MORE than 1,700 students made their way to Moylish for the Limerick Institute of Technology conferring ceremony, this week.
With qualifications ranging from Higher Certificates to PhDs, LIT President Dr Maria Hinfelaar welcomed this year’s graduates and commended the institution’s progress and development.
At the ceremony, Dr Hinfelaar praised families for the “sacrifices” they made so their children could pursue their studies.
“At LIT we recognise the financial sacrifices that families are making in the current climate to support study in third level, and we also recognise that in spite of these sacrifices it can still be a struggle to make ends meet.
“Our student services do an excellent job in helping students with their applications under all the State schemes, and we also have some internal money set aside every year so we can respond to urgent need. We do not wish to see students dropping out for financial reasons – we ultimately want to see every student get to a conferring ceremony who deserves to be there,” she said.
The President added that LIT, which was awarded The Sunday Times’ Institution of the Year, is launching student scholarships with the help of a €55,000 donation from IPB.
“Eligibility criteria for these scholarships will be strict but fair, and I am sure they will make a huge difference to the recipients,” she said in relation to the grants.
She praised LIT’s growing reputation over the last few years, mentioning the institution’s increasing “internationalisation” - with more than 100 international students - and its 100% employment status in a number of courses.
“We now have far more international students than ever before and their presence brings a new dimension to campus life, and I am sure to life off campus as well.
“In ten years’ time when you all meet again for your college reunion I hope you judge yourselves not on your professional accomplishments alone, but also on how well you have developed as active citizens.”
She added that graduates who have strong entrepreneurial prospects are encouraged “to perhaps set up their own business so they may create their own jobs, and one day employment for others.”