Ireland is a small, but ambitious country, always looking to the future, to new markets, new products, and new growth opportunities. Maintaining and improving our competitive edge remains vital as we continue to build on what we have achieved.
Innovation requires knowledgeable and skilled people, a resource that gives Ireland a significant competitive advantage. With one of the youngest populations in Europe (and one of the most highly educated in the world), Ireland’s universities continue to play a crucial role in nurturing our talent and entrepreneurial spirit. Learning and teaching are core activities for Irish universities, and our seven universities are continuously engaged in ensuring that these are delivered to the highest possible standard.
According to the Irish Universities Association, the international impact of research carried out in Irish universities ranks us at 20th in the world – on a par with countries including Australia and France. Research is a core activity integrated with Learning & Teaching and Knowledge Transfer – these activities are not separate, but inextricably linked. Research in Ireland's universities improves the quality of education for all students; develops highly educated/trained PhD graduates; and creates new knowledge to address economic and social issues.
The Long Room in the Old Library, Trinity College Dublin
There are seven large universities in Ireland, each designed to cater to different key sectors:
Dublin City University (DCU)
DCU has over 50,000 students who have graduated and now play significant roles in enterprise and business globally. Students graduating from DCU are highly proficient in the workplace, with almost 70% of them taking part in intra-work placements. DCU is Ireland's fastest growing university, and the Leading Young University on the Island of Ireland (QS Top 50 Under 50) with 22% of its student population being made up of international students representing over 110 different nationalities.
Research and Innovation at DCU stems from the academic excellence of its four faculties coupled with a passion for translating knowledge into innovations for economic or societal benefit. Beyond specific disciplinary research, DCU’s activities are focused on some of society’s most pressing needs: health and ageing technologies; information technology and the digital society; sustainable economies and societies; and democratic and secure societies. These four hubs bring together world-leading multi-disciplinary teams of researchers, capable of addressing significant challenges to generate innovative solutions, and who have access to world-class infrastructure and facilities.
DCU's meeting rooms are conveniently located in North Dublin between the city centre and Dublin Airport. The campus offers an excellent range of conference and meeting rooms suitable for small and large scale events of up to 2,500 delegates, and can also cater for a multitude of sporting events. With three historic properties to choose from, 30 plenary rooms and over 150 flexible breakout spaces, facilities include The Helix Theatre & Conference Venue and a dedicated Conference Team on site.
Trinity College Dublin (TCD)
TCD is Ireland’s oldest university. Founded in 1592, it was ranked 21st in the world in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings list of 25 Leading World Universities Over the Age of 400. Trinity’s position as one of the world’s leading universities is defined by their research, scholarship, and capacity to address issues of global, societal and economic importance. The university is ranked 41st in the world in terms of International Outlook (Times Higher Education World University Ranking, 2016) and has targeted areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to build their future research capacity in these key economic areas, while also maximizing its impact in specific fields such as ageing, neuroscience, nanotechnology, telecommunications and the digital humanities.
Trinity has invested hundreds of millions in buildings and equipment over the last five years to support new projects, including five flagship research centres: Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI), Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN), Institute for International Integration Studies (IIIS), Trinity Long Room Hub (TLRH) and Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN).
As Ireland’s oldest university, with its historical and iconic buildings Trinity is an ideal location for meetings, events, gala dinners and receptions. Trinity offers modern tiered theatres, plenary meeting rooms and exhibition space for 20 to 2,000 delegates with over 600 bedrooms on campus.
University College Dublin (UCD)
UCD is Ireland’s largest university with over 33,460 students and one of Europe’s leading research-intensive universities. In the last five years, it has won over €514m in externally funded research contracts and is creating a continuum across science, engineering, humanities, business and the arts through interdisciplinary programmes underpinned by fundamental research and scholarship. UCD is Ireland’s largest teaching and research institution and its leading international university.
With its strategy for internationalisation, UCD is putting in place high-end research collaborations and partnerships. UCD is currently collaborating with universities, institutes and companies from 121 countries. UCD is a member of Universitas 21 (U21) the leading international network of global research universities. UCD is also a member of UNICA – the network of universities representing the capital cities of Europe – and has the highest number of graduate research students of any university in Ireland, with over 1,700 PhD students across its five Graduate Schools. UCD research programmes partner with over 250 companies as well as voluntary bodies and government, to address national research priorities and to maximise their impact on Ireland’s social and economic development. Strategic priorities for research at UCD include Agrifood, Culture, Economy & Society, Energy, Environment/Earth, Health, and ICT.
UCD offers a full range of modern facilities in a beautiful setting, from classrooms for 20 to theatres for 500 people. The UCD Conference & Events Office also manages the O' Reilly Hall, a major venue for events on campus with versatile seating for over 1000 people.
NUI Galway (NUIG)
NUIG ranks among the top 1% of universities in the world and has over 17,000 students. Founded in 1845, the prestigious history of the campus spans almost two centuries. With its spectacular location along the shores of the River Corrib in Galway city, the campus boasts the unique landscape and culture of the west of Ireland.
NUI Galway is Ireland’s top university for graduate employability and has moved on to the Top 200 list of Most International Universities in the World in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. NUIG is world-renowned as an expert research-led university with an emphasis on inter-disciplinary research programmes, and collaborations with industry partners in areas of strategic importance, both regionally and nationally. Following a prioritised set of five research themes (Biomedical Science & Engineering; Informatics, Physical and Computational Sciences; Environment, Marine and Energy; Applied Social Science and Public Policy; and Humanities in context), a number of NUI Galway researchers have been included among the most "influential names in science", according to Thomson Reuters.
