04 July, 2017 - Ministers welcome progress made by GMIT Working Group

The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, TD, and the Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, have welcomed the significant progress being made by the Working Group that has been established to secure the future of the GMIT campus in Castlebar.

The Working Group, which will report to the Higher Education Authority in September 2017, has met four times since its establishment in March this year.

The Working Group, which is chaired by the HEA, has engaged with a wide range of key local stakeholders including students, staff of GMIT, the Executive Board and Governing Authority of GMIT, local public representatives, industry and employer groups, cultural institutions, as well as a range of other individuals and groups that are committed to the future of the GMIT Mayo campus.

Acknowledging the significant contribution made by these representatives, Minister Bruton reaffirmed the purpose of the Working Group:

“I announced the establishment of this Working Group, together with Deputy Enda Kenny, with the specific objective of safeguarding the long term future of the Castlebar campus of GMIT. Regional campuses like the Castlebar Campus have a vital role to play in developing economic growth and driving regional development.

“To ensure the long term future of the Castlebar campus, the Working Group has consulted with a wide range of stakeholders. I would like to thank all of those who have contributed to the process to date and who have given so much of their time and commitment to support the Working Group. These consultations will inform the action plan that will be developed for the future of the Castlebar campus”.

Minister O’Connor expressed her satisfaction at the progress being made by the Working group:

“I am confident that the Working Group will develop a plan by end September that will provide a road map for the future of the Castlebar campus of GMIT. This will require continued commitment from all of those who have engaged with the Working Group to date. All of the stakeholders involved, as well as the HEA and my own Department, will have an important role to play in shaping the development of this strategy and then assisting in its implementation.”

The Chair and President of GMIT have affirmed the commitment of the Institute to finding a viable development plan for the Mayo Campus.

In order to underline the commitment to the future of the Castlebar campus, the Working Group has received assurances from GMIT that no further operational decisions will be taken by GMIT that would impact on its work. This includes an assurance that no further programmes will be discontinued on the Mayo campus, and that the protections in relation to the agreed arrangements contained in the public service agreements in relation to redeployment will continue to apply while the Working Group is preparing its report.

The Working Group has now concluded its initial consultation phase and will begin to draft a plan for the future of the campus. The Working Group will report to the Finance Committee of the HEA by end September. Following approval by the HEA, the report will then be submitted to the Department of Education and Skills.

 

ENDS

Notes to Editor

Membership

Membership of the GMIT Working Group comprises representatives of GMIT, students and staff representatives, the Department of Education and Skills and the HEA. Other staff members from GMIT, DES and the HEA are assisting as required. The Working Group is chaired by the HEA and the HEA provides administrative support to the Group.

Terms of reference of Working group

1. Objectives:

i. To formulate a plan towards a sustainable future and growth options for GMIT Mayo Campus, Castlebar.

2. Authority and Timelines:

i. The Working Group will provide a report to the HEA’s Finance Committee by the end of Q3-2017.

ii. The process will include:

            - As an objective, developing a plan for a sustainable future and growth options for GMIT Mayo Campus, Castlebar;

            - To this end, identify the key current and prospective opportunities and a roadmap to       develop these;

iii. Including an Implementation Plan in order to get there

Next steps

The next meeting of the Working Group is scheduled for 18th. August.