NUI Galway

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NUI Galway
OÉ Gaillimh
Crest of NUI, Galway.png
Latin: Universitas Hiberniae Nationali apud Galviam
Former names
Queen’s College Galway
University College Galway
MottoDeo Favente
Motto in English
With the favour of God
PresidentProfessor Ciarán O hÓgartaigh
RegistrarProfessor Pól Ó Dochartaigh
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Other students
University Road
Galway H91 TK33
, ,
53°16′44″N 9°03′36″W / 53.279°N 9.060°W / 53.279; -9.060Coordinates: 53°16′44″N 9°03′36″W / 53.279°N 9.060°W / 53.279; -9.060
Coimbra Group
NUI, Galway.png
The Quadrangle Building

The National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway; Irish: OÉ Gaillimh) is located in the city of Galway in Ireland. A tertiary-level teaching and research institution, it is ranked among the top 1% of universities in the world.[2] The University is ranked #249 in the 2017 QS World University Rankings and has been also been awarded the full five QS stars for excellence.[3]

The University was founded in 1845 as Queen's College, Galway, and was more recently known as University College, Galway (UCG) (Irish: Coláiste na hOllscoile, Gaillimh or COG).

NUI Galway is a member of the Coimbra Group, a network of 40 long-established European universities.


The university opened for teaching in 1849 as Queen's College, Galway with 37 professors and 91 students. A year later it became part of the Queen's University of Ireland. The Irish Universities Act (1908) made this college a constituent college of the new National University of Ireland, and under a new charter the name of the university changed to University College, Galway. It was given special statutory responsibility under the University College, Galway Act (1929) in respect of the use of the Irish language as the working language of the college. It retained the title of University College, Galway until the Universities Act (1997) changed it to the National University of Ireland, Galway.[citation needed]

Located close to the city centre, it stretches along the River Corrib. The oldest part of the university, the Quadrangle building with its Aula Maxima was designed by John Benjamin Keane; it is a replica of Christ Church, one of the colleges at the University of Oxford. The stone from which it is built was supplied locally.[citation needed]

More modern parts of the university sprang up in the 1970s and were designed by architects Scott Tallon Walker. The 1990s also saw considerable development, including the conversion of an old munitions factory into a student centre. 21st-century developments include a state-of-the-art University Sports Centre (Ionad Spóirt), Áras Moyola, Cairnes School of Business and Public Policy, the Alice Perry Engineering Building, the BioSciences Research Building, the Life Course Institute, the Lambe Institute and the recently opened O'Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance. A new Human Biology Building has just completed in summer 2017.[4]

Fine Gael's youth wing took a hold on the university in 1973 during the Liam Cosgrave-led Fine Gael/Labour Coalition government, with Enda Kenny and Madeleine Taylor-Quinn among those behind its establishment there.[5]

Nelson Mandela made a memorable appearance at the University in 2003. On what was his last visit to Ireland, Mandela condemned U.S. foreign policy and received an honorary doctorate from NUI Chancellor Garret FitzGerald.[6][7]

In 2008, Éamon Ó Cuív was allegedly involved in an altercation with a protesting student on the grounds of the university.[8] Ó Cuív was Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs Minister at the time and would go on to become Deputy Leader of Fianna Fáil.[citation needed]

In 2009, former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern was forced to flee from a public discussion in NUI Galway after being jostled by students opposed to the planned reintroduction of college fees.[9] Shortly afterwards, the University announced its withdrawal of support for the Students' Union-run RAG week. The Students' Union president said she did not believe the decision was justified, with more than €20,000 having been raised for charity in 2009.[10]

NUI Galway has also announced details of plans to make the university a "campus of the future" at a cost of around €400 million.[11] Details of the plans show the recently completed Human Biology building which incorporates Anatomy, Physiology, Pharmacology and other human sciences areas.[12] It formed a strategic alliance with University of Limerick in 2010, allowing for shared resources. It launched its Strategic Plan "Vision 2020" (for the period 2015–2020) in 2015.


