Technological Higher Education Sector
Ireland’s Institutes of Technology are flexible and dynamic institutes focused on:
- Teaching and learning
- Purpose-driven research and development, business support and incubation, and
- Civic engagement/public service.
The Institutes of Technology are recognised as a major success story in Irish education. They provide undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of study with a strong focus on the needs of the individual and the workplace, while promoting equality of access, and seamless transfer and progression, to and through programmes of study. They have been at the forefront in developing new programmes in the areas of greatest skill demand, often working in partnership with industry to provide new modes of delivery.
This has led to an enhanced level of participation by industry in the education process, in-career reorientation and continuing professional development of the workforce throughout the country. The Institutes of Technology also promote a research ethos aligned with the development of a national innovation system and the promotion of entrepreneurship that meets the need of the individual, the economy, and society.
They co-operate with other higher education institutions at home and abroad for staff and student exchange programmes, and research and development initiatives, often with industrial partners.
Institutes of Technology awards are integrated with the highest award levels of the Irish National Framework of Qualifications which in turn is aligned to the Bologna Framework. They are to the forefront in ensuring that Ireland’s modern economy continues to have the requisite array of leading-edge skills demanded by our knowledge-based industries. The Institutes provide programmes that reflect current and emerging knowledge and practices and promote self-management, critical analysis, decision making and entrepreneurship. They foster graduates ready to undertake roles, responsibilities and challenges in business, industry, the professions, public services and society.
The technological higher education sector is going through what will be the greatest change since the passing of the Regional Technical Colleges Act in the 1970s. The passing of the Technological Universities Bill in February 2018 marked a significant step on the path to the realization of an even more exciting and diversified higher education landscape in this country. The Technological Universities will add to the existing diversity evident within an already strong technological sector. It is expected that ten of the 14 Institutes will choose this pathway in the coming years, working together to form Technological Universities in Dublin, the Southeast, the Southwest and the West.
The announcement of the first designation of university status was made in July 2018 to TU Dublin comprising IT Blanchardstown, IT Tallaght and DIT. it is expected that full designation will take place in January 2019.
THEA looks forward to building strong representation that celebrates diversity.