A view from Arranmore Island courtesy of Nicolas Loncle
A view from Arranmore Island courtesy of Nicolas Loncle

Students from Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge (Dublin City University) recently collaborated with the island of Árainn Mhór, the island language planner, the island council, Three Ireland, Grow Remote and Hexa studios to create a digitally inspired, cultural solution to local challenges. Over the course of three days, students studying business, management, technology, entrepreneurship and marketing, through the medium of Irish, took part in an online hackathon.

Students were presented with three challenges by the islanders and had two working days to design and propose solutions to the challenges. The challenges all had a digital and local focus. On the third day the students gave pitches based on their solutions and after some discussions a winning team was selected. It is hoped that this collaboration between the students, the island community and industry representatives can instigate thought about new ideas and solutions for Árainn Mhór and its community.

The participants focused on three themes identified by members of the island community, how insights from datasets and other research might assist in promoting Arranmore as a remote work destination. How It might help promoting the repopulation of Arranmore, and how the digital profile of a visitor to Arranmore could be leveraged to market the island as a tourist destination. The hackathon received over 600,000 impressions on social media, and generated national media coverage. One student business plan to be rolled out involves third level students going on work placement or internships with global companies, while working remotely from the island; this will bring economic activity to the island by way of rented accommodation and office space and potentially  promote the island as a digital hub. There is also a proposal to roll out the Hackathon on a nationwide basis to broaden its reach.

Meanwhile LYIT has launched a new video showcasing all that the institution has to offer international students. John Andy Bonar vice president for Research Equality and External Affairs at LYIT spoke about the many benefits of attending LYIT and in particular about Colab, LYIT's innovation and Research Centre. He said:  "Colab is inspiring and supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs establish their business in Donegal and is home to over seventy high potential start-up companies employing over two hundred knowledge workers." The college has announced, in conjunction with other higher learning institutes across the country, the introduction of a discounted fee program to students from the United states, in consideration of the large number of the diaspora who have for generations lived and worked in America, mainly for economic reasons. This year LYIT has over 200 international students from 16 countries.

Fiona Kelly LYIT's school engagement officer described the range of courses available In LYIT and its three faculties, Science and Health, Business and Engineering. Offering 54 undergraduate programs, the college also offers over forty masters and postgraduate degrees up to PHD level. The College has built up a wide network over the years and 75% of LYIT's programs have structured work placement, in 2020, 9 out of 10 LYIT graduates found work inside four months or went on to continue their studies. Student satisfaction at the college is very high with 85% of current students rating their educational experience as good to excellent. Watch the full video here: