Wednesday 18 July 2018

Ireland’s first tech university gets official backing

Getty Images/iStockphoto
Getty Images/iStockphoto
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

THE first of the country’s new-style technological universities is expected to be up and running in Dublin by next year.

It will be created through a merger of Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), Institute of Technology Blanchardstown and Institute of Technology

Tallaght.

The three institutes’ bid for university status, known as the TU4Dublin project, has passed a crucial milestone after receiving official backing from

the Higher Education Authority (HEA).

The HEA made its recommendation to Education Minister Richard Bruton, after a panel of international experts agreed it met the standards laid

down in legislation.

The final decision rests with Mr Bruton, who is expected to rubber-stamp the recommendation.

He said yesterday he would make his decision known before the end of this month.

If he approves it, the country’s first technological university could be established by the end of this year, or early next, paving the way for 2019 graduates from the three institutes of technology to leave college with a university qualification.

The new-style university will offer a range of programmes, from apprenticeships to PhDs, from Grangegorman, where the new DIT campus is under development, Blanchardstown and Tallaght. Three other consortiums are also seeking designation as a TU: Munster Technological University (Cork IT and IT Tralee); Connacht Ulster Alliance (Galway-Mayo IT, IT Sligo and Letterkenny IT) and the Technological University for the South-East (Waterford IT and IT Carlow).

It’s 14 years since the concept of technological universities was mooted in the Hunt report on higher education in Ireland.

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