Minister Mitchell O’Connor said, “This is a transformative piece of legislation and I am delighted that it is now enacted. The Technological Universities legislation has been a high priority for this Government and will radically change the higher education landscape.
“The legislation will underpin the development of a new type of higher education institution, building on the strengths and mission of institutes of technology to develop world class technological universities.”
She went on to say “The creation of technological universities provides the opportunity to drive regional development and provide more opportunities for individuals, enterprise and the community. These institutions will have significant impact and influence regionally, nationally and internationally.
“I know that the Institute of Technology sector has been waiting for the enactment of this legislation before applications for Technological University status could be submitted by the consortia of Institute of Technologies who have come together.
“I am excited about the prospects for all regions with a Technological University. The presence of a Technological University, with a specific mandate towards regional development will have a transformative effect on communities. Enhanced higher education institutions will deliver the skilled and talented people that sustain enterprise and new investments. Ultimately it will make these areas more attractive places to live, raise a family in and work.”
Following enactment of the legislation, the next step in the process is for applications for TU status to be submitted to the Higher Education Authority for assessment by an international panel of experts. These will be submitted by consortia of existing Institutes of Technology, which have come together to seek TU status.
The Minister looks forward to the first of these applications being submitted in the coming months with a view to the establishment of the first Technological University in the current year.