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ITs can't 'rebrand' themselves universities

IRELAND won't tolerate a Thatcherite-style re-branding of Ireland's 14 institutes of technologies (ITs) into universities, Education Minister Ruairi Quinn has warned.

The Dublin TD has insisted that education standards will not be allowed to slip as ITs who merge and lead to a situation where "the name over the door is simply changed".

He said that the new technology universities will be subjected to stringent rules and must achieve specified academic goals before they can be formally rebranded.

But he stressed that significant progress remains to be achieved before they can be formally dubbed a technology university for the southeast.

And he said that the first of Ireland's new technology universities will not be created until at least 2018.


The warning came as he paid tribute to Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) and Carlow Institute of Technology (CIT) who have agreed to merge and have made major strides towards achieving university standards.

"I would say [it will be] something to the order of three to four years at least," Mr Quinn said.

Mr Quinn said IT mergers and technology universities reflect 21st Century Ireland.

"What we wanted to get was a much more efficient and much more effective system. The RTCs were set up in the 1970s and Ireland was a very different place then."