The signing into law earlier today, Wednesday 21 March, of the Technological Universities Bill 2015 by Uachtarán na hÉireann, Michael D Higgins, is a signal day for Irish higher education and especially for the technological sector and the communities that it serves. This provides the facility whereby institutions within the sector can elect to apply for designation as technological universities should they meet the stringent criteria contained within the Act. It will be important that as a people we support this significant change financially so that these institutions can continue to compete on the international stage and at the level that has brought considerable reputational advantage to our higher education system.
Dr Joseph Ryan, CEO of the Technological Higher Education Association (THEA), warmly welcomed this most significant step and acknowledged the work of so many over the years in bringing this to fruition. Particular mention was made of Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor, TD and her staff in the department of Education and Skills for guiding the legislation through the Oireachtas in recent times. Dr Ryan noted that not all Institutes of Technology will elect to exercise this facility at this time. “It is legitimate in a diversified system, and depending on domain focus, particular specialisation, or regional context, for any given institution to retain its current status while at the same time working to satisfy the criteria that would enable it to apply for Technological University status should that best serve its community and region.” THEA looks forward to member institutions preparing their application for consideration as Technological Universities over the coming period.
For further information, please contact: Dr Joseph Ryan: (086) 6067313
Notes to editors: The technological higher education sector in Ireland comprises 14 Institutes of Technology spread across 13 counties. The Technological Higher Education Association is their representative body.