At its recent meeting, the Universities Ireland Council confirmed Professor Ian Greer as its new President. The Vice-Chancellor and President of Queen’s University Belfast takes on the role at a crucial time for the populations in both jurisdictions on the island of Ireland as we face the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and as the HE sector looks to contribute to the socio-economic recovery. Universities Ireland will act as a catalyst for all-island collaboration between universities to accelerate the recovery, and to strengthen positive North-South relations as the UK leaves the European Union.
Commenting on his new role, Professor Greer stated: “Universities are major drivers of economic growth and social change through the generation of skills and innovation flowing from education and research. The challenges and uncertainties of the present world have created significant opportunities for all universities, across the island of Ireland, to make a real difference in supporting the recovery of our economies, both north and south, as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. The need for an integrated approach has never been greater as we harness the considerable strengths in our universities to support economic recovery and future growth. The important role of higher education is emphasised in the recently published draft Programme for Government from Dublin and the New Decade New Approach commitment for Northern Ireland. Universities Ireland is committed to working with both Governments to address the challenges that will benefit from both North-South and East-West Collaboration”.