The five Colleges of the University are:

  • College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies
  • College of Business, Public Policy and Law
  • College of Engineering and Informatics
  • College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
  • College of Science[13]

Since January 2006, St. Angela's College, Sligo has been a college of the National University of Ireland, Galway; it was previously a recognised college of the National University of Ireland. Students of St. Angela's College, Sligo are registered as students of the National University of Ireland, Galway.[14] Degrees and diplomas awarded are from the National University of Ireland.[15]

Since 2015 the Shannon College of Hotel Management is fully incorporated into the University.[16] Shannon College of Hotel Management is now part of the College of Business, Public Policy and Law in NUI Galway. This integration was formally marked by the Minister for Education and Skills Jan O'Sullivan TD at an event held in Shannon College on November 9, 2015. All staff of Shannon College of Hotel Management are now staff of NUI Galway and all students of Shannon College of Hotel Management are students of NUI Galway.[17]

There are several Research Institutes in NUI Galway, each of which comprise research teams drawn from the Colleges.

  • National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES)
  • Insight Centre for Data Analytics
  • Ryan Institute - Marine, Energy & Environment
  • Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change
  • Institute for Lifecourse and Society (ILAS)
  • Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies
  • Irish Centre for Human Rights (ICHR)


Constituent schools found in the relevant colleges include:

  • J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics
  • School of Chemistry
  • School of Education
  • School of Geography and Archaeology
  • School of Health Science
  • School of Humanities
  • School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
  • School of Law
  • School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics
  • School of Medicine
  • School of Natural Sciences
  • School of Nursing
  • School of Physics
  • School of Political Science and Sociology
  • School of Psychology


Galway University Foundation (GUF) was established in 1998 with the intention of generating financial support from private individuals and institutions for NUI Galway. It nurtures relationships with donors for whom NUI Galway's approach to education appeals. The Foundation has many 'Priority Projects' in development.[18]

Student life[edit]


NUI Galway has about 150 active student societies, ranging from the academic (such as archaeology, astronomy, botany, chemistry, classics, engineering, French, geography, German, Italian, law, marine, maths, medicine, microbiology, philosophy, physics, Russian and Spanish) to artistic and performing (such as choral, circus, orchestra and photography). Religions (such as Catholicism, Christianity and the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul) are represented, as are other lifestyles (such as veganism and organic horticulture). In addition, many of Ireland's political parties have active societies at NUI Galway, including Fine Gael, Green, Labour, People Before Profit, Sinn Féin and the Social Democrats.[19]

The oldest society on the campus is the Literary and Debating Society, founded in 1846.[20]

Another of NUI Galway's oldest societies is Cumann Staire. One of Europe's oldest history societies, it is a member of the Comhaltas na gCumann Staire - Irish History Students' Association and the International Students of History Association.[21]

"Dram Soc" (NUI Galway's Drama Society) played a critical part in the formation of the Druid Theatre Company, Macnas and the Galway Arts Festival.[22]

GUMS, the university musical society, hosts annual musicals in the Dubhlann/Black Box Theatre.[23]

The Christian and LGBT societies were involved in a showdown over same-sex marriage in 2014.[24] The incident was provoked by Enoch Burke, auditor of the Christian Society, running for the position of Equality Officer in that year's student union election.[25] Earlier, in the late part of 2013, the university suspended the Legion of Mary Society after it failed to satisfactorily explain its connection to posters containing information on a Christian support group for homosexual persons.[26]

An Cumann Gaelach and An Cumann Drámaíochta are the university's main Irish language societies, following the demise of the Cumann Craic. One of the main events of the university's Cumann Gaelach, is the yearly celebration of Seachtain na Gaeilge. The society was awarded the Best New Entry Award at the Glór na nGael awards in 2011.[citation needed]


NUI Galway has more than 40 sports clubs based on campus, ranging from indoor sports (such as archery, badminton, fencing, weightlifting, table tennis and squash), to water sports (such as rowing, kayaking, sailing, windsurfing and scuba diving), as well as martial arts (such as judo, karate, aikido, Muay Thai, kendo and taekwondo), plus equestrian, triathlon, athletics and snow sports.[27]

NUI Galway also competes in the most popular Irish field sports of association football, Gaelic football, hurling and rugby union, as well as cricket, hockey and lacrosse.[27]

NUI Galway GAA compete in the Sigerson Cup (Gaelic football) and the Fitzgibbon Cup (hurling). They are the second most prolific winners of the Sigerson Cup.[28]

NUI Galway RFC compete in the Connacht Senior Cup, and are the competition's most successful side with 34 wins.

