A Boil Water Notice has been put in place as a precautionary measure following a mechanical failure at Vartry Water Treatment Plant

29th Jan 2018 – Following advice from the Health Service Executive, Irish Water and Wicklow County Council have issued a Boil Water Notice for the areas supplied by the Vartry Water Treatment Plant.

The following areas in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown are included: Corke Abbey, Woodbrook Glen, Old Connaught Avenue, Thornhill Road, Ballyman Road, Ferndale Road from its junction with Old Connaught Avenue to Allies River Road, The Dublin Road from the junction of Old Connaught Avenue to Allies River Road, and all areas off these roads.

The Boil Water Notice has been put in place as a precautionary measure to protect approximately 65,000 people served by this supply following the mechanical failure of the chlorine booster at the plant. All water treatment at the plant must have adequate chlorine levels added to the water to make it safe to drink.

Irish Water will liaise with the HSE with a view to having the Boil Water Notice removed as soon as possible. Irish Water are carrying out chlorine dosing on the supply today and have put in place a water sampling programme to test the chlorine levels in the impacted areas.

In the meantime, all customers of this supply are advised to boil water before use until further notice.

Irish Water apologises for the inconvenience caused by the imposition of the boil water notice. We will continue to work closely with Wicklow County Council, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown and Dublin City Council who run the plant on behalf of Irish Water and the HSE to monitor the supply and lift the notice as quickly as possible.

Irish Water was recently granted planning permission to upgrade the Vartry Water Treatment Plant which will restore the plant and ensure it meets all drinking water regulations and safeguards public health. The contract to construct the upgraded water treatment plant is due be awarded at the end of 2018 and construction will take two years to complete. The existing water treatment plant will then be decommissioned.

For more information and additional advice, please call our 24-hour customer care line at 1850 278 278.

Water must be boiled for:

Drinks made with water
Preparation of salads and similar foods, which are not cooked prior to eating
Brushing of teeth
Making of ice – discard ice cubes in fridges and freezers and filtered water in fridges. Make ice from cooled boiled water.

What actions should be taken:

Use water prepared for drinking when preparing foods that will not be cooked (e.g. washing salads)

Water can be used for personal hygiene, bathing and flushing of toilets but not for brushing teeth or gargling

Boil water by bringing to a vigorous, rolling boil (e.g. with an automatic kettle) and allow to cool. Cover and store in a refrigerator or cold place. Water from the hot tap is not safe to drink. Domestic water filters will not render water safe to drink

Caution should be taken when bathing children to ensure that they do not swallow the bathing water

Prepare infant feeds with water that has been brought to the boil once and cooled. Do not use water that has been re-boiled several times. If bottled water is used for the preparation of infant feeds it should be boiled once and cooled. If you are using bottled water for preparing baby food, be aware that some natural mineral water may have high sodium content. The legal limit for sodium in drinking water is 200mg per litre. Check the label on the bottled water to make sure the sodium or `Na’ is not greater than 200mg per litre. If it is, then it is advisable to use a different type of bottled water. If no other water is available, then use this water for as short a time as possible. It is important to keep babies hydrated.

Great care should be taken with boiled water to avoid burns and scalds as accidents can easily happen, especially with children.

Minister Mitchell O’Connor successfully steers the Technological Universities’ Bill through the Dáil

The Technological Universities Bill has now completed all stages in the Dáil and moves a step closer to enactment.

The Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. has secured the passage of the Technological Universities Bill through the Dáil last night.

Minister Mitchell O’Connor said, “Today marks a significant milestone in progressing this vital piece of legislation.   The Technological Universities Bill is a high priority for Government so I’m delighted to have steered the Bill successfully through the Dáil. I look forward to discussing the Bill with Senators in the coming weeks.

The legislation when enacted 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.”

The Bill is now scheduled for the next stage of the legislative process in the Seanad early next week.


Minister Mitchell O’Connor publishes Report on living conditions of College Students

Most college students feel like they ‘fit in’.

With 53% planning on continuing to study in some form after graduating.

Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. today published the Eurostudent VI study, the sixth report of its kind into how students experience university life, while visiting GMIT Mayo campus Castlebar.

