Saturday, July 4, 2009

Galway–Mayo Institute of Technology


About GMIT :

From a 1970s Regional Technical College to a modern-day Institute of Technology, GMIT has grown to become a centre of education competing on a national and international stage.

The days of the student as a young, fresh-faced school-leaver are over. Students now come in all guises and education is no longer time- or location-dependant. The changes all point to a new emphasis on review and evaluation. Higher education institutes are being increasingly challenged to explain what they are doing, how they are doing it and how well it is being done.

GMIT’s own personal story began on Monday, 18th September 1972 when the first students entered the new Regional Technical College building on Dublin Road, Galway. Enrolment on that autumn day stood at 1,213 students; registration has doubled and tripled to reach almost 9,000 students today.

“The Regional Technical College at Galway, together with its sister colleges in other regions of the country, helped the transition from elitist to mass higher education and opened up access to those who had hitherto been disadvantaged because of their remoteness from centres of higher education,” explained Mayo’s Dr Gay Corr, who was the college’s first principal and director.

“The establishment and growth of these colleges captured the imagination and won the confidence of the public,” he wrote for the celebration of RTC Galway’s 21st anniversary year in September 1993. “More than 50 percent of all entrants to higher education in Ireland now proceed through this sector.”

Under the Regional Technical Colleges Act 1992, the college gained higher education autonomy and took on the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology title, as well as new non-teaching activities like research and consultancy.

GMIT now has five specialised schools of study in the disciplines of Science, Engineering, Hotel and Catering Studies, Humanities and Business Studies. Courses are offered on the campuses of Castlebar, Cluain Mhuire, Letterfrack, Mountbellew and old Dublin Road, Galway.


Some notable Achievements

  • The first RTC to receive degree recognition for a course
  • The first RTC to inaugurate a joint degree with a university
  • Pioneering of European Union student exchange
  • Formal links with external bodies like Mountbellew Agricultural College and Connemara West in Letterfrack.


What GMIT graduates have to say

“I followed the marketing stream of the course as it is an area I find very interesting … I have just signed a contract which gives me an invaluable opportunity to work an additional two and a half years for the EU.”
Deirdre O’Rourke, School of Business graduate

“After completing my diploma, I worked for a number of years with Galway’s theatre and community art group, Macnas,”
Sharon Lynch, Cluain Mhuire graduate

“I was chosen to represent Ireland in Restaurant Service at the 36th World Skills competition in Seoul, Korea in 2001, after I was the winner of the Department of Education National Apprentice Competition,”
Michael O’Connor, School of Hotel and Catering Studies

“I went back to college as a mature student on the rural enterprise and agri-business course. Now I run two of my own businesses.”
Mark McCullen, Mountbellew Agricultural College graduate

“Getting published in The New York Times magazine was actually quite straight forward. It was getting there in the first place that was the tough part … I’d started off as a trainee accountant.”
Deirdre Brennan, School of Humanities graduate

“Since graduating, I’ve worked in a variety of interesting and challenging jobs … before moving to MSL in Galway where I am now Production Manager.”
Kevin Walsh, School of Engineering graduate

“I’d never even heard of a place called Letterfrack until woodwork class in Leaving Cert. Now a piece I made in our design class has been picked for a furniture exhibition in Cork.”
John Lambe, Furniture Design & Manufacture student in Letterfrack

“The positive aspects of a career in chemistry are a competitive salary, the possibility of travel abroad and various training courses and conferences.”
Anne Marie Brown, School of Science graduate

“There were always two things I wanted to do in life – history and music. By following the BA course in Rural Heritage Studies at GMIT@Castlebar, I achieved part of my dream.”
James Kilbane, GMIT graduate and "You’re A Star" finalist

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