First UL graduates in aviation take flight

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

NEARLY 1,500 students will graduate from the University of Limerick this week, including some real high fliers.

NEARLY 1,500 students will graduate from the University of Limerick this week, including some real high fliers.

The first ever graduates of Ireland’s only corporate MBA in aviation management were conferred with their Masters Degrees at UL yesterday evening.

Ten graduates completed the Kemmy Business School programme, which is the first of its kind in Ireland and was designed to educate students from diverse disciplines within the airline sector.

Dr Siobhan Tiernan, course director, said the programme was driven by the unique characteristics and importance of the sector.

“The airline industry itself is the driving force behind the wider aviation sector, which includes aviation manufacturing, maintenance and overhaul, airports, and financial and other related services.

“Strategically the airline industry has an important role to play; it’s the bedrock of the leisure/tourism industry, the conduct of business depends on the ability to travel, it generates 31.9 million jobs globally and drives 12% of the global economy.

“With global airline revenues estimated to exceed $500 billion in 2010 it represents one of the biggest industries worldwide. Current predictions are that the industry will continue to grow by 5% per annum,” said Dr Tiernan.

Some 70 PhD students will also graduate this week across a range of disciplines.

At the ceremonies, UL President, Professor Don Barry highlighted the continued growth in demand for UL graduates by employers.

“Despite the challenging environment, UL’s graduate employment rate has continued to rise and our 2011 figure for primary degree-holders is now 16% higher than the HEA’s most recently-available national average figure which is 46% for 2010,” he said.

A survey of UL’s 2011 graduates showed 88% are either employed or pursuing further study.

President Barry said 86% of last year’s PhD graduates are currently in employment. He said increasing employment figures are a reflection of their continually-evolving programmes.

The ‘First Destinations’ survey compiled by UL’s Careers Division found that Dublin, the Mid-West, the UK and the Middle East are the top destinations for UL graduates in that order.