Irish academic awarded honorary professorship in China

30 Mar 2012

Prof Diarmuid Hegarty in Beijing this week accepting his honorary professorship from Prof Liu Gonghui, president of the Beijing Information, Science and Technology University

Prof Diarmuid Hegarty, the president of Griffith College, has been awarded an honorary professorship from the Beijing Information, Science and Technology University in China. Hegarty accepted the professorship this week as he was on the Irish Government’s trade mission to China.

He was a member of Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s four-day mission to Shanghai and Beijing. This week’s visit to China was Hegarty’s second trade mission in the country.

Noted for his near fluency in Chinese, Hegarty accompanied former Taoiseach Brian Cowen in 2008 and helped to secure education agreements to the value of €38m to the Irish economy during that particular visit.

It was back in 1974 when Hegarty founded Griffith College. Since then, the college has morphed to become Ireland’s largest independent third-level institution, with campuses in Dublin, Cork and Limerick.

Hegarty said Griffith College has a long-standing and valued relationship with China and the Beijing Information, Science and Technology University (BISTU).

“I am honoured and delighted to receive this award from the university and join such distinguished academics,” he said.

Griffith College already has strong educational ties with China. It has partnerships with 16 universities throughout the country.

Over the past 10 years, many BISTU lecturers have been visiting scholars to Griffith College and students of BISTU have also graduated from Griffith College while on their year abroad.

Other notable honorary professors of BISTU include John Forbes Nash, the American mathematician who shared the 1994 Nobel Memorial Prize in economic sciences with game theorists Reinhard Selten and John Harsanyi.

Edmund Phelps, the American economist and the winner of the 2006 Nobel Memorial Prize in economic sciences, is also an honorary professor of BISTU. Phelps has been a professor of political economy at Columbia University since 1982.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic