In a move aimed to strengthen academic and cultural interchange, Ulster University and Atlantic Technological University (ATU) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The agreement outlines key areas of collaboration to advance education and research initiatives and was officially launched by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD at an event held at ATU's Letterkenny campus on Monday, January 22, 2024.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Simon Harris TD said:
“When it comes to education, we need to adopt an all-Ireland approach and we need to adopt a regional approach. These two universities already have long-standing commitments, but I know they want to do even more in terms of student exchanges, staff exchanges and joint awards.”
The MoU highlights the mutual benefits of collaboration, promoting the exchange of faculty members and technical staff, joint academic programs, student initiatives, cultural exchanges, and research and consultancy collaborations. Both institutions commit to adhering to the principles of collaboration, including openness, sharing of information, and effective working practices.
Speaking at the signing of the MoU, Dr Orla Flynn, President of Atlantic Technological University said:
"Our collaboration aims to create synergies and provide mutually beneficial opportunities for the region on both sides of the border. As two multi-campus universities, we look forward to working with Ulster University colleagues.
“This collaboration marks a significant step toward enhancing educational and research initiatives between Ulster University and Atlantic Technological University, aligning with the broader goals of academic advancement and cross-border relations."
Professor Paul Bartholomew, Vice Chancellor of Ulster University added:
“Ulster University has for many years collaborated closely with the former institutions which have now combined to form the Atlantic Technological University. Our proximity here in the North West has always enabled Derry-Donegal relations and colleagues at ATU and our Derry~Londonderry campus have played a major part in the formative years of partnership, while a shared specialism in Biomedical Science has fostered a very meaningful knowledge exchange between Ulster University colleagues in ATU for the past few decades.
“Both universities are committed to furthering the objectives of the Belfast Good Friday Agreement to enhance cooperation, connection, and mutual understanding to ensure continued peace and a sustainable future for everyone on this island. This collaboration aims to foster synergy and promote mutually beneficial activities for the regional multi-campus universities.”
The coordination of this collaboration will be overseen by Professor Malachy Ó Néill, Director of Regional Engagement at Ulster University, and Mr Paul Hannigan, Head of College at ATU Donegal. The two multi-campus universities cover a large geographical area with campuses across six counties in Ireland and Northern Ireland with approximately 50,000 students combined.