Cork’s prestigious university has its eyes on the future.
University College Cork (UCC) has revealed ambitious plans to expand its campus space by 20pc over the next five years.
It proposes to do so as part of a €350m investment and a strategy to grow student numbers from 20,000 today to 23,000 by 2022. This expands on an earlier investment plan costed at €241m in 2016.
International students will account for half of the increase in student growth numbers.
The university plans to invest in a new business school, dental school, hospital and student accommodation. About €110m will be spent on housing the university’s business school under one roof while another €64m will be spent on student accommodation for 600 students. This will augment accommodation being built by private developers.
Investment bolstered by €100m loan from European Investment Bank
The €350m investment is expected to come from a variety of sources, including a European Investment Bank (EIB) loan, some philanthropy and UCC’s own resources.
In November 2016, we reported how a €100m loan agreement with the EIB would underpin a major expansion plan – estimated at €241m at the time – that would generate an estimated 500 construction jobs.
Much of the latest strategy has similar projections, such as the investment in student accommodation and plans for the business school.
Under the original plan, around €27m would be used to fund western campus development, including the Cork Science and Innovation Park and outdoor sports facilities. More than €90m was envisaged to be spent on the new Student Hub, ICT services, facilities upgrade, refurbishment and building extensions, as well as flood remedial works and Western Gateway building infrastructure.
Then president of UCC, Dr Michael Murphy, described the plan as “the largest investment in capital projects at UCC in our history”.
Bust of George Boole, the first professor of mathematics in UCC, whose algebra became the foundation of modern computer science. Image: Hagut/Shutterstock