A NEW partnership agreement has been signed between Mary Immaculate College in Limerick and a private Catholic university in the US.
The agreement with DeSales University in Centre Valley, Pennsylvania, will allow students from both institutions the opportunity to avail of an off-campus placement programme.
It is expected the arrangement will also provide the Limerick college with an additional platform for international collaboration on research projects in the area of education and the liberal arts.
According to the partnership agreement, which takes effect immediately, both institutions have agreed to exchange students each semester for study-abroad programmes.
An opportunity for faculty and staff exchanges in the future is also under consideration.
Fr Bernard O’Connor, president of DeSales University, visited Mary Immaculate College this week to sign the partnership agreement between the two institutions.
Accompanying Fr O’Connor were Dr Gerard Joyce, vice-president for student life; Brian Kane, the Fr John Harvey chair in moral theology, professor of theology, and head of the liberal arts and social sciences division; and Brian MacDonald, director of international learning.
The president of Mary Immaculate College, Michael Hayes, welcomed the group and the new partnership agreement.
“I am delighted that we have signed a memorandum of agreement with DeSales University in Pennsylvania, USA. This will provide a wonderful opportunity for both our students and staff to have an international experience as students and as faculty,” Prof Hayes said.
“This agreement also provides Mary Immaculate College with an additional platform for international collaboration on research projects in the area of education and the liberal arts.”
It is expected that the opportunity to study at DeSales will be particularly appealing to Bachelor of Arts students when deciding on their off-campus placements.
The off-campus placement programme, which takes place in the third year of the BA in liberal arts at Mary Immaculate College, enables students to expand their knowledge and skills through study abroad and work placements.
Journalist: Kathryn Hayes