10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
Incoming President Don Spicer from Cork Institute of Technology, said: "It is my wish as President to see an increase in the level of participation in rugby at third level.
"To me this is a natural progression for our students who have availed of various coaching schemes provided not only by the schools, but also by clubs and the respective branches."
Belfast Metropolitan College is the new entry from Ulster this playing season. The college has in excess of 53,000 full-time and part-time students in six centres throughout the city.
They play North West Regional College, Derry in Belfast on Wednesday.
Last year's Division 1 Colleges Cup winners, Waterford Institute of Technology, play Cork Institute of Technology, again on Wednesday in Waterford.
The Institute of Technology, Carlow, last season's Division 2 winners, open their season with the first team playing University of Ulster, Coleraine at IT Carlow.
College players have also the opportunity in playing in the interpro series in December and also representing their country in early 2010 against the French Students and England Students.