Over 20,000 students attending higher education institutions were surveyed as part of the report. Overall the report found:

• High levels of overall student satisfaction with the quality of teaching the timetabling of studies and the facilities of the institution.

• Furthermore, students appear to have a clear understanding of what is expected of them from their institution.

• Students also report high levels of ‘fitting into’ higher education and appear to have few doubts that higher education was the right choice for them. This is further demonstrated by most students reporting that they would recommend their choice of programme to other students.

If we are to have the best education system in Europe by 2026, we must ensure our institutions are responding to the experience of those that use them. Reports such as these give us an invaluable insight and will contribute to future policy making.

Publishing the report, Minister Mitchell O Connor said “having access to high quality data, and hearing more from students on their experience of higher education is critical to inform sound policy decisions to ensure we are doing the right things for our student cohort. This report gives us a student perspective or ‘voice’ which is of critical importance.”

In announcing the publication of the report, Minister Mitchell O’Connor commented:

“This represents a very useful study into the social dimension of student life, and it will inform what measures we can take to ensure student success, which has so many dependencies. A priority for me as Minister of State for Higher Education, is to provide target groups outlined in the National Plan for Equity of Access 2015-2019 with more opportunities to go to college and have a world class positive student experience while there.

I want to commend the efforts of the Higher Education Authority and Insight Statistical Consulting for the attention to detail as evident in this report. I wish to thank the higher education institutions for their co-operation in facilitating the online survey and especially the students who took time to complete the survey. It has become increasingly accepted that the student perspective or ‘voice’ is critical to inform sound policy decisions in the higher education field.

The findings presented in this report will be a valuable resource for all higher education stakeholders.”


This report, which presents the findings of the sixth Eurostudent survey of over 20,000 higher education students in Ireland, provides a wealth of internationally comparable demographic, economic and social data. This data provides insights into the quality of life of the increasingly diverse student population in Irish higher education.

Eurostudent is a network of researchers and data collectors, representative of national ministries and other stakeholders who have joined forces to examine the social and economic conditions of student life in higher education systems in Europe.

The main aim of the Eurostudent project is to collate comparable data from 26 countries on the social dimension of European higher education. Eurostudent is a network of researchers and data collectors, representative of national ministries and other stakeholders who have joined forces to examine the social and economic conditions of student life in higher education systems in Europe.

The Irish study is overseen by the HEA on behalf of the Department and was undertaken by Insight Consultants. This publication will include information collated from higher education institutes on the social dimension of higher education in Ireland as provided by a survey completed by students.

It focuses on the socio-economic background and on the living conditions of students. It also investigates other interesting aspects of student life such as international mobility and employment during term-time.

This report provides results from over 20,000 students attending higher education institutions in Ireland and provides insightful information relating to the demographic profile of students, course characteristic, entry routes, accommodation, employment and other relevant issues on student life. The information collated helps us to comprehend more succinctly the quality of life of the increasingly diverse student population in Irish higher education and how this influences their learning experience.

The findings cover areas such as demographics, course characteristics, disability, college entry route, income and expenditure, accommodation, employment and student.

Further details on the report can be obtained from the Higher Education Authority.

Link to the report can be found here – http://hea.ie/assets/uploads/2018/01/HEA-Eurostudent-Survey.pdf

Minister Mitchell O’Connor announces ring fenced funding for the Castlebar campus of GMIT

The Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, TD, today 15th December 2017 published the report of the Working Group on the future of the Castlebar campus of GMIT.

The Working Group was established by the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D., and the then Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD, in March 2017. The objective of the Working group was to formulate a plan for the sustainable future of the GMIT Mayo Campus in Castlebar.

The Working Group was chaired by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and comprised representatives from GMIT, the Department of Education and Skills, and important local stakeholders such as Mayo County Council and local business interests.

The report provides a wide-ranging assessment of the context within which the Campus is currently operating, and outlines a proposed vision for the Mayo Campus, as well as a strategic and comprehensive plan to address the financial and sustainability issues which have been experienced by the GMIT Mayo Campus in recent years.

