Date Uploaded: 21/07/2014
The University of Limerick has been awarded more than €1m in Erasmus funding, the highest amount allocated to any Irish third-level institute, to boost skills and employability of young people across Europe.
The funding will finance grants for students who undertake a study or work placement abroad while the rest of the funding will be used to support students with a disability and those from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
Erasmus+ is the new EU programme for education, training, youth, and sport.
According to figures produced by UL, the employment rate of its graduates one year after graduation is 13% higher than the corresponding figure for the other six Irish universities combined.
“The University of Limerick has the largest and most successful Erasmus programme in Ireland with one in three undergraduate students spending a semester overseas on study or work placements, which adds greatly to their student experience,” said Paul McCutcheon, vice-president Academic and Registrar, UL.
“Moreover, it is known that time spent abroad directly enhances students’ employability, which is reflected in the fact that the University of Limerick has the highest graduate employment rate in Ireland.”
The funding was awarded based on UL’s mobility numbers in 2013. Almost 600 UL students travelled abroad on study or work placements last year, the highest figure in Ireland.
The seven-year programme has a budget of more than €14bn, which will help to support more than 4m people to study, train, work, or volunteer abroad.
Students who would like to carry out their postgraduate study abroad will benefit from a new loan guarantee scheme, run by the European Investment Fund, under the new programme.
The initiative will also provide funding for educating and training staff and youth workers and for partnerships between universities, colleges, schools, enterprises, and not-for-profit organisations.
Assessed by the international university ratings agency QS Stars, UL has been awarded the top five-star rating in key areas including teaching, graduate employability, facilities, engagement, and internationalisation, innovation, and knowledge transfer.
Journalist: David Raleigh