NUI Galway

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°16′44″N 9°03′36″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 third-level teaching and research institution, the University has been awarded the full five QS stars for excellence,[2] and is ranked among the top 1 percent of universities according to the 2018 QS World University Rankings.[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 with respect of the use of the Irish language as a working language of the University. 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 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]

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.[4]

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. Under the early 21st-century Presidency of Iognáid G. Ó Muircheartaigh, NUI Galway announced details of plans to make the University a "campus of the future" at a cost of around €400 million.[5] Ó Muircheartaigh's successor James J. Browne continued with that plan.[6] The University launched its Strategic Plan "Vision 2020" (for the period 2015–2020) in 2015. 21st-century developments include a state-of-the-art University Sports Centre (Ionad Spóirt), Áras Moyola, J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics, the Alice Perry Engineering Building, the BioSciences Research Building, the Life Course Institute, the Lambe Institute and the O'Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance. A new Human Biology Building completed in summer 2017.[7]

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 then NUI Chancellor Garret FitzGerald.[8][9]

Gender discrimination controversy

In 2014 the Equality Tribunal ruled in favor of Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington, granddaughter of the famous Irish feminist couple Hannah Sheehy Skeffington and Francis Sheehy Skeffington, who claimed she had been discriminated against on the grounds of gender during 2009. The university "unreservedly" accepted the decision that the "hiring process was flawed".[10][11] In 2015 with "widespread concern" among staff, mandatory unconscious bias training was introduced for senior staff, including heads of school and interview boards.[12] In 2017 Dr Elizabeth Tilley was deemed to have exceeded qualifications for senior lectureship following a Labour Court hearing and promoted.[13] In 2018 a further four female lecturers who had also applied for promotion in 2009 were promoted having settled their cases "amicably".[14][15]

In 2017 the gender ratio of senior NUIG lecturers is 60:40 in favor of men. The ratio of professorships, the most senior academic grade, is 87:13 in favor of men.[16] In 2018 the university achieved bronze status [17] in the Athena SWAN [18] recognizes a commitment to advancing gender equality in higher education and research careers.

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