National Centre of Excellence for Home Economics Launch

Mar 19 2021 Posted: 16:00 GMT

The new National Centre of Excellence for Home Economics is built on a strong and solid foundation of Higher Education in Home Economics at St Angela’s College, which spans 69 years. Today in 2021, there are over 650 students of the discipline Home Economics at Honours Bachelor’s degree and Masters level – an increase of 130% in students studying Home Economics at the College since 2012, and a long way from the 12 original students who commenced study in Home Economics in 1952. These students are part of a total student population of 1,600 students including other programmes delivered across the School of Education and the School of Nursing, Health Sciences and Disability.

Speaking at the recent launch of the Centre Amanda McCloat, College President, explained “This National Centre of Excellence will provide a key platform and foundation for the future growth and development of the academic discipline Home Economics and acknowledges the historical importance and existing prominence of the discipline at St Angela’s as the College moves towards full incorporation within an ever changing higher education landscape”.

With the launch of the new Centre St. Angelas College, as the sole provider of Home Economics in Higher Education in Ireland, is building on its legacy in delivering valuable life skills to students, developing quality, collaborative research and innovation projects and continuing to focus on local, regional and national community engagement initiatives. Helen Maguire, Head of School of Home Economics acknowledged “We are the only Higher Education institution in Ireland to have a significant critical mass and expertise in the discipline Home Economics, indeed we have the largest School of Home Economics in Europe with 30 academic staff involved in teaching and specialist research. It is a privilege to work with such committed and capable academics who are passionate about the capacity of Home Economics to improve the quality of life for all”.

The launch of the National Centre of Excellence coincided with World Home Economics Day 2021 (21st March 2021) with this year’s focus being on home as an environment for healthy ageing. The President of the International Federation for Home Economics, Professor Gwendolyn Hustvedt took the opportunity, in her launch speech, to convey the exciting news that, following a lengthy proposal process, St. Angela’s College has won the bid to host the 25th IFHE World Congress in 2024. This is the largest, most prestigious event for Home Economics in the world and the international conference attracts up to 1500 international delegates. Planning for the event will commence imminently and the event will be support by Fáilte Ireland.

The National Centre of Excellence for Home Economics was launched virtually on Friday 19th March by Minister Frank Feighan (Minister of State responsible for Public Health, Wellbeing and National Drugs Strategy), with Amanda McCloat (President, St. Angela’s College) and Helen Maguire (Head of School of Home Economics) in attendance. The College were honoured to have a number of prestigious international guest speakers from the field contribute virtually. Speaking at the launch Minister Feighan noted ‘the Colleges excellent standing in the delivery of Home Economics education is recognised nationally and internationally. Minister Feighan also recognised that ‘ one of the recommendations of  the Report on tackling childhood obesity published by the Joint Committee on Children and Youth affairs is to consider making Home economics a compulsory Post Primary subject and I look forward to working alongside you to achieve this’.

For details of Guest Speakers and a link to the recorded event, click HERE

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