University of Galway Celebrates 50 years of MBA education

Professor Alma McCarthy; Dean of J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at University of Galway; President Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, University of Galway; and Professor Kate Kenny - MBA Programme Director at University of Galway. Credit – Martina Regan.
May 15 2023 Posted: 16:36 IST

University of Galway’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics has hosted a leadership conference and reunion gala, as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations of its Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme. 


During the event, the University announced plans to establish a new University of Galway MBA Alumni Network for more than 600 MBA graduates who have come through the programme, many of whom have gone on to senior leadership roles across sectors nationally and globally.


The leadership conference and reunion gala served as a platform to showcase the outstanding expertise and experiences of the MBA alumni who have contributed significantly to their respective industries over several decades. 


The conference, opened by President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, featured panel sessions focusing on the impact of the MBA on business and society; talent development for future success; career reflections from alumni; and a CEO Leaders’ forum hosted by Danny McCoy, Director of Ibec.  


Since it was founded in the 1972/73 academic year, University of Galway’s MBA has established itself as one of the leading programmes of its kind in the country, providing exceptional business education and preparing leaders for the challenges of the ever-evolving global marketplace.  


Speaking at the event, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of University of Galway, said: “I would like to congratulate the University’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics on 50 successful years of the MBA programme. The programme, and more importantly our graduates have made a significant impact to the world in the last five decades, helping to create the capacity, talent and leadership that would not otherwise be here.

“The establishment of programmes such as the MBA are inflection points, envisioned by the people involved, facilitated by the place, responding to the needs of the time. We are facing new challenges now, in social cohesion, health and wellbeing, and climate action. And University of Galway is stepping up again to identify and respond to future opportunities and challenges.

“In fifty years’ time, what will people say we did now that made a positive difference across the decades?”

Professor Alma McCarthy, Dean of J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at University of Galway, said: “Over the past five decades, our MBA has consistently produced exceptional business leaders who have made significant contributions to their organisations and the business community as a whole. The events that we have been able to hold as part of the 50 year celebrations are testament to the achievements of our graduates, our alumni, and the enduring impact of the University of Galway MBA.” 


Professor Kate Kenny, MBA Programme Director at University of Galway, said: "As Programme Director, it was an honour and a pleasure to welcome so many MBA alumni, current students, faculty and even our founding Programme Director Professor Jim Doolan. During the day, I appreciated the rich insights from our panellists, on all manner of leadership learnings and challenges overcome since their time on campus as MBA students. But my stand-out memory is the strong sense of camaraderie and friendship among classes, past and present."


The University of Galway MBA is accredited by AMBA, the global mark of excellence for MBA education. 


The two-year part-time executive leadership programme enables participants to prepare for accelerated career progression while also applying learning in their organisation from the start of the programme, with graduates going on to senior leadership roles across a broad range of sectors.  


For further information about the MBA at University of Galway visit  



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