NUI Galway F.C. compete in the Galway & District League.

The campus is home to a wide range of sport facilities. Facilities include Dangan Sportsground, where the university's GAA teams compete, and the Kingfisher, where Moycullen Basketball Club play their games.

Connacht Rugby[edit]

In 2013, NUI Galway announced it would sponsor Connacht Rugby, the nearby professional Pro12 (now Pro14) rugby union team, for the following three years and would put in place a "High Performance Education Partnership" that would give players from the Connacht Rugby Academy and age-grade teams the chance to educated there. At the time of the announcement 17 members of Connacht's squad were either attending the university as students or were graduates.[29]

Within a few years of the start of NUI Galway's sponsorship of the Connacht Rugby Academy, the team had won, what was then the 2015–16 Pro12 title, for the first time by defeating Leinster in the 2016 Pro12 Grand Final. Seven players from the Connacht Rugby Academy played 55 times for their team during that campaign, with others in that squad also graduates of the Connacht Rugby Academy.[30]

The deal was renewed in 2017, covering the period until 2019.[31]


International students make up over 12 percent of the student population at NUI Galway.[32]




Ryan Institute
Áras Moyola
Cairnes School of Business and Economics
Alice Perry Engineering Building
Name of President Year
Rev. Dr Joseph W. Kirwan 1845 - 1849
Edward Berwick 1850 - 1877
Sir Thomas William Moffett 1877 - 1897
W. J. M. Starkie 1897 - 1899
Dr Alexander Anderson 1899 - 1934
Monsignor John Hynes 1934 - 1945
Monsignor Pádraig de Brún 1945 - 1959
Dr Martin J. Newell 1960 - 1975
Dr Colm Ó hEocha 1975 - 1996
Dr Patrick F. Fottrell 1996 - 2000
Dr Iognáid G. Ó Muircheartaigh 2000 - 2008
Dr James J. Browne 2008 - 2018
Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh 2018 - current

Notable staff[edit]

In literature[edit]

James Joyce donated an original edition of Pomes Penyeach to the university's James Hardiman Library in 1932 after its publication in Paris.[37] The Library also holds unique archival collections dating from the 15th century.[37]

Other examples include:


University rankings
ARWU World[38] 301-400
THE World[40] 201-250
QS World[39] 260