In publishing the report, Minister Mitchell O’Connor pointed to some of the measures that would be implemented by her Department to support a sustainable future for the GMIT Mayo Campus:

“I welcome the report of the Working Group. It provides a roadmap for the sustainable future of GMIT in Castlebar. My Department will be working with the HEA and GMIT to ensure that the recommendations are implemented as quickly as possible. I am pleased to announce today that I will be providing ring fenced funding of €750,000 for the Castlebar campus for each of the next five years while the plan is being implemented. I will also be providing capital funding for the replacement of the roof of the GMIT campus that is currently in need of repair. These, along with the implementation of the other recommendations by GMIT, will ensure that the future of the GMIT Castlebar campus is secured”.

Other key recommendations to be progressed by GMIT will be the recruitment of a permanent head of campus for Castlebar, the establishment of a sub-committee of the GMIT governing body to oversee the development of the Mayo campus, and the appointment of an interim independent external facilitator to work with the executive board, campus and other stakeholders to oversee the transition to the new structural and operational arrangements.

The Working Group’s recommendations will be implemented over the next five years, over the period 2018-2022, with a review of progress at the end of year 2. There will also be formal progress reports to be submitted to the GMIT Governing Body and the HEA every four months.

Minister Mitchell O’ Connor thanked those who had contributed to the Working Group report:

“I would like to thank the members of the Working Group for their participation, as well as those stakeholders who contributed to the process. This includes the Governing Body and management team of GMIT, staff and students in GMIT, and local stakeholders. I hope that we can continue to work together in implementing the recommendations in the Working Group report. The clear message from the publication of the Working Group report today is that the Castlebar campus is open for business and that it will continue to play a vital role in the years ahead in providing educational and training opportunities in the Galway Mayo region and contributing to local and regional economic growth”.


GMIT Working Group

The GMIT Working Group was chaired by the HEA and comprised representatives of GMIT, the Department of Education and Skills and the HEA. The brief of the working group was to formulate a plan towards a sustainable future and growth options for GMIT Mayo Campus, Castlebar.

The Working Group engaged extensively with the local community and business interests, staff and students of GMIT, the executive and board of GMIT, local public representatives, and other stakeholders. This included a number of meetings and open fora.

To inform the work of the Group, a base of information was gathered including an analysis of labour market needs in the region, student supply and demand, the role of the further education sector and the impact of the campus on the local and regional economy. The views of external stakeholders were sought in relation to these matters and 23 submissions were received and considered by the Working Group. These views and submissions were considered by the Working Group and have fed into its overall deliberations, resulting in the compilation of the final report.

Key recommendations of the Working Group Report:

• The appointment of a dedicated permanent head of Mayo campus at vice-president to lead the practical delivery of this plan. (Recommendation 1)
• Establishment of a sub-committee of the GMIT governing body to oversee the development of the Mayo campus.
• Greater Mayo representation on the governing body should be facilitated where possible and within relevant policy and legislative frameworks
• Appointment of an interim independent external facilitator to work with the executive board, campus and other stakeholders to oversee the transition to the new structural and operational arrangements
• New programme development to be aligned with institute and campus strategies, the regional skills audit and market research including engagement with regional employers and representative groups
• The potential for development of new apprenticeship proposals (e.g. digital media, sales skills) should be investigated
• International and postgraduate offerings to be further developed to diversify the campus income base
• A mapping exercise should be undertaken with further education to build and communicate new progression pathways
• The Mayo Campus should continue its development as a centre of excellence for lifelong learning within GMIT
• A distinct marketing plan should be developed & implemented supported by a new dedicated marketing resource , with a major re-launch campaign for 2018/19
• Part of the roof to be replaced as soon as possible
• The development of a campus enterprise development strategy
• GMIT should seek designation of the campus as eligible for additional multi-campus funding when the new HEA funding model is established
• GMIT should seek time bound ring-fenced funding to allow the plan to be fully implemented and ensure future campus sustainability
• GMIT should engage with the DES on seeking approval to participate in a voluntary redundancy scheme

Minister Mitchell O’Connor launches two QQI reports to enhance quality in Higher Education

Mary Mitchell O Connor, T.D., Minister for Higher Education, today launched two reports by the national regulator for quality in Further and Higher Education:

· Quality within higher education which is a summary report of the quality assurance and quality enhancement activities in publicly funded higher education institutions pertaining to the previous academic year; and

· Professional Body Accreditation in Higher Education Institutions in Ireland which was commissioned by QQI to establish a clearer picture of the professional accreditation landscape in Ireland.

