The Presidents of the Connacht-Ulster Alliance (CUA) institutes, Dr Orla Flynn, GMIT, Paul Hannigan, LYIT, and Dr Brendan McCormack, IT Sligo, warmly welcome the announcement of €5.7m under the HEA Technological University Transformation Fund (TUTF) as the CUA works to become a TU for the West and North-West of Ireland.
The funding is part of a €34.33m package announced this week by the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, to help Higher Education institutes in their progression towards Technological University status.
Minister Harris said: “The creation of Technological Universities is a key commitment within the Programme for Government and will deliver significant advantages to national priorities in relation to Higher Education access, research-informed teaching and learning, as well as supporting enterprise and regional development”.
“The unparalleled Government investment of €34.33m this year and €90m over the lifetime of the Fund, will establish TUs across all regions capable of delivering national strategic objectives in accordance with the TURN report vision. This investment will help deliver for the benefit of their regions, communities and Ireland internationally.”
Dr Orla Flynn, GMIT President, said “The CUA partners have been working very hard together to prepare an application for Technological University designation and this funding will be a key enabler; we remain focused on the challenge of serving the educational needs of the region, and engaging with all our internal and external stakeholders as part of this process.”
Paul Hannigan, LYIT President, added “We are delighted to receive this support, this support is vital in the preparation of our submission and we welcome this further endorsement from the HEA and from the government.”
Dr Brendan McCormack extended his gratitude to Minister Harris, the HEA and the Department for their continued support, “this substantial allocation of funding is a vote of confidence in the CUA as we continue to work together towards becoming a Technological University for the west and north-west. This funding will ensure our combined efforts will see this vision become a reality in 2021.”
“The increased level of funding to support the development of a Technological University in the West and North West is testimony to the significant contribution the TU will make to the region and the collaboration shown by each of the three institutes to make the university a reality”, said Dr Seán Duffy, Executive Project Lead, CUA.
The new TU for the West and North-West will be one of the largest multi-campus universities on the island, bringing together students, enterprise and communities spanning a unique geographical region on the periphery of Europe which has a predominantly dispersed rural population.
It will expand learning opportunities, increase access to Higher Education by offering programmes from pre-degree to doctoral level, providing a full spectrum of learning environments, on campus, online and remote (including blended delivery during these Covid-19 times) along with access to emerging technologies.
The new TU will continue and increase collaborative partnerships with Further and Higher Education institutions and organisations in the public and private sectors across the region, and provide research-informed teaching for all learners.
As a TU of scale, quality and impact, graduates of our new TU will have excellent employment potential nationally and internationally.