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Attending the Mansion House graduation ceremony were:

Professor Barry Quinn, Head of Department of Business, Retail and Financial Services, University of Ulster; Gearoid O Conluain, Chief Executive HETAC; Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan TD; Paul Hannigan, President of Letterkenny Institute of Technology; Aodh O’Domhnaill, Chairman Letterkenny Institute of Technology, and Danny Brennan, Registrar, Letterkenny Institute of Technology

STUDENTS from a unique Masters Degree developed through an all-island process have received their degrees at a conferring ceremony held at the Mansion House in Dublin.

The Republic of Ireland’s Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan, attended emphasizing that, "Continued cross border collaboration and sharing of ideas in the public sector was now even more important than ever."

The MSc in Innovation Management in the Public Service is the only one of its kind and attracts a high calibre of candidates from all over Ireland.  This MSc programme  is the product of a unique collaborative process between the University of Ulster and  Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT). Both institutions have worked closely to develop a relevant and innovative award which has set a benchmark for other European countries.

Speaking at the conferring ceremony, Mr  Brian Lenihan, said

"I would like to congratulate all of the graduates on the attainment of the MSc in Innovation Management in Public Service.  I would especially like to acknowledge the efforts of the participants in undertaking this course of study and their families who have supported them."

The Masters in Innovation Management in the Public Service aims to meet the needs of citizens in an ever challenging environment and to respond by providing better public services to meet those needs.

This years’ graduates have explored areas such as leadership challenges facing government in modernising, examining Ireland's Mental Health strategy and how information technology can play a role in alliance building.

Larry McCurry, Senior Lecturer, Department of International Business, University of Ulster, said that the MSc will become even more vital for the future:

"This programme has had a substantial impact in encouraging innovation in the public service.  The action-learning environment means people can confidentially develop solutions to the 'live' challenges they face, this coupled with the ongoing network resource is irreplaceable.  With over 60 graduates from every sector of public service in NI, it's proving very effective."

President of Letterkenny Institute of Technology Paul Hannigan said:

"This programme is an example of what collaboration in education can lead to.  The Masters has a strong emphasis on innovation and offers an opportunity for people to learn from each other and from knowledge which resides in both colleges.  Many of the relationships continue long after the course has finished and the output from the graduates is having a positive impact on encouraging innovation in the public service."

The MSc has yielded valuable outcomes including a joint research project on resources for Public Service Development in Ireland and Northern Ireland.The Masters represents a cross-border approach to mainstreaming innovation in the public sector, and is the first occasion in which a degree has been jointly accredited by HETAC/Letterkenny Institute of Technology and the University of Ulster.