Minister Mitchell O’Connor indicated: “These reports provide evidence of the commitment of our publicly funded higher education institutions to maintain and promote quality of teaching and learning. There are positive messages in terms of the emergence of a ‘quality’ culture within our institutions and in how our institutions are using data collated through national surveys or at institutional level to improve the student experience”.

The key findings from Quality within Higher Education include the following:

· Work is continuing across HEIs to improve the student experience, with institutions continuing to focus on initiatives aimed at enhancing the first-year experience and increasing progression rates.

· The profile of quality offices within HEIs is increasing, while Quality Assurance is also becoming an area of growing strategic importance to Irish HEIs.

· Data continues to play an increasing role in QA in Irish HEIs, with the Irish Survey of the Student Experience (ISSE) in particular providing a way for institutions to benchmark nationally.

The report on Professional Body Accreditation in Higher Education Institutions in Ireland was produced by the Professional Association Research Network (PARN) in collaboration with all the universities, institutes of technology and those private independent providers availing of accreditation for programmes from professional bodies.

The report highlights the scale of professional body accreditation activity, with over 140 professional bodies active in this area. The report highlights the benefits to higher education institutions of accreditation activity but also identifies that these engagements can be resource intensive.

Minister Mitchell O’Connor commented: “The PARN report provides for the first time a clear picture of the professional accreditation landscape in Irish higher education. I expect that it will allow QQI to identify where efficiencies can be made in the future and to explore future data sharing opportunities which will reduce the impact of such accreditation on our higher education institutions while maintaining the benefits to institutions and their students”.

The two reports are available on the QQI website www.qqi.ie

Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor turns sod on €30 million Student Accommodation Project

Minister Mitchell O’Connor today turned the sod on Oisín House at Trinity College Dublin.

The new purpose built student accommodation will comprise 250 bed spaces, disability services, retail units, a health unit, sports and recreation facilities and Estates & Facilities support space once complete. The overall floor area will be 12,110 square meters and the building will be six floors high.

The estimated cost of the project is approximately €30 million and the expected completion date is Q3, 2019. The project is being managed by Trinity College Dublin, and will be financed by the college’s own reserves and from EIB and other commercial banks.

Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor said:-
“I am delighted to have been invited by Trinity College today to turn the sod on Oisín House. A development which will play an important part, not only in the life of the University, but also in helping to reduce the difficulties that students are faced with in arranging accommodation during the current housing shortage.

“I launched the National Student Accommodation Strategy on this site last July and I am delighted to be back here today to see the progress of an important contribution to the targets set out in that plan.

“The target of 7,000 additional bed spaces will be met, if not exceeded and I am delighted to report that over 2,600 purpose built bed spaces have now been completed since launch of Rebuilding Ireland with a further 3,800 under construction and 5,000 more bed spaces either approved for planning or awaiting approval at the current time.

“Delivering purpose built student accommodation is not simply about reaching targets, it is about offering real choice to students and reducing the inevitable stresses which come with looking for somewhere to live.

“It is important to remember that students living in this accommodation will not only be members of the Trinity community, but will also become members of the local community in the Pearse Street area. I hope that this development will be an asset to this area and I have no doubt that the future residents of this accommodation will be encouraged to engage with the wider community”.


Oisín House will be built on Pearse Street to provide 250 student rooms over a Health and Sports Centre for Trinity College. The project is bedded in its Dublin location, yet is a contemporary interpretation of that environment, working to make a new vernacular for the city. The courtyard plan can be seen as a strategic extension to the sequence of Trinity squares, yet it also acts as a public city square and will serve as a public gateway between the College and the city, bringing increased life to this relatively dead section of Pearse Street.

The form is like a granite rock with an undulating stone roof folded and shaped, reflecting the mountains in distant view to the South and, at close quarters, a grouping of ordinary Georgian roofs glimpsed in the city. It feels like a solid mass externally excavated and penetrated by routes and ways through. Its materiality reflects its form and location – a board-marked concrete working plinth supporting a granite upper world – which descends to ground floor to encase it externally, revealing the concrete core at key moments.

