NUI Galway was named University of the Year for 2022 in the latest edition of The Sunday Times Good University Guide.
It is the fourth time the university has claimed the prestigious award in 20 years.
The Sunday Times highlighted NUI Galway’s research response to Covid-19 including a commitment to supporting people through the emotional and physical impacts of the pandemic as well as its role in preparing the world for future pandemics.
The university also received praise for its community-focused ethos and standout support of culture and the arts.
“We are being recognised as University of the Year after a year which was particularly challenging for us all. The elements that distinguished NUI Galway have a humanity, a kindness, our people at their core,” said NUI Galway President Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh.
“Our success reflects our strategy, launched just before Covid, where we committed ourselves to the public good, reflecting the sense at NUI Galway of being in and for our community, the commitment to our place by looking beyond our place with curiosity and ambition.
“I am delighted for and grateful to all our students and our colleagues that this commitment is being realised, and is recognised in this award,” he concluded.
The Sunday Times pointed to three exemplary aspects of NUI Galway’s Covid response in particular.
Honorary Senior lecturer Dr Bairbre McNicholas was at the forefront of research into awake prone positioning which involves treating Covid patients in ICU while they are lying on their front.
The IBM-CISCO FamilyLink project, led by Dr Aoife Murray and Irial Conroy, helped ICU patients stay in touch with friends and family via video call while tight restrictions on visitors were in place in hospitals.
The European Union’s Pandem II project aimed at learning from Covid-19 to plan and prepare for future pandemics is led by Professor Máire Connolly of the School of Medicine.
The President also extended congratulations to GMIT as it marked a clean sweep for the west of Ireland in being named Institute of Technology of the Year.
“Congratulations to everyone at GMIT and particularly to Dr Orla Flynn, President of GMIT. It is a tremendous boost for our region to see such a strong, ambitious and competitive third level education ecosystem and it is equally a great boost as GMIT embarks on its new journey to Technological University status,” he said.