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It was founded with the college and first endowed by James Ussher —56 , Archbishop of Armagh, who endowed his own valuable library, comprising several thousand printed books and manuscripts, to the college. The Book of Kells is by far the Library's most famous book and is located in the Old Library, along with the Book of Durrow , the Book of Howth and other ancient texts.

Also incorporating the Long Room, the Old Library is one of Ireland's biggest tourist attractions and holds thousands of rare, and in many cases very early, volumes. In the 18th century, the college received the Brian Boru harp , one of the three surviving medieval Gaelic harps, and a national symbol of Ireland, which is now housed in the library. The Glucksman Library contains half a million printed maps, the largest collection of cartographic materials in Ireland. This includes the first Ordnance Surveys of Ireland, conducted in the early 19th century.

It was opened on May 23, by Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar. The six-storey building, built adjoining the Naughton Institute on the College's Pearse St side, includes an Innovation and Entrepreneurial hub , a seat auditorium, "smart classrooms" with digital technology, and an "executive education centre. Patrick Prendergast has been the Provost since The body corporate of the college consists of the provost, fellows and scholars.

The college is governed according to its statutes which are, in effect, the College Constitution. Statutes are of two kinds, those which originally could only be amended by Royal Charter or Royal Letters Patent, and which now can only be changed by an Act of the Oireachtas and those which can be changed by the board but only with the consent of the Fellows. When a change requires parliamentary legislation, the customary procedure is that the Board requests the change by applying for a Private Bill. For this, the consent of the whole Body Corporate is needed, with Scholars voting alongside Fellows.

An example of a change that requires parliamentary legislation is an alteration to the composition of the Board. This last happened when the governance of the college and university was revised and restated by an Act of the Oireachtas in The Provost serves a ten-year term and is elected by a body of electors consisting essentially of all full-time academic staff, and a very small number of students.

Originally the Provost was appointed for life. While the Provost was elected by the Fellows at the start, the appointment soon became a Crown one, reflecting the growing importance of the college and of the office of provost, which became both prestigious and well paid. However, as time passed it became customary that the appointments were only made after taking soundings of college opinion, which meant mostly the views of the Board.

With the establishment of the Free State in , the power of appointment passed to the Government. It was agreed that when a vacancy occurred the college would provide a list of three candidates to the Government, from which the choice would be made. The college was allowed to rank the candidates in order of preference and in practice, the most preferred candidate was always appointed.

Now the Provost while still formally appointed by the Government is elected by staff plus student representatives, who gather in an electoral meeting, and vote by exhaustive ballot until a candidate obtains an absolute majority; the process takes a day. The Provost takes precedence over everyone else in the college, acts as the chief executive and accounting officer and chairs the board and council. The provost also enjoys a special status in the University of Dublin.


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Fellows and scholars are elected by the board. Fellows were once elected for life on the basis of a competitive examination.

The number of fellows was fixed and a competition to fill a vacancy would occur on the death or resignation of a fellow. Originally all the teaching was carried out by the Fellows. Fellows are now elected from among current college academics, serve until reaching retirement age, and there is no formal limit on their number. Only a minority of academic staff are fellows. Election to fellowship is recognition for staff that they have excelled in their field and as such, amounts to a promotion for those receiving it.

Any person appointed to a professorship who is not already a fellow, is elected a fellow at the next opportunity.

Scholars continue to be selected by competitive examination from the Undergraduate body. The Scholarship examination is now set according to the several undergraduate courses. So there is a scholarship examination in History, or in Mathematics or Engineering, and so forth. The Scholarship examination is taken in the second year of a four-year degree course though, in special circumstances, such as illness, bereavement, or studying abroad during the second year, permission may be given to sit the examination in the third year.

In theory, a student can sit the examination in any subject, not just the one they are studying. They hold their Scholarship until they are of "MA standing" that is, three years after obtaining the BA degree. So most are Scholars for a term of five years.

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Fellows are entitled to residence in the college free of charge; most fellows do not exercise this right in practice, with the legal requirement to provide accommodation to them being fulfilled by providing an office. Scholars are also entitled to residence in the college free of charge, they also receive an allowance, and have the fees paid for courses they are taking within the college. However, due to pressure on college accommodation, Scholars are no longer entitled as they once were to free rooms for the full duration of their scholarship should they cease to be students.

Fellows and Scholars are also entitled to one free meal a day, usually in the evening "Commons". Scholars retain the right to free meals for the full duration of their scholarship even after graduation, and ceasing to be students, should they choose to exercise it. Aside from the Provost, Fellows and Scholars, Trinity College has a Board dating from , which carries out general governance. Originally the Board consisted of the Provost and Senior Fellows only.

There were seven Senior Fellows, defined as those seven fellows that had served longest, Fellowship at that time being for life, unless resigned. Over the years a representational element was added, for example by having elected representatives of the Junior Fellows and of those Professors who were not Fellows, with the last revision before Irish Independence being made by Royal Letters Patent in At that time there were, as well as the Senior Fellows, two elected representatives of those Professors that were not Fellows and elected representatives of the Junior Fellows.

Over the years, while formal revision did not take place, partly due to the complexity of the process, a number of additional representatives were added to the Board but as "observers" and not full voting members. These included representatives of academic staff who were not Fellows, and representatives of students. In practice all attending Board meetings were treated as equals, with votes while not common, being taken by a show of hands.

