University College Cork is a university located in Cork, which opened in 1849 and today welcomes more than 17,000 students from all over the world. Highly recognised for its excellence in teaching, the University of Cork has gradually specialised in the fields of science, medicine and mathematics…
University College Cork (Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh in Irish) first opened its doors in 1849, on the wishes of Queen Victoria. Queen Victoria wanted to improve education in Ireland through the Advancement of Learning in Ireland programme, and thus develop excellence in Irish education. As a result, the University of Cork was initially named “The Queen’s College Cork”, in honour of the British sovereign.
In Gothic/Tudor style, the university was built on an ancient archaeological site, where St Finbarr, considered the Patron Saint of Cork, is said to have founded a monastery and a renowned school . The university did not fail to make St. Finbarr a true icon of the school (there is a statue of the saint on the roof of the main building, and a slogan was created for the occasion: “Where Finbarr taught, let the Munster learn”).
When it opened, the university had 23 professors and about 180 students. However, over the years of teaching, the university gradually gained a reputation as one of the most popular universities in Ireland. Excelling mainly in the field of science and mathematics, between 1860 and 1880 the university acquired new buildings, dedicated to the teaching of medicine.
It was in 1908 that the University of Cork joined the Irish Universities Act, a group of Ireland’s leading universities. On this occasion, and to mark the wish of the Irish for independence from the British, the university abandoned the name “The Queen’s College Cork” to take the name “University College Cork”.
Today, the University of Cork is home to over 17,000 students from Ireland and abroad who wish to specialise in science and mathematics or to prepare for the baccalaureate. The University of Cork offers a rich and varied programme, including specialisations in the following areas:
Here are some of the Irish personalities who once studied or taught at the University of Cork: