MTU staff and students welcome Minister Simon Harris TD to the Kerry Campus of MTU
Minister for Further, Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, made his inaugural visit to Munster Technological University today (Monday 20th September, 2021) to tour the facilities of the MTU North Campus in Kerry. Today sees returning students (2nd to 4th year students) commence a phased return to campus since the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic. The visit provided the opportunity for the Minister to meet in person with the President of MTU, Professor Maggie Cusack, Chairman of the MTU Governing Body, Mr Jimmy Deenihan, governors and executive team, Students Union executive, staff, learners and other external stakeholders.
During the visit the Minister met with staff and students at the University’s Agricultural Centre of Excellence (ACE) whose vision is to position Ireland at the forefront of the international AgriTech industry. ACE is an industry-led new and exciting approach to AgriTech sectoral learning, development and research and uses immersive learning technologies such as e-learning and virtual reality to deliver excellence in learning and development for the AgriTech sector with potential to deliver across all of MTU’s broad portfolio of education, research and innovation. The Minister concluded his tour with a visit to the site of the proposed 9,000 square metre STEM building which will provide state-of-the-art facilities for our future learners and researchers.
Speaking during the visit Minister Simon Harris TD said: “I was delighted to finally be able to visit MTU today, and to meet with staff and students who are now returning to campus after what has been an incredibly challenging 18 months. Munster Technological University has proudly claimed its place within the higher education landscape, delivering increased scale and reach that is benefiting students in all of the surrounding counties and beyond. I would like to warmly congratulate the many people who have made this worthy aspiration a reality. It truly is a transformational event for the south and south-west, and I am certain it will continue to deliver excellence for its staff and students, while also contributing positively to the wider region.”
President of MTU, Professor Maggie Cusack, welcomed the Minister saying “On behalf of the University I would like to formally welcome Minister Harris on his inaugural visit to MTU. I am delighted to meet Minister Harris in person and particularly on this auspicious day when we commence our first academic year as MTU. This is an exciting time, but not without its challenges, as we bring staff and students back to our campuses over the semester in line with Public Health guidelines. The restrictions imposed by the COVID 19 pandemic have highlighted the importance of a student and staff experience on campus. I would like to take this opportunity to commend the Minister and his department on the support given to the Higher Education sector over the past 18 months in what has been an unprecedented time in the history of education. I look forward to continuing to work with the Minister and his Department as we emerge through these challenges together and transform as a major technological university with national and global impact.”
Chairman of the MTU Governing Body, Mr Jimmy Deenihan, welcomed the Minister’s inaugural visit:
“I am delighted to welcome Minister Harris on his inaugural visit to MTU. Today we celebrate our status as a Technological University and recognise the vital importance of MTU for the sustainable social and economic development of the South West region. MTU is enhancing the skills and opportunities of people living in the region, particularly through graduate retention and technological innovation, as well as attracting new businesses, students and others to come to the region to work and live. This in turn will bring enhanced inward investment and support local enterprise and the overall social and cultural fabric of the region”.