On Thursday 8th March 2018 a very significant milestone in Irish higher education was reached with the enactment of the Technological Universities Bill into legislation. The importance of this legislation is reflected in the fact that one of the higher education goals specified in the Action Plan for Education 2018, was to enact the Technological Universities Bill and open the first TU in September 2018.
Cork Institute of Technology and the Institute of Technology Tralee have been working towards achieving Technological University designation and the creation of the Munster Technological University (MTU) since 2013. Both Institutes are committed to achieving Technological University status and plan to register students in the new Munster Technological University in September 2019.
Lionel Alexander, Chair of the Governing Body at IT Tralee and Bob Savage, Chair of the Governing Body at CIT stated that; “MTU will bring considerable benefits to the staff and students, as well as delivering benefits for the citizens and economy of the region. The creation of the MTU will help to position Munster and the South West as the next major region outside of Dublin, significantly boosting and enabling regional growth and development. The MTU will build on the unique strengths of both founding Institutions and will be a catalyst for the development of the Irish Higher Education system”.
Welcoming the enactment of the legislation Dr Oliver Murphy, President of IT Tralee said: “This is a historic day for us. This legislation is a key enabler facilitating us to deliver on our commitment to transform Irish Higher Education. We believe Munster Technological University presents a once in a generation opportunity to bring about a change that will enrich and improve the social, academic, and economic vibrancy of the region and beyond”.
Dr Barry O’Connor, President of CIT added: “We welcome the passage of the TU Bill as a major milestone in the development of the Higher Education landscape in Ireland allowing the structured development of the technological education sector in Ireland, serving regional and national needs in terms of teaching, research, enterprise and community engagement. Attaining the status of ‘Technological University’ will be due recognition of the continuous upwards trajectory in the sector which has been developed through the dedicated commitment of our staff. The success and highly regarded contribution of our graduates within enterprise, business and the community generally is clear testament to the status already achieved by both CIT and IT Tralee. The planned-for designation as a TU will further enhance this reputation nationally and internationally“.
Resources and structures have been put in place to successfully deliver the programme of change required to make the MTU a reality and the project has received dedicated funding from the HEA to facilitate this work. The MTU Project Office has been established to oversee the successful delivery of the project.