ONE of the largest institutes of technology in the country will offer healthy and affordable eating choices as part of a new initiative to help cash-strapped students.
Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan served an example of how Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) is helping students to make ends meet by offering nutritious meals for just €3.
‘The Green Rooms’ dining space at LIT is part of a €750,000 investment at the college to ensure that students get at least one nutritious meal a day for less than half the price of a regular fast-food option.
Over the course of the academic year, its predicted this could save them a minimum of €320.
Minister O’Sullivan, who addressed staff at the launch of the new academic year on Monday, visited The Green Rooms where she served breakfast to some of the students.
Commenting afterwards, she said, “I commend LIT on this initiative, not just because it is so important for student experience that they get healthy and affordable food but this is really an excellent and creative use as space as they have transformed it into a learning environment also.”
LIT President Dr Maria Hinfelaar said that ‘The Green Rooms’ which are part of a €200 million master plan for the college, were in keeping with LIT’s philosophy of putting the student experience at its centre.
She said it was also an example of how the college can maximise on its limited space – the campus currently caters for twice the number of students it was built for.
“This approach is not just right but opportune for LIT as, until we can press ahead with this much needed expansion, we have to adapt and maximise how we use existing space. We are severely restricted in terms of capacity as we have a main campus that was built for 2,000 students and currently accommodates 4,000.
“This is a major challenge for us and is due to growing demand for places on many of our courses, particularly in areas such as mechanical engineering, technology and hospitality. From a local industry perspective, the recent major job announcements by Ettikon, Regeneron, Vistakon and Analog Devices underline the increasing demand for these skills and, therefore, the need for expansion of LIT.”
LIT will next week welcome 1,700 first year students as well as new international students and post-graduates. One in every te students in the Institutes of Technology sector in Ireland will this year enrol in LIT.
The €200 million LIT Campus 2030 Masterplan, ‘Our Places’, launched by Minister O’Sullivan two years ago, is focussed on introducing innovative and stimulating new social learning spaces throughout the campus as it is redeveloped, complete with an additional 50,000 sq mtrs of space.