Today (Wednesday 7th October 2020) sees the announcement of an allocation of €8.25m to Ireland’s newest Technological University - Munster Technological University (MTU). This funding comes as part of an overall package of €34.33m in Transformation Funding for Technological Universities (TUTF) announced by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris T.D. The fund is being allocated under the 2020 Higher Education Authority (HEA) call to assist the development and progression of technological universities.
At the announcement 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”. Minister Harris added: “The unparalleled Government investment of €34.33 million this year and € 90 million 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.”
Funding allocated through the TUTF will support the implementation of recommendations set out in the TURN group’s report “Connectedness & Collaboration enabled by Connectivity”, published in October 2019. The report sets out the case for a State change in higher education reform for the delivery of national strategic priorities. This is to be achieved through the connectedness (particularly at regional level), collaboration and connectivity of technological universities and their unique delivery of programmes across the full range of the National Framework of Qualifications from apprenticeships to doctoral degrees.
Jointly welcoming the announcement, President of CIT Dr Barry O’Connor and President of IT Tralee Dr Brendan O’Donnell said: “the allocation of €8.25m, which represents the highest allocation in the sector, strengthens our capability to play a leadership role in the strategic development of the South West region. MTU will build on the unique strengths of both founding Institutions and contribute to the realisation of the potential of the new TU sector. Serving our region, but within the context of wider national and international opportunities and challenges and delivering a strong, sustainable technological university that will meet the social and economic challenges and opportunities facing Ireland and the region is our key objective. This investment is a clear and welcomed demonstration of the Government’s continued commitment to the emerging TU sector”.
In May this year it was announced that the consortium of Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and Institute of Technology Tralee (ITT) is set to become a Technological University. MTU will be officially established on 1st January 2021 and will be Ireland’s newest Technological University.