleges are:

Former recognised colleges, and their years of recognition, are:

† St. Angela's College maintains its links to the National University of Ireland by being "A College of the National University of Ireland, Galway" from January 2006. This in effect means that students of the college are registered as students of the National University of Ireland, Galway — the National University of Ireland continues to grant degrees and diplomas of such students when they graduate.

‡ In accordance with the Universities Act 1997 (Section 48) graduates of the recognised college of St. Patrick's College, Maynooth who received a degree of the National University of Ireland before the commencement of the act are now legally considered as graduates of the constituent university the National University of Ireland, Maynooth under the provisions of that act.


The offices of the NUI, on Merrion Square in Dublin

Queen's Colleges at Belfast, Cork, and Galway were established in 1845; in 1849 teaching commenced and a year later they were united under the Queen's University of Ireland. The Catholic University of Ireland was created as an independent university on November 3, 1854 for the education of Catholics, this university however was neither a recognised university nor offered recognised degrees. In 1880 the Royal University of Ireland took over the degree awarding functions of the two former universities and offered recognised degrees to the graduates of the new University College Dublin and St Patrick's College, Maynooth, previously awarded under the Catholic University. The Catholic University became University College Dublin in 1882 under the direction of the Jesuits and its students, in the 1890s achieved more distinctions than their counteparts in Belfast, Cork and Galway which were established as secular institutions.

The 1908 reforms created the current National University of Ireland and a separate Queen's University of Belfast. The Royal University was dissolved in 1909 and in 1910 Maynooth became a recognised college of the NUI. In 1996 the National College of Art and Design became a recognised college of the NUI. The 1997 reforms restructured the National University of Ireland, and an additional university at Maynooth was created from certain faculties of the previous recognised college, St Patrick's College, Maynooth. These reforms also removed the prohibitions on theology that had been incorporated into the National University and its predecessors.


Legislative constituency

Since 1918 the university's graduates have formed a constituency in parliamentary elections. In 1918 it was formed as a constituency for the UK House of Commons. After the first election Eoin MacNeill abstained from Westminster and sat in the first Dáil. The NUI graduates elected four TDs (to Dáil Éireann) from 1921 until 1934 when the university constituencies were abolished by Fianna Fáil.

Under the Constitution of Ireland, adopted in 1937, the graduates of the university elect three members of Seanad Éireann (the senate). All graduates that are Irish citizens (regardless of living in the state or not) are entitled to vote if on the university's register of electors. An honorary degree does not give the entitlement to vote. The election is conducted by postal vote.

The most recent election was in 2007, for the 23rd Seanad, and returned three independents: Joe O'Toole, Feargal Quinn, and Rónán Mullen.

University chancellors

The chancellor is the notional head of the university, and constituent universities and recognised colleges will have their own heads which exercise most power. When the university was established in 1908 by Royal Charter, the first chancellor was appointed; all subsequent chancellors have been elected by convocation, as set out in university statutes. The chancellor is elected by graduates and staff when there is a vacancy.

Current issues

Within the university there is a common faculty structure in operation in the constituent universities. These ten faculties are: Agriculture; Arts; Celtic Studies; Commerce; Engineering & Architecture; Food Science & Technology; Law; Medicine & Health Sciences; Philosophy & Sociology; Science; and Veterinary Medicine.

Current issues within the National University include reform of the departmental structures of the two largest constituent universities, at Cork and Dublin, which have been criticised for being bureaucratic and cumbersome. This has caused some controversy at national level: the presidents of the constituent universities have heavily promoted the idea of reform whilst rank-and-file academic staff have resisted.

Relations between University College Dublin and the National University of Ireland have not been good for the past number of years. In September 2006 the leadership of University College Dublin clashed with the National University over honorary conferral of the Ryder Cup captains. University College Dublin did not operate through proper channels, which would involve ratification of these awards by the Senate of the National University. University College Dublin president, Dr.Hugh Brady has expressed the opinion that the National University system, is perhaps outdated and needs to either be overhauled or dissolved.

See also

External links


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