Today I attended the launch, in the Royal Irish Academy, of the Irish Undergraduate Awards. This very interesting scheme was devised by Paddy Cosgrave and Oisin Hanrahan, and are intended to give students an opportunity to submit course work in order to be considered for an award. The decision on the award recipients will be made by an expert panel of judges with representatives from all the universities.
It is arguable that for a long time Irish undergraduate education has been too passive, and that students have been encouraged to acquire information rather than critically assess it and develop it. This new programme, launched on a voluntary basis but with support from all the universities, has the potential to encourage students to develop their own thinking and to publish it.
I strongly welcome this initiative and hope it will be highly successful.