Connacht-Ulster Alliance Consortium to receive €90 million in funding to achieve TU status

Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), Letterkenny IT and IT Sligo, collectively known as the Connacht-Ulster Alliance (CUA) Consortium, will receive €90 million. This important multi-annual fund will aid these institutes of technology in their “ambition of becoming a Technological University” serving the west and north-west of Ireland.

Speaking on behalf of Dr Brendan McCormack, President of IT Sligo and Mr Paul Hannigan, President of Letterkenny IT, Acting President of GMIT, Dr. Michael Hannon, has welcomed the funding and acknowledged “the leadership shown by the Minister and her officials in supporting this national strategic objective.”

He added that: “A key principle underpinning the establishment of TUs is connectedness and collaboration with their region. This collaboration has been evident for some time across the higher education technological sector and more recently in the development of the Technological University Research Network (TURN) report that provided the evidence base for this €90M investment.”

This funding will also support initiatives in the CUA such as the EMPOWER programme. “EMPOWER is a programme to support women entrepreneurs and GMIT welcomes this additional funding as a support to addressing gender equity, a key government priority.”

Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor was “delighted” to announce this ”additional package in tertiary education. The sector needs this level of funding so as to be in a prime position to address digital skills needs, to focus on upskilling, reskilling and lifelong learning.”

“This fund will assist TUs in delivering significant inputs to national strategic priorities in relation to higher education access, research-informed teaching and learning excellence. It will also assist increased regional development and socio-economic progress through TUs connectedness to their regions, and their collaboration, deeply embedded and fostered over many decades, with business, enterprise and local communities.” she said.

In a press release announcing a €14.25 million fund for the development of technological universities, Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh has stated that he is “pleased to see the deepening of the connections within the Connacht Ulster Alliance between Letterkenny IT, GMIT and IT Sligo as they work towards their goal of establishing a technological university, as well as the strengthening of cross border links in the North-West. This funding package will be significant for these third level institutions to develop and align courses, push on in the field of research and ultimately progress to technological university status.”

The CUA Consortium is also set to receive €2 million from a total of €14.25 million fund under the Higher Education Authority.