UCC means business with launch of new Centre for Executive Education

UCC means business with launch of new Centre for Executive Education
Simon Boucher, CEO, Irish Management Institute (IMI); Prof Ursula Kilkelly, head, College of Business and Law, UCC; Prof Patrick O’Shea, UCC President; and Susan David, Instructor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School, USA, at the IMI Masterclass which was hosted at the new UCC Centre for Executive Education, Cork. Picture: Daragh McSweeney.

Ireland's future strength in advanced business education will be reinforced with next Monday’s formal opening of the new UCC Centre for Executive Education at

No1 Lapps Quay.

The new centre is Ireland’s biggest undergraduate business college, effectively combining the Irish Management Institute (IMI) and Cork University Business School (CUBS), and it is the second largest postgraduate business college in Ireland.

UCC has committed €30m to the new centre. 1 Lapps Quay is phase one of this development and the other will be the acquisition within the city centre of a large building which will be purpose-fit for the business school.

“There will be lots more news to come,” said Prof Ursula Kilkelly, Head, College of Business and Law, UCC. “Monday’s formal opening with An Tánaiste Simon Coveney will focus on our commitment to executive education and to our local communities.

“We are also looking at the opportunities which our association with IMI will create in terms of delivering the kinds of executive education required by the business community, from local SMEs up to multinationals.

The association has combined our research capability with IMI’s cutting edge industry focus to create a hub that will deliver pathways right across the educational spectrum.

The UCC Centre for Executive Education is effectively the culmination of seven years of partnership between CUBS and IMI. They combined their strengths with the formation of CUBS in 2015.

That partnership was central to the UCC centre bringing in 16 professors and significantly transforming the college’s capabilities in areas such as syntech, information services, fintech and data analytics. UCC now offers a continuum of business education from undergraduate through postgraduate and onto doctorate level and MBA.

In 2016, UCC acquired IMI. Since then, UCC’s reputation continues to soar across financial services and entrepreneurship, with the university’s ability to harness its undergraduates business ambitions delivering cross-departmental benefits from food to science, among others.

Ursula Kilkelly (BA, LLM, PhD) is Head of the College of Business and Law, UCC. She is also currently Dean of the School of Law at University College Cork and is a Professor of Law. She is an international children’s rights scholar. She has published widely on children’s rights, the European Convention on Human Rights and youth justice.

At UCC, Ursula directs the innovative Child Law Clinic, a research initiative which provides student-led research services to lawyers litigating children’s issues.

She says the formal launch of the new centre at 1 Lapps Quay not only keeps UCC close to its business partners, it also confirms the college’s long-held commitment to serving local communities in Cork.

The building at 1 Lapps Quay has always been a bank; from Cork Savings Bank to Trustee Savings Bank to Permanent TSB Bank. It will now effectively become ‘a Bank of Knowledge’ with a clear plan to serve students, business and society alike.

Like UCC itself, the building is steeped in history. Designed by architects T and K Deane in 1839, the now listed building first opened to the public in 1842.

A cornerstone of the city’s architectural heritage, the landmark 7,600sq ft building was constructed using locally sourced limestone from the Ballinlough quarry and retains many of its internal and external features, including a three-storey banking hall, offices and a large boardroom.

Purchased by UCC in 2016, the building has been sensitively refurbished and enhanced. Central to the redevelopment is the restoration of the historically significant banking hall, which will be made available for future events.

“The decision to move into the heart of the city centre sits well with our president’s [UCC President, Professor Patrick O’Shea] commitment that the college would be city-facing, that we should be of the community and for the community,” said Prof Kilkelly. “Our choice of building is part of our partnership with the community.

The building has been designed very tastefully. With this building, we are part of the renewal of the city centre. A lot of companies and universities around the world are moving to greenfield sites.

“At UCC, we decided a long time ago that we would strive to make a positive economic impact on the city. The campus is small and we need to expand, but we’re committed to expanding within the city centre.

“We are also listening closely to the needs of business. Our Dean [Prof Thia Hennessy, Dean of CUBS] is a member of Cork Chamber of Commerce.”

The formal launch of the UCC Centre for Executive Education at 1 Lapps Quay ticks a lot of boxes for the college. Not least of these is the commitment to deliver courses which are closely aligned to the needs of industry and business.

Like all third level colleges, in recent decades UCC has come under increasing pressure from the State to take initiatives to become more self-financing. It has passed that test with flying colours.

A study earlier this year showed that UCC’s graduates and postgraduates are finding employment at rates of around 95%. The college is contributing over €850m to the Irish economy through expenditure and tax payments.

UCC currently employs 2,700 staff and supports 15,000 jobs. According to the study, UCC’s €241m development plan for the years 2017-22 will support a further 11,482 full-time jobs.

Those figures do not include an estimate of the likely impact of the new centre at 1 Lapps Quay, nor the likely impact of its eventual twin business college, also in the city centre at a location yet to be confirmed.

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