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Higher Education News from the Collegiate Way

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Teaching and Learning at the University of Limerick

— I had the great pleasure last week of visiting and speaking at the University of Limerick in Ireland, thanks to the kind offices of Dr. Sarah Moore, UL’s dean of teaching and learning and the author (with Maura Murphy) of the forthcoming book How to be a Student: 100 Great Ideas and Practical Habits for Students Everywhere, soon to be published by the Open University Press.

The University of Limerick is a young institution, established in the early 1970s, and it has grown substantially through the 1980s and 1990s. This particular chronology is important and fortunate, because by expanding a bit later than many other universities (which grew in the 1960s), the Limerick campus largely escaped the architectural barbarism of the Late Modernist period. It has a beautiful location on the banks of the River Shannon, and incorporates a lovely old mansion called Plassey House.

It was a delight to hear about all the excellent work being done to enhance the educational environment at Limerick, and to share some insights into residential college models of organization. Many people at Limerick, as at other institutions that have grown rapidly, feel that while expansion had brought benefits, it has also resulted in a loss of the sense of community that the smaller campus once had. This is the motivation behind most conversions to residential college systems.

I thank my colleagues at Limerick for their kind hospitality during my visit, and I wish them much continuing success in their work.

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© Robert J. O’Hara 2000–2021