Annual Foundation Lecture 2017



“Challenges and Opportunities for Catholic Tertiary Education in Today’s Society”

was held in


on the 29th March 2017 



Professor Peter Finn, Greenpark CBS, Armagh


Principal of St Mary’s University College

Professor Peter Finn was appointed as Principal of St Mary’s University College on 25th April 2008.  St Mary’s is a high performing specialist higher education institution for teacher education and the liberal arts.  It is a College of Queen’s University, Belfast.

He attended the Christian Brothers Primary and Grammar schools in Armagh City and then received a BA (Hons) degree in Geography from Queen’s University Belfast in 1981 where he won the Dr Sarah M. Holland memorial prize for highest marks in the final examinations.  Whilst at the University he obtained colours for track and field athletics, in addition to awards for both athletic performance and administration of student sport.  He went on to obtain further academic qualifications in Social Science (MSSc by thesis) and Education (PGCE) at Queen’s, and undertook business education at the University of Ulster (DMP).

He joined St Mary’s in 1984 and after a number of years on secondment to the Northern Ireland Curriculum Council, he was instrumental in setting the College down the path of internationalisation in the early 1990s.  He has overseen the development of inter-university partnerships in Europe, the USA, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Zambia.  In 2000 he led the development of academic diversification at St Mary’s with the introduction of a BA (Hons) in Liberal Arts degree programme.
He is a member of the Council of GuildHE, the London based group of specialist universities and colleges in the UK.  He is also a member of the Department of Employment and Learning Implementation Team for internationalisation as well as the UK Erasmus Consultative Committee.
Outside of his work at St Mary’s he served as a member of the BELB for five years. He now serves on the Board of CCMS, and is Chairperson of the higher education sub-committee of the Ulster Council, GAA. 

He is a Member of the Edmund Rice Schools Trust (NI).