SETU’s Wexford campus conferring took place on Friday, 11th November at the National Opera House with graduates being conferred with awards in a range of disciplines, from business, art, tourism, social care, early childhood education, visual communications to agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture.
Speaking at the Wexford ceremonies, Prof Veronica Campbell, President of SETU said “I’ve met many of the main employers of our graduates across the Southeast region and they have impressed upon me the fact that our graduates are highly talented and employable. It is important to be aware that your Higher Diploma from SETU holds significant value and that you are very much in demand”.
The Higher Diploma in Business in Fisheries and Aquaculture is the only level 8 programme in Ireland targeted at the marine sector.
Amongst the graduates was Keegan Porter received the Brendan O’Kelly Memorial Medal from Carol O’Kelly daughter of the former Chairman and Chief Executive of BIM . Keegan , originally from the US, is currently based in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin. He works with AQUATT as a Knowledge Transfer and Impact Officer. Keegan’s interdisciplinary project focused on ‘Inertia in Irish Seaweed, A review of the Opportunities and Challenges for Farmed Seaweed in Ireland.
William Murphy received the Joey Murrin Memorial Medal from Eilish Murrin McCormack. Willy a New Ross native, went to school in The Good Council New Ross, from there he completed undergraduate studies in Geography and Archaeology at UCC. Following a stint working in Canada he returned to Ireland to complete his Masters in NUIG, before taking up a position with the award winning Aqualicence Limited. Willam received the award for excellence in education.
Three of this years participants were able to join the course from overseas thanks to online delivery. All three are based in the FAO section of the UN in Rome. With specific interest in rural development and innovation opportunities for coastal communities. SETU with the support of BIM, is continuing to break new ground in supporting business education for the fisheries and aquaculture sectors.
The HDip continues for attract students from right around the coast. A graduate from Inis Mór, Aran, this year was Alanagh Ní Chonghaile Ní Ghriofa who was accompanied by her family from Gort na gCapall at the graduation. Alanagh’s mother Roisín is daughter of Gregory Conneely, the well-known fisherman from Aran. Alanagh has a keen interest in aquaculture which spurred her to study for the HDip. She did a work placement with Blátht na Mara, a seaweed company based in Aran as part of the course.
Another graduate from Connaught was Lorna Sweeney from Achill, Co Mayo. Lorna has family connections in fishing and previously studied agriculture at Kildalton College and went on to study for a Bachelors degree in Agriculture at UCD. She had worked in the equine industry before deciding to set up an oyster farm in Achill. She was accompanied by her mother Olivia Sweeney who is a well-know florist from Achill Sound.
A graduate from the Beara Peninsula in West Cork was Barry Cody who lives in the parish of Eyeries. Barry was one of two graduates from Castletownbere Fishermens’ Co-Op where he has worked for 12 years. The Co-Op has recently started up-skilling its staff and Barry previously completed a few courses offered by Co-op to improve himself. Barry told the Skipper ‘my formal education was the leaving cert up to last year before I studied remotely for the Higher Diploma in Business in Fisheries and Aquaculture. Having successfully applied for the course and going through the Recognised Prior Learning or RPL process, I was happy to graduate this year.”
Barry’s colleague Mike McCarthy also completed the HDip this year. Brendan Simpson of Dunmore East completed two of the five Certificates comprising the HDip academic courses this year.
The Higher Diploma is a 60 credit L8 programme consisting of 5 key subjects applied to the marine sector – Law and Regulations; Marketing Management; Economics; Strategic & Innovation Management and Financial Management & Planning. Each module can be completed as a standalone certificate. Students who complete all five modules as well as a work placement or interdisciplinary project, will be awarded with the Higher Diploma Level 8.
The University wants a minimum of 12 students to run the sixth cycle of the course and numbers registering were a few short of this in the Autumn. For this reason the recruitment for the sixth cycle of the course has been extended until Friday 16th December. Presuming sufficient applicants come forward over the coming weeks the course will run online on a part-time basis, Certificate by Certificate between January and July 2023. With some 40 satisfied graduates of this course over the past five years, it would be a great pity if it was not to continue for lack of support from the seafood sector.
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