02 July, 2018 - Minister Bruton & Mitchell O’Connor welcome TU4Dublin application

DIT, IT Blanchardstown and IT Tallaght come together in bid to become first Technological University in Ireland

The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D., and the Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D., today welcomed receipt of the HEA’s report and recommendation on the application from Technological University for Dublin Alliance (TU4Dublin) to seek designation.

The TU4Dublin consortium comprises Dublin Institute of Technology, Institute of Technology Blanchardstown and Institute of Technology Tallaght. If designated, TU4Dublin will be the first technological university (TU) in Ireland.

The creation of Technological Universities is part of the government’s plan to drive regional economic growth and development under Ireland Project 2040 and to make Ireland the best education and training service in Europe by 2026.

In welcoming the stage that the TU4Dublin has reached, Minister Bruton said “Technological Universities are a crucial part of this government’s drive to build strong regional hubs, which will be the engine of our economy. I welcome this application, as a key stage in the process and I will now consider the submission. It is my intention to communicate my proposed decision to TU4Dublin by the end of July.”

Minister Mitchell O’ Connor said “The application represents a significant milestone for TU4Dublin and all those involved, whose extensive work and commitment over the last few years has brought the project to this point.” 

Following consideration of the HEA’s report and recommendation the Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton T.D., will notify TU4Dublin of his proposed decision regarding the establishment of the TU4Dublin.

Consistent with legislative requirements, the Minister’s final decision will be made following receipt of any representations made from the TU4Dublin consortia.

Note for Editors

As set out in the Technological Universities Act 2018, when considering the report, the Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton T.D., will have regard to the following matters;

(a)   that the needs of students, business, enterprise, the professions, the community, local interests and other stakeholders in the region in which the campuses of the applicant institutes are located would be more efficiently and effectively served by the proposed technological university;

(b)   if the projected demand, based on demographic trends, for higher education in the region in which the campuses of the applicant institutes are located would justify the making of the order to establish a technological university;

(c)   if sufficient financial resources are available to the applicant institutes to meet projected costs arising on the making of the order to establish a technological university;

(d)   the proposed technological university would be financially viable if the order were made; and

(e)   if making the order would comply with such policies of the Government that relate to higher education.

There are currently four consortia of Institutes of Technology engaged with the developmental process seeking to become designated as technological universities.  

The TU4Dublin consortium comprising Dublin Institute of Technology, Institute of Technology Blanchardstown and Institute of Technology Tallaght.

The Munster Technological University (MTU) consortium comprising Cork Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Tralee.

The Connacht Ulster Alliance (CUA) consortium comprising Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Institute of Technology Sligo and Letterkenny Institute of Technology.

The Technological University for the South-East (TUSE) consortium comprising Waterford Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Carlow. 

Each consortium is at a different stage in the process. Progress is related to the scale of each undertaking, to historical relationships, and to the starting point of each group and the challenges they have faced along the way. Each project is prioritising particular actions in order to make best progress.

Between 2013 – 2017, some €10 million in Exchequer funding was provided to the four consortia seeking to develop TU’s as follows:

 HEA Funding

   Total to date

DIT/ITT/ ITB (TU4D)

€4,876,667

CIT/IT Tralee (MTU)

€2,296,667

IT Sligo/LYIT/GMIT   (CUA)

€2,122,000

WIT/IT Carlow   (TUSE)

€720,000

 TOTAL

€10,015,334

€10 million was provided in Budget 2018 for landscape restructuring including TU consortia development. The HEA issued a call on 26th March 2018 for further funding submissions of €10 million to TU development consortia with the final date for receipt of submissions the 26th April 2018. The final allocation of the 2018 funding call will be dependent on the type and quality of bids received from HEIs and subject to demonstrated progress in agreed project plans.

Estimates of €8 million are also being provided for in the Department of Education and Skill’s indicative estimates for 2019 and 2020 for TU development and other landscape higher education restructuring projects.