22 July, 2019 - Minister for Education and Skills proposes decision on establishment of Munster Technological University in early 2020

Ministers McHugh and Mitchell O’Connor welcome Report of the Independent Review Panel on Munster Technological University (MTU) Application  

Ministers note significant progress made by consortium in meeting eligibility criteria 

Establishment of MTU key Government priority to deliver on regional development objectives for South-West region under Project Ireland 2040 

The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. and Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. today (22 July 2019) welcomed the report of the Independent Review Panel on the application for technological university status from the Munster Technological University (MTU) consortium comprised of Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and the Institute of Technology, Tralee (ITT).  

Minister McHugh acknowledged the substantial progress made by the MTU consortium evidenced by the Review Panel’s report in meeting the detailed quantitative criteria set out in the Technological Universities Act, 2018 for eligibility to become a technological university. The Minister noted the Review Panel’s findings and recommendations as well as the views advised by the HEA on the Panel’s report on the further progress necessary to deliver on the ambition and objectives of the MTU.   

Minister McHugh said: “The Government is strongly committed to the establishment of MTU as a key priority. I am proposing that the decision on the proposed establishment of the Munster Technological University now targeted for early 2020 will be subject to addressing the important issues set out by the Review Panel and in light of views of the HEA on the Panel’s report. 

“This approach provides the opportunity for the MTU consortium to work energetically to meet the requirements identified by the Review Panel within the six-month period recommended by the Panel. 

“On the basis of the Review Panel’s Report and the views and recommendations of the Higher Education Authority (HEA), Minister McHugh has informed CIT and ITT of his proposed decision to postpone the making of an Order establishing the MTU to early 2020.” 

Minister Mitchell O’Connor said: “I would like to thank the panel for their major contribution to this process. The report has highlighted where important work is required to ensure that MTU is founded on a clear vision and strategy for a single, cohesive and unified Technological University. 

“The submission of an application for designation as a TU and the evaluation by the Review Panel are key milestones in the journey. I know that both institutes have done an enormous amount of work to get to this stage and are committed to ensuring that the full potential of the establishment of a Technological University for Munster is realised. 

“I am confident that the two institutes, supported by the Department and the HEA will rise to the challenge of making this a reality in the coming months. I look forward to working together with CIT and ITT to achieve our shared vision of a technological university for Munster.” 

The Ministers highlighted that Government is strongly committed to the establishment of MTU as a key priority for the delivery of the regional development objectives set out in Project Ireland 2040. 

In order to underpin the delivery of the MTU, the Ministers have asked the Department and the HEA to engage intensively with the MTU consortium on the basis of a detailed roadmap responding to the Panel’s findings and by setting specific conditions, leading to a final decision on the establishment of MTU in early 2020. 

Notes for Editor 

A copy of the Review Panel’s report can be found at the following link: https://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Policy-Reports/report-of-the-international-advisory-panel-to-an-tudaras-mtu-application-for-designation-as-tu.pdf 

A copy of the independent audit of MTU application data referred to in the Review Panel’s report can be found at the following link: https://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Policy-Reports/mtu-application-metrics-report-28052019.pdf 

A copy of the HEA’s views and recommendations on the Review Panel’s report can be found at the following link: https://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Policy-Reports/hea-board-to-des-mtu.pdf