TCD currently has a total of 1,750 PBSA units. 600 of the units are within the campus, 200 are in Goldsmith Hall on Pearse Street and there are 950 located in Dartry. The existing on campus PBSA is currently let at rates ranging from €140 – €180 per week depending on type (single, shared, ensuite etc.). Off-campus PBA are at 100% occupancy rate.

For further information about the project visit http://www.universitytimes.ie/2017/07/government-launches-accommodation-strategy-launched-promising-21000-student-beds-by-2024/


Minister Mitchell O’Connor opens IT Sligo Constance Markievicz building

• Refurbished School of Business & Social Sciences named after one of Ireland’s most influential female historical figures
• Building’s name was chosen following poll amongst students and staff of the Institute
• €7 million refurbishment provides a transformed 21st learning and teaching environment
• Officially Opened by Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D.

Institute of Technology, Sligo’s newly refurbished School of Business & Social Sciences Building was officially opened on Monday.

Students, staff and invited guests gathered in the new facility which is being named after Constance Markievicz, one of Ireland’s most influential historical figures, and who had a deep association with the North West.

The €7 million project was officially opened by the Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D.

The 4,400 square-metre refurbishment, completed in October, was designed by Rhatigan & Company Architects, Sligo and was built by Boyle Construction, Donegal. It comprises 16 classrooms/lecture theatres; eight PC labs; four Early Childhood/Creative Design Studios; two social learning areas; offices for 72 staff as well as a café and support space.

The name of the new building was chosen following an internal competition amongst students and staff of the Institute.

“We asked our students and staff for their suggestions, and the name which received most traction was Constance Markievicz,” explains Dr Michael Barrett, Head of School of Business & Social Sciences at IT Sligo.

“She is one of Ireland’s most influential female historical figures, and her name has a strong resonance in Sligo and the North West. The fact that she continues to strikes a chord with both the younger and older generations was one of the key factors in the decision to name the building after her.”

Born in February 1868, Countess Constance Markievicz (her maiden name was Gore-Booth) was a suffragette, a socialist and a leading figure in the Irish Republican movement. She was spent most of her childhood in Lissadell House in County Sligo, and played a major role in the 1916 Rising. She became first Irish female cabinet minister in Dáil Éireann, and was also the first woman to be elected to the British parliament in 1918.

Speaking at Monday’s official Minister Mitchell O’Connor said: “The scale and ambition of IT Sligo for its students and staff is neatly encapsulated in this spectacular new facility.

“In terms of infrastructural landscape, IT Sligo can justifiably lay claim to having one of the most advanced and dynamic campuses in the Institute of Technology sector today.

“This new building also marries that sense of looking to the future with celebrating the past, as reflected in naming the facility in honour of one of Ireland’s best known female historical figures.”

Dr Brendan McCormack, President of IT Sligo, said: “One of IT Sligo’s key objectives for the next five years is to create an innovative and inspiring learning and teaching environment.

“Students come to IT Sligo because they get the support to be successful in their learning and this new facility is a reflection of that ambition. It has a ‘University’ feel to it – which matches our ambition to build scale as IT Sligo moves confidently towards achieving Technological University status.”

The new external identity of IT Sligo’s Constance Markievicz building provides increased visual prominence for the northern end of the campus through the redesign of the old 1970s facades, the internal refurbishment to improve layout, natural daylight and ventilation standards whilst uplifting the internal spaces with new finishes.

The buildings approach to energy efficiency has taken into account the improvement of building fabric, reducing the requirement for heating and lighting through a reduction in elemental U-values and high efficiency plant with increased environmental control. Existing fenestration patterns have been redesigned to improve the internal daylight factor and allow natural ventilation.

The Constance Markievicz building will be home to some 1823 students and 118 staff in the Institute’s School of Business & Social Sciences.

Ireland will be hosting the 10th European Conference on Gender Equality in Higher Education

Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Minister of State with special responsibility for Higher Education today (17th November 2017) has announced that Ireland will host the 10th European Conference on Gender Equality in Higher Education.

This is the first occasion that this major biannual conference will be held in Ireland. These European conferences have since 1998 brought together hundreds of gender equality practitioners, researchers and administrators from Europe and beyond.
The conference provides an international forum to discuss and exchange information and experiences on the challenges related to gender in academia, gender equality promotion and interventions in higher education and research institutions.