But it remained the case, that legally only the full members of the Board could have their votes recorded and it was mere convention that they always ratified the decision taken by the show of hands. This was introduced separately from the Universities Act It states that the Board shall comprise:. The fellows, non-fellow academic staff as well as non-academic staff are elected to serve for a fixed term. The four student members are the President, Education Officer and Welfare Officer of the Students' Union and the president of the Graduate Students' Union all ex officio and are elected annually for one-year terms.

The two significant changes are that the Senior Fellows are no longer on the Board and that two members of the Board are now drawn from without the college. There is a Council dating from , which oversees academic matters. All decisions of the Council require the approval of the Board, but if the decision in question does not require a new expenditure, the approval is normally formal, without debate.

The Council had a significant number of elected representatives from the start, and was also larger than the Board, which at that time, continued to consist of the Provost and seven Senior Fellows only. The Council is the formal body which makes academic staff appointments, always, in practice on the recommendation of appointments panels, but which have themselves been appointed by the Council.

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An illustration of the relationship between the Board and the Council, is where a decision is made to create a new professorial chair. As this involves paying a salary, the initial decision to create the chair is made by the Council, but the decision to make provision for the salary is made by the Board, consequently, the Board might overrule, or defer a Council decision on grounds of cost. The University of Dublin was modelled on University of Oxford and University of Cambridge in the form of a collegiate university , Trinity College being named by the Queen as the mater universitatis "mother of the university".

As no other college was ever established, the college is the sole constituent college of the university and so Trinity College and the University of Dublin are for most practical purposes synonymous.

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However, the actual statutes of the university and the college [47] grant the university separate corporate legal rights to own property and borrow money and employ staff. Moreover, while the board of the college has the sole power to propose amendments to the statutes of the university and college, amendments to the university statutes require the consent of the Senate of the university.

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Consequently, in theory, the Senate can overrule the Board, but only in very limited and particular circumstances. However, it is also the case that the university cannot act independently of the initiative of the Board of Trinity College. The most common example of when the two bodies must collaborate is when a decision is made to establish a new degree. All matters relating to syllabus, examination and teaching are for the college to determine, but actual clearance for the award of the degree is a matter for the university.

In the same way, when an individual is awarded an Honorary Degree, the proposal for the award is made by the Board of Trinity College, but this is subject to agreement by a vote of the Senate of Dublin University. All graduates of the university who have at least a master's degree are eligible to be members of the Senate, but in practice, only a few hundred are, with a large proportion being current members of the staff of Trinity College.

The college also has an oversight structure of two visitors, the chancellor of the university, who is elected by the Senate, and the judicial visitor, who is appointed by the Irish Government from a list of two names submitted by the Senate of the university. The current judicial visitor is the Hon.

Justice Maureen Harding Clark. In the event of a disagreement between the two visitors, the opinion of the chancellor prevails. The visitors act as a final "court of appeal" within the college, with their modes of appointment giving them the needed independence from the college administration. Trinity College has also been associated in the past with a number of other teaching institutions. The university has been linked to parliamentary representation since , when James I granted it the right to elect two members of parliament MPs to the Irish House of Commons.

Notable representatives have included Edward Gibson , W. This was expanded in to include those who had received an M. Each faculty is headed by a dean there is also a Dean of Postgraduate Studies , and faculties are divided into schools, of which there were 24 as of Since , Trinity College's Science Department has established and operated a scheme for second-level students to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The programme was centred upon a pedagogic principle of "developing capacity for learning autonomy".

The club was set up with a specific ethos around the mentoring of STEM subjects, and not as a grinds school. It has also diversified beyond its traditional weekly club structure, running camps during school holidays to offer an opportunity to study STEM to those unable to join the club. Students, or alphas as they are dubbed in honour of the eponymous physicist, develop projects in the Club, with innovations pioneered there including a health-focused electroencephalogram.

Most undergraduate courses require four years of study. First-year students at the undergraduate level are called Junior Freshmen; second years, Senior Freshmen; third years, Junior Sophisters; and fourth years, Senior Sophisters. After a proposal in by the SU Equality Committee, a three-year process changing the titles of first and second years to Junior and Senior Fresh was approved by the Trinity College Board.

The passing of two sets of examinations is a prerequisite for a degree. Junior and Senior Freshmen sit preliminary annual exams in Trinity Term of each year which must be passed so that they "rise" to the year above. At the end of the Junior Sophister year, undergraduates sit Part I of the Moderatorship exams, subject to attaining an upper-second, [ citation needed ] allows them to take an Honours degree and sit the Part II Final of the Moderatorship exams.

Successful candidates receive first-, upper or lower second-, or third-class honours, or simply a "pass" without honours if they perform insufficiently in Part I of the Moderatorship.

Most non-professional courses take a Bachelor of Arts BA degree. As a matter of tradition, bachelor's degree graduates are eligible, after nine terms from matriculation and without additional study, to purchase for a fee an upgrade of their bachelor's degree to a Master of Arts. The four-year degree structure makes undergraduate teaching at Dublin closer to the North American model than that of other universities in England and Ireland Scottish universities generally also require four years of study for a bachelor's degree.

Degree titles vary according to the subject of study. The Law School awards the LL. The BSc degree is not in wide use although it is awarded by the School of Nursing and Midwifery; most science and computer science students are awarded a BA. At postgraduate level, Trinity offers a range of taught and research degrees in all faculties.

Trinity College's Strategic Plan sets "the objective of doubling the number of PhDs across all disciplines by in order to move towards a knowledge society. In order to achieve this, the college has received some of the largest allocations of Irish Government funding which have become competitively available to date. In addition to academic degrees , the college offers Postgraduate Diploma non-degree qualifications, either directly, or through associated institutions. The academic year is divided into three terms.