The NUI Galway is the largest and oldest university based in the west of Ireland, employing 2,000 staff with a 17,000 strong student population. NUI Galway is a research-led University and has an overall ranking of 284th in the QS world university rankings for 2013 and 314 in the Times Higher Education world rankings for 2013/2014. Its research & teaching infrastructure is well established, of world calibre and strongly supported. The National University of Ireland, Galway, has traditionally played a major role in marine research in Ireland due to its strategic location as a gateway to the North Atlantic and has a long history of involvement in European marine research. NUI Galway is unique in Ireland and much of Europe in that it has under the one academic roof, marine scientists, social scientists and science educationists (formal and informal) working on ocean related research.