Ireland's First Regional Writing Centre Launched

⿿The founding of the Regional Writing Centre by these four institutions is one of the most timely and significant cultural and educational initiatives of recent years⿝- Fintan O⿿Toole

Ireland's First Regional Writing Centre Launched

THE Institute of Technology Tralee (ITT), University of Limerick (UL), Mary Immaculate College (MIC),Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) have joined forces under the Shannon Consortium to provide support in academic and professional  writing to their students and staff with the establishment of Irelandâ¿¿s first Regional Writing Centre.   Fintan Oâ¿¿Toole, one of Ireland's leading political and cultural commentators, officially launched the Centre at UL today.  The Centre will work with individuals and groups of students to help them develop their writing skills, while also providing programmes for faculty, assisting them in designing and incorporating effective writing activities into their programmes of study.

The Regional Writing Centre project recognises the central position of writing, to both teaching and learning at higher education, and its vital position within the world of professional employment.  The Centre serves the consequent need for a coordinated, systematic approach to the development of writing for both academic and professional purposes.  While Writing Centres flourish in American universities, the concept is a new one in Ireland.  However, the Shannon Consortium Regional Writing Centre is in a position to draw on the considerable expertise, which already exists, in the four institutions including an established academic writing support programme at MIC and a previously-established Writing Centre and Writing Research Forum at UL.

Fintan O⿿Toole, who officially launched the Centre said: ⿿We live at a time when the misuse of language is more deliberate, more organised and more professional than it has ever been. Whether it is obfuscation at the tribunals, the spinning of the Iraq war, the marketing of so-called "low fat" foods, or the subtler kind of re-branding that led, for example, to "global warming" becoming the much more benign "climate change", the use of words to obscure realities has become a key tool of power. In this climate, it is more important than ever that teachers, students, journalists and others with an interest in genuine communication retain the ability to write clearly and precisely. Instead, however, real literacy has been declining, and too many intellectuals have taken refuge in jargon and willful obscurity. In this context, the founding of the Regional Writing Centre by these four institutions is one of the most timely and significant cultural and educational initiatives of recent years.⿝

Michael Carmody, IT, Tralee President, commented: ⿿The opening of the Regional Writing Centre represents a shining example of the mutual benefits gained from a collaborative approach to raising education standards.⿝

â¿¿All members of the Shannon Consortium can draw on this dynamic resource that promises to further raise the level and quality of higher-education teaching and learning in the entire region.⿝    

The project is inherently interdisciplinary and inter-collegial, drawing finance from over ⿬18.6million in Strategic Innovation Funding granted to the Shannon Consortium over the past two years. It involves collaboration between language specialists and subject specialists in a centre which will provide support to undergraduate and postgraduate students, tailored to their specialised needs in terms of discipline, genre (thesis, Final Year Project, essay, report etc.), and language.

For More Information:

Brita Lyons, IT, Tralee : 066 719 1705 / brita.lyons@staff.ittralee.ie

Brita Lyons
Marketing Officer
Institute of Technology, Tralee
DDI +353 66 719 1705
brita.lyons@staff.ittralee.ie