The Minister stated “hosting of this conference is an ideal opportunity for Ireland to outline the advances we are making towards tackling gender inequality in our third level institutions. These conferences provide a major international meeting point of higher education researchers and policy makers, and we can learn from the experiences of colleagues in other countries, to assist us in addressing the challenges that we all face”.

The conferences provide a unique international forum for networking and the discussion and exchange of information, experiences, policies and research findings from universities, higher education institutions and non-university research institutions. The European Network on Gender Equality in Higher Education, which was established as a result of the conferences, provides an international forum to share information about good practices and experiences as well as research results concerning changes and challenges related to gender equality in academia. It connects over 500 members from over 30 countries

The Minister further stated “The Gender Equality Task Force that I recently established which builds on work done for the 2016 HEA National Review on Gender Equality in Irish Higher Education Institutions, will report in 2018. The hosting of the conference is opportune and will enable us to highlight the outcomes of both the work of the 2016 Gender review and the Task Force to both a national and international audience”.

Previous conferences were organised by a local group, consisting of a number of stakeholders. The Trinity Centre for Gender Equality and Leadership (TCGEL) will work closely with representatives from the Irish universities, Institutes of Technology and other stakeholders in framing a programme for the conference.

The first European conference on gender equality in higher education was organized in Finland by the University of Helsinki in 1998.

Since then the conferences have been held in Zürich (2000), Genoa (2003), Oxford (2005), Berlin (2007), Stockholm (2009), Bergen (2012), Vienna (2014) and Paris 2016.

Minister Mitchell O’Connor announces €6.3m allocation to support Technological University development and higher education landscape restructuring

The Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. today (Tuesday, 14 November) announced the allocation of €6.3 million in funding in support of  the ongoing restructuring of the higher education landscape including the development of consortia projects seeking to progress to designation as Technological Universities.

Minister Mitchell O’Connor said “The landscape of Irish higher education is significantly evolving. The Government continues to back this progressive evolution in higher education by all available means not least in a practical funding manner.  The latest funding allocation includes €4 million in ring-fenced funding secured in Budget 2017 for the development of technological universities and further significant funding has been secured in this regard in Budget 2018 also.”

She went on to say “The total €6.3 million in funding announced today will continue to support six significant projects. These projects will build national capacity, improve teaching and learning, the student experience, build skills supply and further strengthen the interface between higher education and industry that has been so important to Ireland’s economic recovery.

In relation to the Technological University development projects, this significant funding is of very practical assistance to consortia seeking Technological University designation. Taken together with the progression of the Technological Universities Bill, which I am bringing to Committee Stage in the Dáil tomorrow, this is further testament to the Government’s committment to make the long-sought concept of Technological Universities a reality”.

In addition to the four Technological University development consortia, the other landscape restructuring projects to which further funding has been allocated comprises the incorporation of Dublin City University, St Patrick’s College Drumcondra, Mater Dei Institute and Church of Ireland College of Education. This landscape project has created a “New DCU” pluralist teacher education centre of international relevance and scale. Finally, there is the ongoing restructuring project which has seen the successful integration of Shannon College of Hotel Management with NUI Galway and the progression of an agreement between NUI Galway and St. Angela’s College Sligo, whereby these institutions aim to create an internationally recognised centre of excellence in teacher education on Ireland’s western seaboard.


The 2012 National Strategy for Higher Education provided for substantial changes to the landscape of Irish higher education including reform of teacher education, improved institutional alignment and the development of Technological Universities.

Technological Universities will have an emphasis on the social and economic development of their regions through an emphasis on programmes at levels 6 to 8 on the National Qualifications Framework and the development and use of new knowledge through industry-focused research. Technological Universities will also enhance the pivotal national role traditionally played by the Institutes of Technology in facilitating access and progression by a wide range of students.

The National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) is a system of ten levels used to describe the Irish qualifications system. The NFQ is based on standards of knowledge, skill and competence and incorporates awards made for all kinds of learning, wherever it is gained (see: www.nfq-qqi.com/).