The Sunday Times University Guide named the university as Irish University of the Year 2002–2003, 2009–2010.[41] More recently, NUI Galway was the only Irish university to move up in the 2014/2015 Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings. Having increased 53 places on its 2013/2014 position, NUI Galway now ranks at 261st in the world according to THE Rankings, and it was placed at 280th in the world in the QS World University Rankings for 2014/2015.[42]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Report of the President 2011–2012" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 August 2014.
  2. ^ "About NUI Galway". Archived from the original on 19 May 2015.
  3. ^ National University of Ireland Galway
  4. ^ "New engineering building at NUI Galway displays green ethos". 15 July 2011. Archived from the original on 19 May 2015.
  5. ^ "Young Fine Gael". Archived from the original on 3 June 2015.
  6. ^ "Mandela's attack on US over Iraq invasion recalled at NUI Galway". The Irish Times. 7 December 2013. Archived from the original on 19 May 2015.
  7. ^ Freeman, Michael (6 December 2013). "When Nelson Mandela danced to The Corrs in Galway (video): He got up and held the floor on a visit in 2003". Archived from the original on 30 March 2018. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  8. ^ McDonald, Brian; Brennan, Michael (11 December 2008). "O Cuiv defends use of force on protester". Irish Independent.
  9. ^ "Anti-fees demonstration forces Ahern to abandon public interview". The Irish Times. 3 February 2009. Archived from the original on 19 May 2015.
  10. ^ "NUIG withdraws its support for rag week because of 'unruly behaviour'". The Irish Times. 26 February 2009.
  11. ^ "Campus of the future" (PDF).
  12. ^ "Campus of the future" (PDF).
  13. ^ Colleges & Schools - NUI Galway
  14. ^ "Education history in the making as local college joins NUIG". The Sligo Champion. 29 March 2006. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  15. ^ "Strategic Partnership - NUI Galway". St Angela's College website. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  16. ^ "Minister for Education marks first merger in Ireland as Shannon College of Hotel Management becomes part of NUI Galway". NUI Galway. 10 November 2015.
  17. ^ "Shannon College Integration". NUI Galway.
  18. ^ "Galway University Foundation".
  19. ^ "NUIG Societies". Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  20. ^ "Lit & Deb". Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  21. ^ "Cumann Staire (History)". Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  22. ^ "Dram Soc". Archived from the original on 10 June 2006.
  23. ^ "Musical Society (GUMS)". Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  24. ^ "Rival protests over gay marriage at NUI Galway". RTÉ News. 12 March 2014.
  25. ^ "Gardaí called to NUI Galway as students confront Christian activists". 12 March 2014.
  26. ^ "NUIG suspends Legion of Mary college society over leaflets". RTÉ News. 5 December 2013.
  27. ^ a b "NUI Galway Clubs". Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  28. ^ "NUI Galway see off DIT to advance to first Sigerson Cup final since 2003". Irish Independent. 14 February 2018. Retrieved 14 February 2018. NUIG, the second most prolific winners of the Sigerson Cup, advanced to their first final since 2003 when they held off a DIT comeback in heavy rain at St Loman’s GAA grounds in Mullingar.
  29. ^ MacKenzie, Linley (4 September 2013). "Connacht Rugby and NUI Galway combine in pursuit of excellence: Players to avail of education at college in addition to mentoring and development". The Irish Times. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  30. ^ Fallon, John (Autumn 2016). "Sport: A new direction". Cois Coiribe. p. 16-19. Developing partnerships with sports organisations, particularly at elite level, will be a key component of the strategy, with the success of Connacht Rugby in winning the Guiness Pro12 title in May - the province's first trophy in its 131 year history - a good example of what can be achieved. NUI Galway is the main sponsor of the Connacht Rugby Academy, which has helped develop players for the professional game over the last few years. Seven players from the academy last season - Sean O'Brien, Peter Robb, Conor McKeon, Conan O'Donnell, James Connolly, Shane Delahunt and Rory Parata - played 55 times for Connacht during that historic Pro12 campaign, while several other members of the squad were academy graduates. Many of the academy players also study at NUI Galway, while there are a number of areas where the University and Connacht Rugby exchange expertise.
  31. ^ Rooney, Declan (27 October 2017). "NUI Galway renew deal with province". Irish Independent. Retrieved 27 October 2017. NUI Galway became Connacht's Academy and University partner in 2013, and since then 19 Connacht players have graduated, or are about to graduate, from NUI Galway including current senior squad members Denis Buckley, Eoin Griffin, Eoin McKeon, Andrew Browne, Dave Heffernan, Jack Carty, Darragh Leader, Eoghan Masterson, Seán O'Brien and Conor McKeon.
  32. ^ "International students". Archived from the original on 30 June 2011.
  33. ^ "Prof. Gerard Quinn". Department of the Taoiseach. 3 March 2015.
  34. ^ Mulvihill, Mary (15 February 2011). "The man who 'invented' the electron". Archived from the original on 4 June 2015.
  35. ^ "William King". History of NUI Galway, the Science Faculty and associated scientists. Archived from the original on 16 July 2012.
  36. ^ "Ceremony to Mark Naming of Emily Anderson Concert Hall at NUI Galway". NUI Galway News. 14 February 2017. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  37. ^ a b "NUI Galway Archives brings you Culture Night 2012". 28 August 2012. Archived from the original on 19 May 2015.
  38. ^ "ARWU World University Rankings 2017 - Academic Ranking of World Universities 2017 - Top 500 universities - Shanghai Ranking - 2017".
  39. ^ "National University of Ireland Galway". 7 December 2012.
  40. ^ "National University of Ireland, Galway". Times Higher Education (THE).
  41. ^ "NUI Galway is Sunday Times University of the Year for second time".
  42. ^ "NUI Galway is only Irish university to rise in latest world rankings, taking third place nationally". 2 October 2014. Archived from the original on 23 October 2014.

External links[edit]