Achievements of WIT’s Calmast STEM engagement centre for organising Maths Week Ireland, which happens throughout the island of Ireland every October recognised
Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) received a special commendation at the THE Awards (Times Higher Education Awards) held on Thursday, 25 November in London.
THE Awards are widely known as the “Oscars of higher education” and WIT is the first and only Irish institution to receive recognition in the first year of Irish eligibility for “Oscars of higher education”.
The judges also wanted to highly commend @waterfordit in the Widening Participation or Outreach Initiative of the Year category – the first Irish institution to receive recognition in this first year of Irish eligibility for #THEAwards. Congratulations!— Times Higher Education (@timeshighered) November 25, 2021
WIT received the special commendation for the THE Awards (Times Higher Education Awards) in the Widening Participation and Outreach category. The commendation recognises the achievements of WIT’s Calmast STEM Engagement Centre for organising Maths Week Ireland, which happens throughout the island of Ireland every October.
Waterford Institute of Technology competed against Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Cardiff University, University of Dundee, University of Nottingham, and winner Manchester Metropolitan University.
In a tweet on the night the Times Higher Education Awards stated: “The judges also wanted to highly commend @waterfordit in the Widening Participation or Outreach Initiative of the Year category – the first Irish institution to receive recognition in this first year of Irish eligibility for #THEAwards. Congratulations!”
These are the 17th annual THE Awards. This is the first time that the awards have been open to Higher education institutions in Ireland. There are 20 categories in total, covering a wide range of university activity across leadership and management, administration, and academia.
Welcoming the announcement, WIT President Professor Willie Donnelly said, “We are delighted and extremely proud to be acknowleged in the Times Higher Awards. That our commendation is in the area of outreach and widening participation is especially pleasing. The nomination recognises the excellence of our outreach activity through the work of Calmast which has been promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) for many years locally, regionally and nationally. I want to congratulate and thank colleagues in Calmast, in the School of Education and Lifelong Learning, and in the other contributing Schools, and of course, the many partners who help with the work. The nomination and subsequent commendation is a firm recognition of the leadership of WIT in this important area and an endorsement of the commitment of WIT of almost 20 years supporting the work of Calmast and their efforts to promote STEM, and to widen participation in education particularly STEM education throughout society.”
Maths Week coordinator Eoin Gill welcomed the commendation noting that over 600 nominations were received across the 20 categories. “It is wonderful to receive this special commendation this year, the first year that the awards have been open to higher education institutions in Ireland. Maths Week was founded at WIT and quickly spread across all higher education, north and south, growing to be the biggest such festival in the world. It is also eagerly embraced by schools, teachers and pupils with over 350,000 participating last year. This is testament to the leadership of WIT in reaching out and engaging with the community and of the partnership across the Island of Ireland that work together under the guiding ethos of ‘Maths for All’.