The University of Limerick was established by the State in 1972 as The National Institute for Higher Education, Limerick. Full university powers were granted by legislation enacted by the Irish Parliament in 1989. It is the first new University established since the foundation of the State. The University is located on a riverside campus at the heart of the 600 acre National Technological Park at Plassey, three miles above the ancient city of Limerick. Over 6000 full-time and 3000 part-time students are enrolled at the University. Over seventy different organisations are located on the Park and interact in a variety of ways with the teaching, research and cultural activities of the University. The development of the University has been financed by both the World Bank and the European Investment Bank, and is supported by The University of Limerick Foundation. The pursuit of excellence in teaching and research to the highest level has been the prime mission of the University from the outset. Implementation of this mission has been constantly conditioned by the belief in relevance and, as new programmes of teaching and research are introduced, particular attention is given to those areas judged to be of strategic benefit to the economic and social development of Ireland. The University of Limerick, like other new European universities, has sought from its foundation to be relevant to the times and to the nation?s needs, and to provide its students with education to the highest levels in the application as well as the acquisition of knowledge. The original Planning Board believed that professional competence is best fostered by a coupling of teaching and research with attention to real-world problems. Today, education and related research continue to be the University?s central purpose, with relevance to the practical world as a guiding principle. In pursuing its mission it is recognised that an appropriate balance between the sciences and the humanities is necessary; students avail of the modular credit system to undertake a portion of their studies outside their major field.