€11.8 million has been allocated towards the growth and development of technological universities in Ireland. €90 million in total will be given in funding towards the development of technological universities between the period 2020-2022.
A total of €14.25 million in funding has been allocated under the Higher Education Authority and is to aid in “higher education landscape restructuring, consolidation and collaborative projects” according to a press release by the Department of Education and Skills.
TU Dublin, comprised of Dublin, Blanchardstown and Tallaght Institutes of Technology, received €3.8 million from the fund. €2 million has been set aside for other consortiums of Institutes of Technology such as the TUSEI (The Technological University for the South East Of Ireland) consortium made up of IT Carlow and Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT). Funding will also be given for the creation of further consortiums such as one between Athlone IT and Limerick IT.
The Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, has stated in the press release that: “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.”
While the Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor said that: “The emergence of the technological university sector is the single most important development in the higher education landscape of recent years and a very significant element of the national research agenda.”
She described technological universities as “anchors” and a “catalyst for local and regional economies as employers, and also as incubators for industry and technology.”
Dr. Patricia Mulcahy, President of IT Carlow, has thanked both ministers for the support in such an important time for the TUSEI project. The funding will enable the IT to “move to the next stage in institutional change”, and mobilise their staff, students and stakeholders.
The funding towards IT Carlow and WIT indicates confidence from the government that they will provide a university in the South East of Ireland according to the President of WIT, Professor Willie Donnelly. “This funding allocation will allow us to build on the momentum to date and accelerate the project to completion. Together with all our stakeholders across the region, we are impatient for the delivery of a much-needed university for the South East, a critical element in delivering on the Government’s ambitions for the region as set out in Project Ireland 2040 and absolutely essential to secure the economic future of the region.”