Maynooth University (MU) is celebrating a tradition in teacher training that goes back more than 90 years, with the opening of a new €14m school of education.

From a modest six students on the higher diploma in education at Maynooth in 1926 , an average of 600 teachers a year now qualify in Maynooth and it has more than 12,600 graduates on the Teaching Council register

The new building is providing capacity for the rapid growth in student enrolment to the university’s three education departments, where more than 2,000 students are currently pursuing education courses, as well as research activity.

Maynooth offers 15 different professional qualification courses covering the full spectrum of teacher education, including early childhood, primary, second level and higher education, guidance counsellors and school leadership

MU president Professor Philip Nolan said the new building would serve as an academic hive, and would help the college to develop a teaching profession and infrastructure to serve Ireland’s needs over the coming decades.

Education Minister Joe McHugh and junior minister, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, who has responsibility for higher education, both graduates of Maynooth, were on hand to mark the event.

Mr McHugh said Maynooth’s record in Irish education was a long and proud one and said its influence reached into every county in Ireland.

The €14.1m building was funded by a combination of University resources, the European Investment Bank (EIB), and a donation from the Dominican Sisters following the transfer of Froebel College of Education to Maynooth University.

The School of Education is part of the planned expansion of the MU on its North Campus.

Irish Independent