NUI Galway is reserving some of its student accommodation in Corrib Village for Irish speaking students under the university’s Irish Language Scheme.
The Residential Scheme is the cornerstone measure of the third Irish Language Scheme launched by President of NUI Galway Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh this week.
The first, pilot group of gaeilgeoirs is already in residence at Corrib Village under the scheme for the academic year 2018/2019.
President Ó hÓgartaigh said, “The Irish language and the promotion of the Irish language is a core value of the work and mission of the University. I am delighted to announce the re-opening of the Residential Language Scheme.
“This was a Scheme initiated in NUI Galway more than 25 years ago, and it is fitting, in that context, to welcome a new generation of Irish speaking students to a designated Irish speaking area in Corrib Village.”
The Irish Language Scheme aims to broaden the Irish language services available at the university.
A range of milestones have been set for the university to achieve in improving those services between 2018 and 2021.
Aside from the reserved accommodation, other measures contained in the Irish Language Scheme include appointing a Strategic Co-Ordinator to create a programme of cultural and social events done through Irish for the university.
An Institutional Language Plan will be drawn up based on the number and fluency of Irish speakers on campus, and a Steering Committee will be established to oversee the implementation of that Plan.
The university website will also feature a renewed focus on Irish, with all material in Irish available at http://www.nuigalway.ie/gaeilgebheo/, and by working to add more Irish content online.
NUI Galway has always placed a great emphasis on safeguarding the Irish language and encouraging its development among students.
Not only is it part of the University of Ireland network, which require Leaving Cert Irish for entry, but it is the chief institute of higher education within Ireland’s largest gaeltacht.
Some requirements have been relaxed recently, however. While President Ó hÓgartaigh is a fluent gaelgeoir himself, the rule that the university president must be an Irish speaker was abolished last year.
NUIG’s Irish Language Scheme was approved by Minister for State at the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Joe McHugh TD in January.
It also went through the approval process of the university’s governing authority before being launched this week.