Friday, 18th October 2019
Press Statement by Hildegarde Naughton TD
Fine Gael, Galway West and South Mayo
Funding of €2 million has been allocated towards the ongoing development of a technological university incorporating Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), Sligo IT and Letterkenny IT.
A further €1.14 million is being provided for the planned integration of NUI Galway with St. Angela’s in Sligo as part of the national strategy to develop regional clusters for teacher education.
Fine Gael TD for Galway West Hildegarde Naughton welcomed the investment, and said that the development of technological universities is a hugely significant strategy that will unlock the potential of the country’s ITs.
“A total of €38 million has now been provided to institutes of technology seeking designation as technological universities, and a further €90 million has been earmarked for this purpose between 2020 and 2022,” she explained.
“That’s an indication of the importance and value of this strategy, not just to the ITs involved, but to the regions in which they are located. It will unlock the potential of these institutes, but will also have a significant positive impact on regional socio-economic development,” added Deputy Naughton.
A total of €14 million has been allocated for the restructuring of the higher education landscape under as part of the latest announcement. Some €11.8 million of this relates to the creation and expansion of technological universities.
“Technological universities will provide exciting new pathways to higher education for students, while also enhancing the research potential of ITs, and their ability to respond to specific labour market demands,” said the Galway West TD.
“The development also has the potential to invigorate regional economies, and therefore is closely aligned with this Government’s firm commitment to balanced regional development.”
The Connacht Ulster Alliance, which comprises GMIT, Sligo IT and Letterkenny IT, is currently in the early stages of developing its proposals for integration, with a view to submitting an application in the course of the 2020/21 academic year.
Commenting on the announcement, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, minister of state with responsibility for higher education, said that technological universities would become “anchors” in their communities as well as catalysts for local economies as employers and incubators for industry and technology.
“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 stated.