UL Cooperative Education Programme in Line for International award

Culture Vultures are a group comprising of three cooperative students from UL. Brenda Ryan, Michael Hall and James Reidy. They are being mentored by Lorna Moloney at Merriman Research & Training and Springboard Coordinator at UCC. Lorna is also coordinating Ancestral Connections International genealogy summer school for 2014. Mentoring and training this group for 2014 involves the project of 'The Aldworths' of Newmarket Court: Their influence on Duhallow and Beyond' and 'The Genealogy Event', Culture Vultures and they are based in Limerick University at the Nexus Centre, Tierney Building under the direct supervision of Lorna Moloney: Merriman Research & Training Ltd. "The University of Limerick has been selected as a finalist for the “Best University Placement” award. The University is one of only five finalists from a total of 350 applications and it is the only Irish higher education institution to be selected as a finalist. The award is part of the Undergraduate Employability Awards, which are sponsored by the Guardian newspaper, PwC and the UK Association of Graduate Recruiters. The other finalists are the universities of Nottingham, Aston, Huddersfield (Times Higher University of the Year 2013) and Coventry (School of Computing and Engineering). The purpose of the awards is to acknowledge and to showcase outstanding achievements of universities, employers and students in the undergraduate work experience arena. The University of Limerick was selected on the basis of the innovative nature, scale, extensive international dimension and inclusivity of its Cooperative Education (work placement) programme. With some 1700 placements annually, UL’s Cooperative Education programme is the largest placement programme in Ireland and one of the largest in Europe. The international dimension of the programme is very strong and over 20% of students opt to undertake international work placements across 25 countries in companies in the financial services, biotechnology, IT, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, legal professions and education sectors. At the announcement of UL’s selection as a finalist, UL Vice President Academic & Registrar , Professor Paul McCutcheon, said “this is a huge achievement for an Irish university and is a significant acknowledgement of the University’s commitment to employability and its connectedness to industry. We look forward to the awards ceremony in London in March”. Patrice Twomey , Director, Cooperative Education and Careers Division at UL says that a work placement can offer many real benefits to students for progressing in their chosen career. “Work experience is central to the UL student experience. It’s a very effective introduction to the world of work. The work environment often involves a different set of skills and challenges than those in school or university. So, beyond the specific role-related knowledge, students on Co-op have a fantastic opportunity to develop the skills that employers are looking for in graduates. Placements can often give students a significant advantage in the graduate job market as employers seek “fit for purpose” graduates. Research shows that students who undertake a placement have a clearer career direction and enjoy a higher rate of employment. This is certainly true – our graduate employment rates trend consistently above the national average for the university sector”, said Ms Twomey." http://www.ul.ie/news-centre/news/uls-cooperative-education-programme-in-line-for-international-award/

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