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Today, 11th April, 2008, National University of Ireland, Maynooth announced that it has reached agreement with global computer giant Intel to deliver an innovative ME degree programme (Master of Engineering) providing advanced engineering education for Intel engineers. In its first year the programme will see up to 15 Intel professionals based at its Leixlip plant take the course, and it is expected to be offered to employees across Intel’s 86,000 strong global workforce from 2009. This is the first formal accreditation link-up between the company’s College of Engineering and any university worldwide and places NUI Maynooth at the forefront of University-Industry collaboration in Europe.

The modules will be tailored specifically to the innovative and highly market-sensitive work undertaken by Intel in its multi billion microprocessor development industry. Intel’s Technology Campus Europe, located at Leixlip currently employs approximately 5,000 people directly and indirectly. Its IFO operation which produces flash memory and logic devices is equipped to run over 65 individual products – three times that of any other similar Intel plant in the world. Its Fab 24 plant, also at Leixlip is one of Intel’s most technologically advanced, high-volume manufacturing facilities in the world building multi-core microprocessors. In all, about 75% of Intel Ireland employees have higher level qualifications in the fields of science, engineering or technology.

NUI Maynooth President Professor John Hughes said, “Intel is a true global leader in every sense of the word. It is very important to the Irish economy and of course, is a great neighbour of ours in Kildare. We are building a reputation for international excellence at NUI Maynooth and we were delighted to support Intel in delivering top class industry-relevant accredited Masters education to its staff. Strong links between universities and industry are vital for the sustainability of the global economy and it is something we value highly at NUI Maynooth”.

Jim OHara, Intel Vice President, Technology and Manufacturing group and General Manager Intel Ireland said, ‘The standard of learning delivered through the Master of Engineering programme at Maynooth is world-class and we were delighted to build this relationship which will see it drive and accredit the work of our College of Engineering. This programme is unique within the Intel organisation and we plan to roll it out to senior employees at our campuses throughout the world”.

The ME programme allows Intel engineers to advance their skills in the highly specialised technologies of their own workplace, while also acquiring advanced level knowledge in broader related areas. Intel students will receive a ME degree award from NUI Maynooth at the end of their studies which may be undertaken over two or three years on a part-time basis through distance learning over the internet. The cooperation follows on the recent establishment of Intel’s US based College of Engineering that is responsible for developing and directing in-house courses and other solutions for the educational requirements of Intel’s engineering staff worldwide.

The Intel ME programme will be complementary to the current highly regarded Master of Engineering programme offered at NUI Maynooth and will share up to half of its taught modules. Academic experts from NUI Maynooth worked alongside engineers from Intel advising on the appropriate academic content for Masters level accreditation.

Dr. Pádraig ÓMurchú, Intel’s Education and Research Manager at, “This is a great boost for employee development at Intel, it is testament to the quality and technical content of the internally developed college of engineering modules, employees on successful completion of these modules can now gain credits towards an accredited Masters of Engineering qualification at NUI Maynooth.”

NUI Maynooth and Intel already have strong established links through the Innovation Value Institute (IVI) which was set up in 2006 as a partnership between the college and the Intel Innovation Centre in Leixlip. IVI is a multi-disciplinary research and education institute which works to help achieve sustainable economic value from ITA and to quantify and understand the true business value of strategic IT investments. Among the companies currently using IVI to inform their own IT investments are Chevron, Boston Consulting, Intel and Ernst &Young.

The first group of students, based in Intel Ireland, will enter the programme in September 2008, and it is expected that the model and the number of students availing of it will grow in the coming years.

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