Limerick Higher Education Institutions Awarded over half National HEA Fund for Student/ Staff Mobility
Mary Immaculate College (MIC), University of Limerick (UL), and Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) combined have been awarded over half of the €1million HEA Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility (ICM) Fund for supporting the transfer of students and staff to countries outside of Europe for teaching, training and research collaboration.
Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility (ICM) introduced in 2015, offers opportunities for students to study and staff to teach or train in higher education institutions (HEIs) beyond Europe. It also gives the same opportunities for staff and students from countries beyond Europe to come to participating HEIs in Europe. UL, MIC and LIT are members of the Shannon Consortium, a strategic alliance involving substantial collaboration between the institutions supporting greater accessibility to higher education and innovations in teaching and learning.
Following a competitive process, the three Limerick-based higher education institutions secured the largest share of the funding available, €543,152, in the 2016 call under the EU’s Erasmus+ Programme. This fund will support the movement of 135 staff and students to and from the three institutions to colleges and universities in 20 different countries on five continents.
Gerry O’Sullivan, Head of International Education at the HEA commented “The success of the Shannon Consortium institutions will open exciting new teaching and research opportunities for the colleges concerned in a range of countries, a number of whom are relatively new partners of Irish higher education. The impact will not only be felt at the local level but in the countries of origin of the students and staff. Internationalisation of Irish higher education is proceeding at a significant pace and it is most encouraging to see the Limerick institutions building on their complementary strengths.”
He added “It is also heartening to see the strong focus on addressing issues of capacity building in countries that continue to face severe humanitarian and economic crises.”
Total Numbers Supported
Malaysia, Georgia, Algeria,
Morocco, South Africa,
Lebanon, Kenya, Ghana and
||USA, China, Serbia and
||Canada, China, Malaysia,
Brazil, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan
Mary Immaculate College was successful in its first Erasmus+ ICM funding application in 2015 to bring three Syrian refugee students from Lebanon for one year of study. The College was also awarded funding for one faculty member specialising in the field of ethno-musicology to go to Morocco and for four faculty members in the field of Mathematics to engage in mobility between Ireland and Serbia (two out-going and two incoming).
In this latest round of allocations, MIC was the only institution in Ireland to receive funding for the USA, where the College has cultivated many of its strongest international links. This funding will be used by six faculty members (three out-going and three incoming). Faculty from MIC and the University of Notre Dame in Indiana will travel to further collaborate in Art Education and Community Engagement projects and lecturers in Special Education from MIC and West Chester University, PA will visit each other to share best practice and research ideas.
MIC also attained funding to develop links in China, Serbia and Montenegro. Eight students (three out-going and five incoming) and thirteen faculty members (five out-going and eight incoming) will avail of mobility funding for China in the fields of Media & Communication Studies, Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE) Language Teaching & Linguistics and International Relations. Faculty involved in Language Teaching & Linguistics and Early Childhood Care & Education were also awarded mobility funding for Serbia (four incoming and four out-going) and Montenegro (five incoming and two out-going).
Speaking on the announcement Ms Holly Cowman, Director of International Office, MIC, said; “We are delighted with the announcement of this Erasmus+ allocation for International Credit Mobility. This funding will contribute significantly to the ongoing internationalisation of MIC, through inbound and outward faculty and student mobility. It means that we will be able to build on existing relationships and develop exciting new projects in the USA and China in fields such as: Visual Art Education; Special Education; Media & Communication Studies; Early Childhood Care & Education; Linguistics and International Relations. It will also allow us to develop new links in Montenegro and Serbia, particularly in the areas of Linguistics and Early Childhood Care & Education.”
Promoting Limerick internationally: Josephine Page, Director of International Relations, UL; Dr Mary Shire, VP Research, UL; Ambassador of Ireland to China, His Excellency, Mr Paul Kavanagh; Holly Cowman, Director of the International Office, MIC; and Clíona Campbell, International Manager, LIT at the CEE Fair in Beijing last October, at which Ireland was declared ‘Country of Honour’ for 2016.