23 February, 2018 - Minister Bruton endorses Cross Border Education Alliance

Minister visits Donegal to endorse new partnership between North/South higher and further education providers.

The Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton T.D. today visited Letterkenny to endorse a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Ulster University, North West Regional College and Donegal ETB.

The new agreement is a commitment to establishing a strategic alliance between the education providers, with a view to increasing collaboration north and south of the border. Today’s announcement is of particularly importance in the context of Brexit and is of great significance to the region.

The MoU builds on previous work undertaken between the education and training providers in the area of student mobility and commits to working closely together to consolidate the existing collaboration and further support regional growth, achieve better education, training, innovation and R&D outcomes for the region North West region.

Minister Bruton also opened a new school building for Letterkenny ETNS, while in Donegal. The new 24 classroom building will cater for over 200 students in the area.

Speaking at the signing of the MoU, Minister Bruton said, “Today’s announcement is a fantastic development for the North West region. This new partnership will greatly enhance collaboration between the education and training providers in key areas such as research, innovation and education and training.

“Brexit will pose a significant challenge to our higher and further education institutions. Through our Action Plan for Education, which aims to make Ireland’s education system the best in Europe within a decade, we are preparing our education and training providers to respond to this challenge. Talent drives the success of any region and strong hubs will be the engine of regional development. Today’s partnership is a very welcome development, which will have a really significant impact on the North West region.”

This is an initiative of the North West Strategic Growth Partnership, in partnership with the Higher and Further Education and Training Institutions of the North West City Region. 

Note for Editors

The North West Strategic Growth Partnership is led by Derry City and Strabane District Council and Donegal County Council and supported by the International Centre for Local and Regional Development (ICLRD). It is a unique interjurisdictional structure, endorsed by both Governments through the North South Ministerial Council. The NWSGP consists of Council senior leadership and senior government officials from across Government administrations in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland who meet bi-annually to bring about real and positive change for the North West City region.  Using international best practice in place-based leadership for development, The NWSGP provides a joined-up forum and implementation space for collaborative working to release the full potential of the North West City Region. 

The MoU is the result of years of successful collaborative working between the education sector providers – the Ulster University (UU), Letterkenny Institute for Technology (LYIT), the North West Regional College (NWRC) and Donegal Education and Training Board (ETB) - with the aim of improving access to third level education and training to students living and studying in the North West City region.

Ulster University (UU)

As Northern Ireland’s civic university, Ulster University is grounded in the heart of the community and strives to make a lasting contribution to society as a whole. Renowned for its world class teaching, Ulster aims to transform lives, stretch minds and develop the skills required by a growing economy.

Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT)

LYIT attracts a mix of 43,000 students both from the local area and from across the globe. Modern integrated campuses in Letterkenny and Killybegs encourage strong academic learning and career focused practical experience.

North West Regional College (NWRC)

The North West Regional College is the largest provider of professional and technical education and training across the city region with some 15,000 full time and part time enrolments.

Donegal Education and Training Board (ETB)

Donegal ETB is the county’s largest provider of a broad range of educational and Training Services including further education and training services for 12,000 full-time and part-time learners; 15 post primary schools and colleges (5,000 plus students), outdoor education and training, music education and co-ordination of youth service provision.