Dr. Seán M. Rowland (centre) was presented with his accolade Dr. Mary Kelly, Academic Dean at Hibernia College, and its Chief Executive Officer, David Carpenter. Photo: Chris Bellew/Fennell Photography

Noted Mayo educationalist recognised

ONE of Ireland’s most noted figures in the field of third-level education, Dr. Seán M. Rowland, was conferred as Professor in recognition of his valuable contribution to higher education developments in Ireland and his legacy in the field of education during his 22 years as founder and president of Hibernia College.

The accolade was presented to him by Dr. Mary Kelly, Academic Dean at Hibernia College, and its Chief Executive Officer, David Carpenter, at its annual conferring ceremony held in Dublin’s Convention Centre in the presence of a record 920 primary and post-primary teaching graduates who received their degrees at the event.

Born in Castlebar, Dr. Rowland was a driving force for change in third-level education in Ireland when, in 2000, he brought together colleagues from the corporate, education and technological communities to establish Hibernia College, Ireland’s first and only accredited online third-level institution.

Under his presidency, Hibernia College developed from its commencement in 2000 to become an award-winning provider of third-level blended learning programmes, best known of which are its initial teacher education courses whose graduates are now highly sought after by schools around Ireland.

Other flexible programmes for graduate, postgraduate and professional learners are courses in data analytics, studies in inclusive and special education, and the most recently-introduced BSc (Hons) in General Nursing degree programme in nursing.

All programmes offered by Hibernia College are validated by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), Teaching Council, and, in the case of its nursing programme, by NMBI, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland.