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April 11, 2008

Intel Appoints NUI Maynooth as First Education Partner

NUI Maynooth Logo

National University of Ireland, Maynooth today announced that it has reached agreement with global computer giant Intel to deliver an innovative ME degree programme (Master of Engineering) providing advanced engineering education for Intel engineers.  In its first year the programme will see up to 15 Intel professionals based at its Leixlip plant take the course, and it is expected to be offered to employees across Intel’s 86,000 strong global workforce from 2009.  This is the first formal accreditation link-up between the company’s College of Engineering and any university worldwide and places NUI Maynooth at the forefront of University-Industry collaboration in Europe. 

The modules will be tailored specifically to the innovative and highly market-sensitive work undertaken by Intel in its multi billion microprocessor development industry.  Intel’s Technology Campus Europe, located at Leixlip currently employs approximately 5,000 people directly and indirectly.  Its IFO operation which produces flash memory and logic devices is equipped to run over 65 individual products – three times that of any other similar Intel plant in the world.  Its Fab 24 plant, also at Leixlip is one of Intel's most technologically advanced, high-volume manufacturing facilities in the world building multi-core microprocessors. In all, about 75% of Intel Ireland employees have higher level qualifications in the fields of science, engineering or technology.

NUI Maynooth President Professor John Hughes said, “Intel is a true global leader in every sense of the word.  It is very important to the Irish economy and of course, is a great neighbour of ours in Kildare.  We are building a reputation for international excellence at NUI Maynooth and we were delighted to support Intel in delivering top class industry-relevant accredited Masters education to its staff.  Strong links between universities and industry are vital for the sustainability of the global economy and it is something we value highly at NUI Maynooth”.  Jim O’Hara, Intel Vice President, Technology and Manufacturing group and General Manager Intel Ireland said, ‘‘The standard of learning delivered through the Master of Engineering programme at Maynooth is world-class and we were delighted to build this relationship which will see it drive and accredit the work of our College of Engineering.  This programme is unique within the Intel organisation and we plan to roll it out to employees at our campuses throughout the world”.

The ME programme allows Intel engineers to advance their skills in the highly specialised technologies of their own workplace, while also acquiring advanced level knowledge in broader related areas.  Intel students will receive a ME degree award from NUI Maynooth at the end of their studies which may be undertaken over two or three years on a part-time basis through distance learning over the internet.  The cooperation follows on the recent establishment of Intel’s US based College of Engineering that is responsible for developing and directing in-house courses and other solutions for the educational requirements of Intel’s engineering staff worldwide.

The Intel ME programme will be complementary to the current highly regarded Master of Engineering programme offered at NUI Maynooth and will share up to half of its taught modules.  Academic experts from NUI Maynooth worked alongside engineers from Intel advising on the appropriate academic content for Masters level accreditation.  Dr Padraig O’Murchu, Education and Research Manager at Intel, said, “This is a great boost for employee development at Intel, it is testament to the quality and technical content of the internally developed college of engineering modules, employees on successful completion of these modules can now gain credits towards an accredited Masters of Engineering qualification at NUI Maynooth.”

Dr Frank Devitt, Head of Department of Electronic Engineering, NUI Maynooth said “We are very proud to have developed such an innovative relationship with Intel, one of the powerhouses of the world economy.  Close working relationships between industry and universities is recognised worldwide as means of driving excellence and safeguarding our futures.  We look forward to supporting Intel in its staff development programme and the mutual benefits this relationship will bring.”

NUI Maynooth and Intel already have strong established links through the Innovation Value Institute (IVI) which was set up in 2006 as a partnership between the college and the Intel Information Technology Innovation Centre in Leixlip.  IVI is a multi-disciplinary research and education institute which develops frameworks to help organisations achieve sustainable economic value from IT and to quantify and understand the true business value of strategic IT investments.  Among the companies currently working with IVI to inform their own IT investments and those of their clients are Intel, Chevron, The Boston Consulting Group, ESB and Ernst &Young.

The first group of students, based in Intel Ireland, will enter the programme in September 2008, and it is expected that the model and the number of students availing of it will grow in the coming years. 

National University of Ireland, Maynooth is Ireland’s fastest growing university with about 9,000 students including 1,000 postgraduate students across 300 programmes.  In 2008 the University has seen a 14% rise in its CAO first preferences – the highest of any institution in the country.