GMIT has welcomed more than 2,000 first year students to its campuses in Galway and Mayo this month, the largest cohort of new students in the institute’s history.
This year’s intake of new students amounts to some 140 more than last year, and 400 more than 2012.
Almost 40 per cent of all first years are studying level 8 (honours ) degree programmes, an increase of 10 per cent compared to last year.
Sixty per cent of first year students are studying level 7 (ordinary ) degrees and higher certificate (Level 6 ) programmes combined, a drop of 10 per cent on 2013, indicating a shift away from L6 and L7 to honours degree choices.
The biggest intakes of first years this year are in GMIT’s schools of science and engineering, reflecting demand for programmes in the STEM disciplines nationally. The School of Science is running additional evening laboratory sessions this year for the first time to cater for the increase in student numbers on its programmes.
Michael Hannon, GMIT registrar, said the institute is delighted to welcome its largest ever intake of first years. “We have seen a significant increase in CAO acceptances for our honours degree offerings,” he said. “Our decision to increase the number of level 8 programmes by over 50 per cent in the past few years has proved successful.
“We plan to further increase our Level 8 offerings in new and exciting niche areas in response to recommendations from our stakeholders and external experts as part of a very successful review of programmes conducted in the last academic year.
“GMIT operates a very successful transitions programme for first years known as the First Year Experience,” Mr Hannon added. “This consists of a mandatory learning and teaching skills module and peer assisted study sessions whereby students from senior years provide mentoring support to first years. These programmes greatly support our new students and help them adapt to third-level study and college life.”