The Conference Event Centre at NUI Galway provides the very best that Ireland has to offer event organisers, with a stunning and varied range of facilities and amenities available. Welcoming over 60,000 visitors to the campus each year, with has state-of-the-art audio-visual technology and capacity for up to 1000 theatre style/500 banquet style in its Bailey Allen Hall. NUIG can also accommodate up to 640 guests in onsite campus accommodation.
The historic campus at Maynooth dates back to 1795 and is home to St Patrick’s College and Maynooth University. Maynooth University is rapidly expanding (with more than 11,000 students) and counts two Nobel Peace Prize winners among its 40,000 alumni and current academics. The Times Higher Education Young Universities in the World ranking places Maynooth among the Top 50 Universities Under 50 Years Old, alongside a reputation for being a particularly sociable university – a recent poll of 10,000 third level students voted Maynooth Ireland's friendliest college.
Maynooth University continues to invest significantly in a wide range of technologically advanced facilities and prioritises the following six research themes: People, Place and Environment; Social and Economic Transformations; Human Health; Mathematics, Communications and Computation; Humanities in Practice: Sources Resources & Discourse; and Human Cultures, Experience and Creativity.
Maynooth Campus Conference & Accommodation has offered a warm welcome to groups of all sizes, large sports and cultural events, summer schools and conferences. The university campus combines contemporary services in a setting steeped in tradition and beautiful grounds. Two impressive dining rooms, 100 meeting spaces, extensive sports and leisure options and guest rooms are available on campus.
University College Cork (UCC)
UCC has over 20,000 students and offers 120 degree and professional programmes. It is internationally acclaimed as one of the top 2% of research institutions in the world and is widely recognized as an internationally competitive, research-led University with its research strategy focused on creating and supporting world-leading clusters of researchers. This is aligned with key Government strategies in the following Thematic Areas: 1. Biological and Medical Sciences; 2. Earth, Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences (including Energy); 3. Physical Sciences, Engineering and Mathematics (including ICT); 4. Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; 5. Business and Law.
These strategic thematic areas are supported by four Research Institutes, each a major centre of excellence established around a critical mass of research active staff - APC Microbiome Institute, Environmental Research Institute (ERI), Tyndall National Institute (Tyndall), and Institute for Social Sciences in the 21st Century (ISS-21).
Founded in 1845, University College Cork is less than a 10-minute walk or 3-minute cycle from the heart of Cork city, enjoying all the facilities of a modern metropolis while still retaining the charm of its 170+ year old heritage. A wide range of options on campus cater for conferences, breakout spaces, receptions, gala events, informal social events, conferring ceremonies and concerts.
University of Limerick (UL)
Established in 1972, UL is an independent, internationally focussed university with over 14,000 students and 1400 staff, named 'University of the Year 2015’ in the Sunday Times Good University Guide and placed in the top 200 Most International Universities in the World. It is a young, energetic and enterprising university with a proud record of innovation in education and excellence in research and scholarship, and is recognized as possessing one of the most environmentally sympathetic university campuses in the world.
Located 5km from Limerick City and 20km from Shannon International Airport, the campus is adorned by unrivalled sports and cultural facilities, including Ireland’s first Olympic-size swimming pool, an indoor sports arena, a boathouse with a state-of-the-art indoor rowing tank, the 1,100-seat University Concert Hall, the Irish Chamber Orchestra Building and the Irish World Academy of Music & Dance. UL is home to the Bernal Institute, an €86 million science and engineering research institute comprised of 20,000 m2
of high quality, multi-purpose research space in the new Science and Engineering Zone at UL. This is a young, ambitious and responsive research-heavy university with a reputation for being a pioneer and innovator, having achieved a significant body of research and gained an international reputation in the following key areas of strength: Materials; Advanced Manufacturing; Software; and Health and Applied Mathematical Sciences.
University of Limerick Conference & Sports Campus offers three outstanding conference/event venues and over 60 breakout rooms which can facilitate over 2,000 people, up to 1000 theatre style in the university concert hall and 2400 rooms in charming village style. All theatres and meeting rooms are fully supported with audio-visual technology, excellent catering options, convenient transport links and a dedicated Events Team.
Ireland's universities offer an unsurpassed range of meetings facilities in seven prime locations around Ireland.
Each is uniquely equipped to host conferences with lecture theatres that hold between 50 and 1,250 delegates. They also provide boardrooms, small- and medium-size classrooms and tutorial rooms and are equipped with the very latest in technology (including Wi-Fi, state-of-the-art audio-visual supports and access to a qualified technician). Every university has a dedicated Conference Team to ensure seamless delivery of service and prompt attention to the requests and needs of any event.
With such a large pool of talent entering the workforce every year, it’s no wonder over 1,000 global companies have chosen Ireland as their European headquarters. Dublin is home to tech companies like Google, LinkedIn and Facebook who have found that the nation’s supply of energy, talent and enthusiasm meets their needs.
Contact the Meet in Ireland team today to find out how we can support your international conference, help you prepare a bid, organise a site inspection visit to any of our seven university venues or make formal introductions to your local Convention Bureau.