UCD International’s redesigned website has won the Best Education and Third Level Website at the recent Realex Fire Irish Web Awards held on the 6th of November.

The new site was launched at the beginning of 2013 and UCD International fended off competition several other finalists. Those included the 2012 winner from the National College of Art and Design, the full University College Cork site and consumerclassroom.eu; a European Union funded website aimed at promoting consumer education, among others.

The awards are run by communications expert Damien Mulley and 2fm DJ Rick O’Shea, who served as master of ceremonies and presented UCD International’s Marketing Executive, Lorraine Woods, with the award for UCD on the night.

UCD International Marketing Manager, Una Condron, spoke after the event about UCD International’s success in developing a website that “underpinned UCD’s place as Ireland’s Global University.”

The website serves three functions for the UCD International office. It supports current students looking to “internationalise their student experience in UCD”, informs “prospective international students looking to UCD as a destination for their studies,” and supports “new incoming international students in their transition to Ireland and their studies in UCD as well as giving these students access to [the] wider UCD International community.”

Condron emphasised the importance of having the support of a great website in attracting international students to UCD because of competition from “markets such as the USA, UK and Australia who are well established as a destination for many international students.”

Outside of these areas, UCD International also seeks to promote the “international dimensions of UCD’s identity and activity” to current students through opportunities available “with UCD Volunteers Overseas and through activity on campus and in the Global Lounge.”

This award is a major endorsement of the success of UCD International and the development team from iQ Content’s approach to improving the international experience for current and prospective UCD students.

The project was a collaborative effort in which the International Office consulted with all areas of student services to see how they could best serve the needs of students and also partner universities.

With over 400 partner schools across the world and thousands of students visiting both UCD and these partners every year, the response has been very positive. The site also utilises geo-tagging so that information received by someone browsing the website is as specific as possible to their particular needs.

The Realex Fire Irish Web Awards had 1,300 entrants this year across 29 awards, recognising achievements in areas such as News and Media, Entertainment and Arts, Technology and Social, Government, Education and Community, Commerce and Mobile, as well as Technical Awards.