27 September 2017
By Mary Bermingham
Staff and students at Cork Institute of Technology and the Institute of Technology Tralee have received a letter from the respective Chairs of each Institute’s Governing Body outlining the commitment of both to achieving the goal of designation as the Munster Technological University (MTU).
CIT and IT Tralee continue to work towards achieving Technological University designation. Resources and structures have been put in place to successfully deliver the programme of change required to make the MTU a reality and the project has received dedicated funding from the HEA to facilitate this work. The MTU Project Office has been established and project directors and leaders have been appointed, with some vacancies remaining to be filled.
In the letter, Lionel Alexander, Chair of the Governing Body at IT Tralee, and Bob Savage, Chair of the Governing Body at CIT said, “The MTU will bring considerable benefits to the citizens and economy of the region as well as delivering benefits for staff and students of the new university. The creation of the MTU will help to position the South West as the next most significant region outside of Dublin”. They continued “we understand that a change of this scale will naturally bring with it concerns and issues on the part of staff, students, and other stakeholders. We sought to address these with the assurances that are contained in the integration agreement signed by both Governing Bodies. In addition, there will be ongoing engagement with all staff, students, and other stakeholders to address any further issues as they arise. A key role of the MTU Project office will be to ensure that staff and students are fully informed and consulted as the project progresses.”
Commenting on the letter, Dr Oliver Murphy President of IT Tralee, said: “I welcome this very significant letter from our respective Chairs. This is a once in a generation opportunity to bring about a change which will enrich, and improve, the social, academic, and economic life of the region and beyond. The Economic Impact Study, undertaken as part of the Business Case for establishing the MTU, demonstrated that the new University will deliver an additional €58m per annum to the region realising a combined impact of MTU in excess of €285m per annum to the South West”.
Dr Barry O’Connor, President of CIT added: “this letter highlights a significant milestone as CIT and IT Tralee work towards merging and achieving designation as the Munster Technological University. Our goal is to create a vibrant new University. The MTU will build on the considerable strengths and achievements of the two founding Institutions, with a spirit of commitment to a shared mission of service to Kerry and Cork, and the greater Munster region, continuing to be a part of the identity of the new University”.
The Technological Universities Bill will be considered by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills this Autumn with a proposed deadline for approval of the Bill by the Dáil before the end of the year.
Facts & Figures:
The legislative process for the Technological Bill 2015 commenced in January 2014 and had passed Committee Stage when the 31st Dáil was dissolved in February 2016.
On taking up office in May 2016, Minister Richard Bruton decided, having reviewed the progress of the Bill, that consultation with stakeholders was required.
The Minister indicated that following the finalisation of the consultation process, he would then advance the legislation having determined a position in relation to any matters raised as part of the consultation process. The Government Legislative Programme, published on 17 January 2017, lists the Technological Universities Bill on the Dáil Order Paper at Committee Stage.
The Minister has now received Government approval for drafting of insertions and amendments to the Technological Bill 2015 (as passed at Committee Stage).
Detailed drafting of the insertions and amendments to the Bill will now be progressed with the assistance of the Office of the Parliamentary Draftsman.