2017 Funding Call in support of Higher Education landscape restructuring

The HEA invited submissions for funding support in respect of the costs arising from landscape reform as part of the implementation of the National Strategy for Higher Education in October 2017. The total funding available under this call in academic year 2017/18 is c. €6.3 million. This call follows the allocation of similar landscape reconfiguration funding by the HEA in 2015/16. Further information and landscape reform is available on the HEA website at: http://hea.ie/policy/he-reform/the-changing-landscape/

Funding Allocations by Consortia 2017–2018

The 2017 – 2018 allocations are set out in the Table under. Expenditure will be subject to ongoing monitoring, review and formal approval by the HEA.

Higher Education Landscape Funding Allocations 2017–2018 (€m)
Technological University Consortia HEA to date 2017–2018
Connacht Ulster Alliance €0.92 €1.20
Munster Technological University €1.27 €1.03
TU4Dublin €2.62 €2.26
Technological University for the South-East €0.57 €0.15
Institutional Mergers    
DCU Incorporation €9.91 €1.50
NUIG Incorporation €1.65 €0.15
Totals €16.94m €6.29m


Technological Universities Consortia

There are currently four consortia of Institutes of Technology engaged with the process seeking to become designated as technological universities:

  • Connacht Ulster Alliance (CUA), consisting of Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Institute of Technology Sligo, and Letterkenny Institute of Technology
  • Munster Technological University (MTU), consisting of Cork Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Tralee
  • TU4Dublin, consisting of Dublin Institute of Technology, Institute of Technology Tallaght and Institute of Technology Blanchardstown
  • Technological University for the South-East (TUSE), consisting of Waterford Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Carlow.


Technological Universities Bill 2015

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. 

As a result of a number of issues raised regarding the Technological Universities Bill, the Department of Education and Skills, as directed by Minister Bruton, undertook consultations with stakeholders, including Trade Unions and as part of that process, a clarification document was agreed between the Department, Teachers’ Union of Ireland and the Technological Higher Education Association.   TUI members voted to accept the agreement in June 2017 and suspended their industrial action in relation to the development of Technological Universities.  A clarification document also issued to IMPACT as part of this process. The main issues covered during consultation process related to terms and conditions for staff, strengthening the regional remit of a technological university, membership of governing bodies and amendments to the application process for designation as a technological university.

Detailed drafting of the insertions and amendments to the Bill was approved by Government in July 2017 and was progressed in the interim by the Department with the assistance of the Office of the Attorney General. The Insertions and amendments to the Technological Universities 2015 Bill (As initiated) will be brought to Committee Stage in Dáil Éireann on 15 November 2017 by the Minister for Higher Education.

Library Services in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown to receive investment of over €100,000

Library services in Dún Laoghaire Rathdown are to receive €100,800 in extra funding, Fine Gael Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, has said.

The funding was announced this week by the Minister for Rural & Community Development, Michael Ring TD.

Minister Mitchell O’Connor said “This represents an unprecedented Government investment in our public libraries. The funding will allow for the modernisation of our library service and for the extension of library opening hours.”

“The investment package comprises €75,600 from the Department of Rural and Community Development, supplemented by additional funding of €25,200 from Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. This funding is in addition to significant funding already provided by Minister Ring’s Department for public libraries here this year.”

“A library is much more than a building with books on a shelf, it is a community hub, a centre of knowledge and learning, a treasure trove of literature, information and technology. This investment in libraries in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown will greatly enhance the range and quality of services available to users.”

“As an avid reader myself, as well as a former School Principal, Teacher, Mother and Grandmother I value the role our libraries have in education, culture, personal development and entertainment as well as providing access to IT facilities and meeting spaces.”

“In the days of electronic readers and e-books it is heartening to see that rather than libraries declining, they continue to grow. In Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, library membership grew by over 20,000 between 2010 and 2015, testament to the key role our libraries play in our communities.”

“This investment will enable the implementation of our new public library strategy which will be launched early next year and which will be focused on modernising the public library service in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown. It’s an ambitious strategy which is aimed at increasing library membership and usage of our public libraries.

“This programme of funding demonstrates Fine Gaels continued commitment to the public library service over the coming five-year period of the strategy.”

“I’ve traveled the world twice over,
Met the famous; saints and sinners,
Poets and artists, kings and queens,
Old stars and hopeful beginners,
I’ve been where no-one’s been before,
Learned secrets from writers and cooks
All with one library ticket
To the wonderful world of books.” – Janice James