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About


Background

The Connacht-Ulster Alliance (CUA) was established by the three Institutes of Technology of Galway, Letterkenny and Sligo in July 2012, through the signing of a formal MoU. This was approved by each Governing Body with the support of each Academic Council. A set of ‘Guiding Principles’ has also been agreed between the three Presidents that provides a framework for engagement.

The CUA made a Stage 1 submission in March 2015, for re-designation as a Technological University (TU) and received the approval of the Minister for Education and Skills in October 2015 to proceed to Stage 2 of the process.

In June 2016, the HEA awarded €0.757 million to the CUA as a 50% contribution of the direct costs incurred in 2016 in pursuit of the CUA project. Further funding of €1.2m was provided in December 2017.

Established as Regional Technical Colleges in the early 1970s, the CUA partners have made a substantial contribution to raising the educational profile of the region and to attracting innovative enterprises; and have demonstrated their capacity to evolve to meet regional needs. The CUA is committed to evolve to meet the future needs of the region. The enhanced scale and status of a TU, will allow the CUA partners to significantly enhance the services and programmes provided to students, further widen access to higher education for the dispersed population across the region; to deepen regional embeddedness and to intensify the level of engagement with enterprises.

Ambition

It is envisioned that the Connacht-Ulster TU will be a leader and stabilising factor in the communities it serves. It will be a key producer of work-ready graduates in collaboration with employers; a key partner and driver of research and innovation; and a key attractor of investment to the region and in the retention of such investment. It will build on its current position as the national leader in blended education that combines traditional methods of delivery with state of the art online and distance learning. It will also be a provider of education to more mature learners, a nexus of continuous professional development and the leading centre for life-long learning.

Structure and Operation

The CUA project is coordinated by a Steering Committee, chaired by Martin Cronin, formerly of InterTradeIreland, Forfás and the IDA. Members include the three Presidents, Registrars and up to two additional representatives of each partner. The Steering Group has met regularly since 2012. In January 2018 four Working Groups were established in the areas of governance and mission; research and knowledge transfer; academic strategy and planning; and corporate services. The work of these groups is supported by a CUA Project Office located in Sligo.