Deering Welcomes Important Next Step Towards University

31st May, 2013

Carlow Fine Gael TD, Pat Deering, has welcomed the announcement of a major re-organisation of the country’s higher education sector that includes provision for the creation of new Technological Universities.

 This announcement follows recommendations made by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) to Education Minister Ruairi Quinn. The HEA ‘s report  called for consolidation of the Institute of Technology  (IT) sector;  the creation of a small number  of technological universities ;  the formation of regional clusters between universities and stronger  ITs ; implementation of recommendations to rationalise teacher education; as well as increased sustainability and capacity in the higher education system.

 A new relationship between the state and the 39 publicly funded higher education institutes will be implemented. This will allow the system to respond in a more coherent way to national priorities set down by the Government and provide graduates with the skills and qualifications that are essential for Ireland’s social and economic well-being. A new performance framework will be put in place to increase the transparency and accountability of institutions for delivery of agreed performance outcomes.   Integral to this will be a process of strategic dialogue between the HEA and each higher education institution”.

” I welcome this announcement of this major reorganisation of the HEA. Furthermore the Minister has instructed the HEA to begin to implement the report’s recommendations that will result in the consolidation of three groups of institutes of technology to progress towards attaining Technological University status. This list includes the Technological University of the South East, a joint application by The Waterford Institute of Technology and Carlow Institute of Technology. The next stage for each of the applications will be the preparation of a plan to meet the criteria for Technological University status that must be based on a legally binding memorandum of understanding between each consortium of institutions describing their consolidation into a new single institution.

“The plans will be evaluated by an independent expert international panel that will decide if the applicant can meet the agreed criteria in the proposed timetable and can proceed to the final stage. This is an important next step, I’m sure both Colleges will seize this opportunity and push their case forward and hopefully this joint venture which would be of enormous benefit to the whole South East will soon come to fruition.