Celebrations as St Angela’s joins Atlantic Technological University (ATU)
Higher Education Minister and ATU President thank Ursuline Order for gifting St Angela’s to ATU
1 November 2023 was truly a momentous day for St Angela’s College with their formal incorporation into Atlantic Technological University (ATU) resulting in St Angela’s joining one of the largest multi-campus universities in Ireland.
Originally founded in 1952 by the Ursuline Order, St Angela’s College is based on the legacy of the campus’ namesake, Angela Merici (1474-1540) whose trailblazing legacy was to provide education to women in their homes and communities, a pioneering effort of the time. The first group of St Angela’s students began their studies in 1952, in the discipline we now know as Home Economics Education. Today, the College also offers Nursing, Health Sciences and Disability Studies. Over 70 years later, St Angela’s now reaches another milestone as they continue to offer a range of education programmes, from certificate to PhD level, spanning across a diverse range of disciplines to meet local, regional, and national demand.
“Our donation of St Angela’s College”, Sr Marianne O’Connor says, “ensures the continuation of the Ursuline legacy of education in Sligo which dates back to 1850. We are delighted with the development and wish the College and ATU every future success”.
St Angela’s began discussions of incorporation with ATU Sligo (then IT Sligo) back in 2020, as the formation of ATU really started to take shape, combining eight campuses across the West and Northwest of Ireland. It was easy to see how aligning both third level institutions in Sligo will bring about benefits to a multitude of stakeholders, first and foremost to students, not only from an academic perspective but also enhancing their social and cultural university experience.
Dr Orla Flynn describes the joining of St Angela’s into the ATU family: “While formal discussions on the possible incorporation of St. Angela’s College into ATU only commenced a few short years ago, the relationship between the two institutions goes back much further, with both parties involved in initial teacher education under the Western Institute for Studies in Education. I want to publicly acknowledge the extraordinary gift from the Ursuline Order, and to welcome everyone from St Angela’s into the ATU family. We look forward to a very bright future through our combined academic and community-facing endeavours.”
Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, was a firm supporter for the ATU incorporation and so it was fitting he was present to mark the milestone and join celebrations on campus this week (Monday 6 November 2023): “St. Angela’s College, Sligo has long been an important provider of initial teacher education particularly in terms of its home economics offerings not just in Sligo but nationally and provides higher education programmes across a range of other important disciplines including over two decades in delivering nursing education.
“So becoming an integral part of emerging higher education powerhouse in the West / North West that is ATU has always to my mind been a logical step”.
Dr Amanda Mc Cloat has been President of St Angela’s College since 2019 and attributes the legacy of the College to the remarkable reputation of students and staff, spanning the generations, “We have built our values based on a rich history that we are extremely proud of and know that ATU St Angela’s will now continue to pave the way for future generations to come. Continuously evolving and serving communities near and far, we look forward to many wonderful opportunities for staff and students arising from the incorporation”.
Now, as one of nine ATU campuses, ATU St Angela’s will bring a wealth of expertise and research as a result of this incorporation, making Sligo a truly unique student destination as one of Ireland’s thriving university towns.
For information about Atlantic Technological University (ATU) and all its campuses please visit www.atu.ie
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[Photos: Donal Hackett. No repro fee]
Higher Education Minister Simon Harris, TD (centre) with L to R: Maura McNally, Chair of ATU Governing Body; Cllr Gerard Mullaney, Cathaoirleach, Sligo County Council; Deputy Frank Feighan, TD, Sligo-Leitrim; Dr Amanda Mc Cloat, Head of ATU St Angela’s; Dr Orla Flynn, President of ATU; and Cllr Tom Fox, Sligo, at the celebrations of St Angela’s into ATU
Higher Education Minister Simon Harris, TD, presenting flowers to, to R: Sr Maura Moran, Sr Marianne O'Connor and Sr Anne Harte-Barry, Ursuline Order.
Attending the celebrations on Monday 6 November marking the incorporation of St Angela’s into ATU, L to R: Dr Michele Glacken, Registrar & Vice President Students, Teaching & Learning, ATU; Denise Healy, Siobhán O’Shea, Siobhán Healy-McGowan, all School of Nursing, Health Sciences and Disibility Studies, St Angela’s; Cllr Marie Casserly; Dympna O’Connell, Ciara Kelly, School of Nursing, Health Sciences and Disibility Studies, St Angela’s.