UL still has 'the edge' over competitors, says president

 Over 1,700 students graduate from UL this week, including first creative writing graduates

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

UL still has 'the edge' over competitors, says president

Looking suitably happy after becoming a Bachelor of Science in Nursing was Abbie McCreanor, Dooradoyle Picture: Sean Curtin

A RUGBY player, 45 PhD graduates and the first cohort of graduates under the Frank McCourt creative writing programme were among some 1,714 students who graduated from the University of Limerick this week. 

Speaking at the conferrings, UL president Professor Don Barry highlighted how UL has maintained its exceptional employment rate, which is 20% higher than the average for the other seven Irish universities and that seven out of 10 of UL graduates go into direct employment.  

“Last summer saw over 70% of our courses increase in CAO admission standards and our graduate employment rate is now a massive 20% higher than the average for the other seven universities in Ireland.

“That is part of what we call the UL Edge – and it is something of which this university is very proud,” he said.

Professor Barry also had some words of encouragement for the graduates, invoking the words of Nelson Mandela, who once said, ‘There is no passion to be found in playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.’ And so I say to you: exhaust every opportunity, take every chance, and follow every road that will get you one step closer to where you want to be. Don’t settle because you think you have to.  You have a long career ahead of you, a long way to go, so think big.”

This week will see the conferring ceremony of the first cohort of graduates to finish the Masters in Creative Writing at UL. The new MA in Creative Writing is a one-year programme to enable students to develop their skills in creative writing through consideration of the work of established writers. 

Twelve students graduated from the writing course this Wednesday, having worked closely with the Frank McCourt Chair in Creative Writing, Professor Joseph O’Connor, the author of eight novels including the million seller Star of the Sea, The Thrill of It All, Cowboys and Indians as well as two collections of short stories. The students also worked with Donal Ryan, award winning author of The Spinning Heart, and Giles Foden, Professor at the acclaimed University of East Anglia Creative Writing Course, and author of The Last King of Scotland.

Ex Munster Rugby player JJ Hanrahan was among those to graduate with a Bachelor of Business Studies.